The issue of sustainability took center stage at the 6th Civil Engineering Conference in the Asia Region (CECAR 6), where one of the conference’s keynote speakers, ASCE President Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S., D.WRE, F.ASCE, declared to attendees that the civil engineering profession can offer solutions to both society and the environment.
“If we can identify the challenges that lie ahead and find ways to repair and build our infrastructure while balancing the economic, environmental, and social needs of our communities, we will have made great progress,” DiLoreto told the attendees. “If we can share our best practices with each other, we will have succeeded in creating a foundation that will carry all of us efficiently and effectively into the future.”
CECAR 6, August 18-19 in Jakarta, Indonesia, was held concurrently with the executive committee meeting of the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC), which organizes a CECAR conference every 3 years. ASCE is one of 11 ACECC member organizations.
In line with the sustainability theme, CECAR 6 featured sessions on climate change, sustainable construction, mining infrastructure, green buildings, wind and earthquake engineering, standards and codes, geotechnical and foundation technology, safety and reliability, and innovations in new designs and technologies.
“It was a really well-attended conference,” notes ASCE Executive Director Patrick J. Natale, P.E., CAE, F.ASCE, who was in attendance. “ASCE had a booth there and our membership materials were gone as soon as they were put on the table.”
New Sustainable Future
As one of the 3 keynote speakers, DiLoreto told the audience that civil engineers are in position to make a tremendous difference in the infrastructure development process.
In his keynote, titled “Can Civil Engineers Be Leaders of a New Sustainable Future?” DiLoreto stated, “Our goal is to draw upon the earth’s resources in a consistently responsible and efficient way to create infrastructure that will be more efficient to maintain and more resilient to the forces of nature and man.”
He concluded by saying, “In a global world, all of society is interdependent. Civil engineers working together to share strategies and tactics can develop the solutions needed to ensure resilient infrastructure for a stronger, more sustainable world. We civil engineers at the American Society of Civil Engineers invite each of you attending CECAR 6 to join us in forging a more sustainable future together.”
“I also gave a presentation at CECAR on the Report Card, which generated more interest than anything else,” says DiLoreto. “After I concluded the presentation the questions just kept coming. Engineers from these countries want to do a Report Card and they want to know how we started it and how we did it.”
With ASCE due to host the CECAR 7 conference in Hawaii in 2016, this year’s gathering concluded with a ceremonial flag handoff to DiLoreto from the president of the Indonesian Society of Civil and Structural Engineers (HAKI).
While in Indonesia, the ASCE delegation was also invited to meet privately with the country’s Vice Minister for Transportation, Bambang Susantono, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, who expressed an interest in having ASCE conduct training seminars.