Three individuals have declared themselves as candidates for nomination for the office of ASCE president-elect in this year’s elections: ANTHONY M. PUNTIN, P.E., F.ASCE, ROBERT D. STEVENS, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, and MARK W. WOODSON, P.E., L.S., F.ASCE.
Puntin, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992, is a senior project manager for the Louis Berger Group, Inc., of Morristown, New Jersey, and is currently serving as the executive director of ASCE’s Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section. From 2009 to 2011 he served as the director of ASCE’s Region 1, and he is currently a member of ASCE’s Committee on America’s Infrastructure and the Raise the Bar Committee. Earlier he served as president and program committee chair in the New Hampshire Section and also helped develop a report card for that state’s infrastructure. Puntin began his career with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and has more than 20 years of experience in the civil engineering industry. He has also been employed by Holden Transportation Engineering, of Concord, New Hampshire, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
“Simply put, there has been no greater influence on my professional career than ASCE,” Puntin writes in his vision statement. “Throughout my involvement with ASCE, I have been afforded the opportunity to participate at the local, regional, and national level. My ASCE journey has taken me from local committees to the national Board of Direction. These travels have provided exposure to all that ASCE has to offer. From technical education to government relations and leadership development, every civil engineer has a place in ASCE.
“As the recognized leader in our profession, ASCE has the ability and responsibility to help advance our industry. ASCE’s current strategic initiatives [improving the nation’s infrastructure, raising the educational requirements for licensure, and designing in a more sustainable manner] serve as the foundation upon which we will continue to build. I fully support these priorities and have advocated for them in various manners.”
Puntin believes that one of the more pressing concerns ASCE faces is reduced membership numbers. “We need to make a concerted effort to reach out to the student chapters and demonstrate real and tangible benefits of membership,” he writes. “I suggest the best way to accomplish this is through a recruitment program at the regional leadership conferences and the student conferences. These events provide a captive audience and are an ideal venue for the promotion of ASCE benefits.”
Stevens earned bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering and mathematics from the University of Akron, a master’s degree in city planning and traffic engineering from Yale University, and a doctorate in civil engineering with a transportation concentration from the University of Michigan. Since 2000 he has been employed by ARCADIS U.S., Inc., headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, as executive vice president. Until retiring in 2007, he oversaw the firm’s infrastructure division and managed the transportation practice. Since then he has continued working for ARCADIS on a part-time basis on corporate assignments. Stevens served as a member of the ASCE Board of Direction as a director of ASCE’s Technical Region from 2009 to 2012, was a member of the Society’s Executive Committee from 2011 to 2012, and since 2012 has been the chair of the Committee on Technical Advancement. He has been actively involved in ASCE since 1961, when he was a member of the University of Akron’s student chapter. Over the years he has lent his time and expertise to no fewer than 38 ASCE and Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) committees, and within the T&DI he has served as president, vice president, and treasurer. He also sits on the governing boards of Engineers Without Borders–USA and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
“In these challenging times, it’s still great to be a civil engineer,” Stevens writes in his vision statement. “While civil engineers can provide society the infrastructure that it needs, it is only possible for us to do that if funds are available to do it. Both our Infrastructure Report Cards and Failure to Act reports provide valuable information. They are helping us get the message out that the condition of our infrastructure is not what it should be or could be and that more public- and private-sector funding is needed. While we are doing a great job getting this message out to the public and our elected officials, more needs to be done. We especially need to do more to enhance our efforts towards influencing public policy. I see an ASCE that is an even more influential leader.”
Given the practical steps outlined in the report Achieving the Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025: A Roadmap for the Profession, Stevens believes that there are a number of issues in the near term warranting ASCE’s attention.
“This is a global vision of civil engineers working smarter and more effectively for the good of all people by creating a sustainable world and enhancing the global quality of life,” he writes. “To accomplish this, civil engineers need to not only be planners, designers, constructors, and operators of the built environment but also leaders in infrastructure policy, managers of risk due to natural and man-made disasters, and innovators and integrators of ideas and technology. It will take a closely coordinated global civil engineering community endeavor to achieve this Vision.”
Woodson obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in business administration from the University of Arizona. He is the president and owner of Woodson Engineering & Surveying, Inc., which he founded in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1994. ASCE’s treasurer from 2007 to 2009 and the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee from 2009 to 2012, Woodson currently sits on the Committee on Leadership and Management and the Transportation and Development Institute’s Board of Governors. Actively involved in the community, he is a member of the Flagstaff’s city council, the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, and the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration’s Enforcement Advisory Committee, and he is a governor-appointed member of the Arizona State Land Department’s Urban Land Planning Oversight Committee. Woodson served as president of the Arizona Society of Civil Engineers Section’s Northern Arizona Branch in 1986 and as president of that section in 1991. The section honored him with its Arizona Civil Engineer Distinguished Service Award in 1994 and John C. Park Outstanding Engineering Award in 2002.
“ASCE has allowed me to make friends all over the world,” Woodson writes in his vision statement. “I’ve had the pleasure of serving at the Branch, Section, and national levels [of ASCE] at the technical level on the T&DI board, and as chair of Strategic Planning, working to keep ASCE’s primary strategies front-and-center while keeping important new initiatives on our radar. I’ve become a better engineer and leader because of my involvement with this incredible group of leaders, and now I’m ready to step up and lead ASCE as president-elect during this transformative time in our organization’s history.
“There are three primary strategies we must continue to pursue going forward in order to sustain and expand ASCE’s impact across the globe. We must raise the bar for our profession; ensure our global infrastructure keeps pace with growth; and focus not only on the sustainability of our infrastructure, but the resiliency of it, too.”
In order to retain and attract younger engineers to ASCE, Woodson believes that the Society must continue to provide benefits and services that promote diversity and technological development. “As we look toward the future, we must think globally in our continued support of a more diverse membership and active participation with younger members and students,” he writes. “We must leverage technology to build a face-to-face rapport with our multi-generational and international colleagues, and we must continue to incorporate social media into our communications strategy.”
To read the biographies and vision statements of the three candidates or to obtain additional information about this year’s elections, click here.