Board Endorses “Grand Challenge” for Infrastructure, Approves Society Budget

July 18, 2014
2013-2014 Board Photo

2013-2014 ASCE Board of Direction. Photo Credit: David Hathcox

At its meeting July 12-13, the ASCE Board of Direction endorsed a bold recommendation from the Industry Leaders Council aimed at reducing the life-cycle cost of infrastructure by 50% within 10 years. This “grand challenge” would demonstrate civil engineering leadership and innovation in optimizing infrastructure investments for society. To support the effort, the board approved funds in the FY15 budget for the development of “life cycle performance-based” manuals of practice, metrics, and standards to foster innovation and embody the principles of resilience and sustainability. The initiative will also include a series of open Innovation Forums throughout the year.

The Board approved a $52,635,000 Fiscal 2015 Operating Budget that advances initiatives while maintaining membership dues at the current rate. In addition to funds for the ILC “grand challenge,” the approved budget includes $50,000 in funding for the popular State Public Affairs Grants program, resources to expand support for implementing the Raise the Bar initiative at the state level, and a green light for the next phase of the Society’s globalization strategy.

The Board also heard the results of the recent Member Survey and held strategic discussions with the Member Communities Committee, the Public Policy Committee, and the Committee on America’s Infrastructure.

Global Strategy

The board decided to move forward with the next phase of its global strategy, based on the success of initial outreach in India. ASCE will work with several institutions in India to present on-site training opportunities. Additionally, ASCE is investigating credentialing work. The board also decided to concentrate ASCE’s Global Strategy on India before moving to other countries, to develop an international speaker’s bureau, and to examine ASCE policies in light of its global vision.

Membership Survey

To better keep ASCE up to date on its membership, the board received an overview of a recent membership survey conducted by AMG Research. The survey examined how members first heard about ASCE, reasons why civil engineers became members, institute involvement, ASCE Section/Branch/committee/volunteer involvement, work-related issues, ASCE program support, and satisfaction with ASCE.

Overall, 93% of respondents were extremely satisfied, very satisfied, or somewhat satisfied with ASCE. Top program support included advocating a solution to U.S. infrastructure problems, attracting more students to civil engineering, developing practice-oriented technical content, and enhancing the public’s image of the profession.

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