I hope your 2013 is off to a good start. It’s sure to be an interesting one filled with new opportunities for ASCE members. Even with the shaky state of the economy, I am very optimistic about the civil engineering profession, especially when we look at what’s to come in each of ASCE’s three strategic initiatives.
Sustainability: We should see more civil engineers throughout our profession embracing sustainability concepts as the urgency becomes more apparent and techniques are more widely disseminated and used. 2013 will be the first full year that infrastructure projects will be evaluated as sustainable by the Envision certification rating system, launched last year by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, which was co-founded by ASCE with the American Council of Engineering Companies and the American Public Works Association. The institute also offers certification for professionals in the proper application of Envision and its standards.
Raise the Bar: We will make continued steady progress in preparing for a future in which the growing complexities of engineering practice will require licensed civil engineers to have additional advanced higher education. That will be one part of bringing the profession closer to realizing The Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025. ASCE will continue to work with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, the National Society of Professional Engineers and other prominent friends of the Raise the Bar initiative to move toward implementation of greater educational requirements for licensure. Work ahead includes more workshops to train advocates of the initiative, subsequent outreach, and state-level implementation developments. Learn more about the initiative at RaiseTheBarForEngineering.org.
Infrastructure: This year is the first in some time that federally funded surface transportation projects can move forward on solid ground, following the passage last summer of MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. And this year will be huge for what ASCE will bring to the table. First, a final Failure to Act report will be released next week, with new study results that will summarize the economic impact that lack of investment in infrastructure could have on the nation. Then on March 19, ASCE will make national news with the release of our 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. A panel of your professional peers is putting the finishing touches on the once-every-four-years magnum opus, which will update the grades in every infrastructure category, provide estimated costs to upgrade infrastructure to a satisfactory condition, and offer suggestions for raising the grades.
What are you looking forward to in 2013? What would you like to see happen? What do you think we can expect from ASCE’s three key initiatives? Let me know in the comments below.