ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith
ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

Every person stands to benefit from teamwork, whether it is in the world of sports or business.

Throughout my career, I have noticed that the teams I have worked with are most effective and innovative when each individual contributes ideas and attempts to go above and beyond his or her role. The team must also be receptive to new and diverse ideas, which will allow for greater creativity.

steel bridge girl

Sponsored in part by the ASCE Foundation, our annual Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe Competitions are two great examples of how teamwork is beneficial. In both competitions, students learn what it takes to look at a problem, work together, and find a solution. These competitions are not only a great way for students to apply their technical and problem-solving skills to a real-world model, they also foster friendship among the participants. I’ve spoken with numerous young members who have expressed the importance that this camaraderie has had in their personal and professional lives.

steel bridge picture - china

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the 2016 National Student Steel Bridge Competition at Brigham Young University in Utah on May 27-28. ASCE President Mark Woodson spoke of the competition’s resounding success and how impressed he was with the commitment and synergy from the participating teams from around the world. The 2016 Concrete Canoe National Competition will be held at the University of Texas-Tyler from June 9 -11, and, if in the area, I encourage you to attend. You won’t be disappointed!

steel bridge winners

Mark with the champions of the 25th annual National Student Steel Bridge Competition — École de Technologie Supérieure of Montreal, Québec, Canada.

I believe these competitions are reflective of the civil engineering profession. Just like building a steel bridge or creating a concrete canoe, we must, as civil engineers, work together to advance our profession. As an integrated global force, we can better shape the infrastructure of today and tomorrow.

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