A Chance to Make a Difference

February 1, 2017
ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith

Engineers Week, held from Feb. 19 to Feb. 25, is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on engineers, often the silent heroes in our communities. It is a time to reflect and celebrate engineers’ awe-inspiring work, which solves our world’s most difficult challenges and ensure our quality of life. But perhaps most importantly, Engineers Week is an opportunity to bring the world of engineering to life for children around the globe.

This year ASCE is co-chairing the DiscoverE Leadership Council with the Bechtel Corporation. ASCE has been a member of the Engineers Week Steering Committee since its inception and this is the fourth time we have chaired the week. We have been very active throughout the years in Engineers Week programs, including the Future City Competition, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year, the New Faces of Engineering program, and Family Day.

ASCE is among more than 70 societies working with the DiscoverE Foundation on Engineers Week programs. One of the mainstay events for Engineers Week is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (Thursday, Feb. 23), engaging many women engineers as role models to inspire the next generation of girls to study engineering.

And this year, during Engineers Week, we will launch the giant-screen film Dream Big: Engineering our World, presented by Bechtel and produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films in partnership with ASCE, with additional support from the United Engineering Foundation and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. The film premieres Feb. 15 at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., followed by 50 museums and theaters all over North America, Feb. 17.

The film offers a fantastic opportunity for your Section, Branch or Student Chapter to host an event and open your community to the world of civil engineering. To find out more about the film and about bringing Dream Big to your community in the coming year, please check out last month’s column.

But the opportunities for Engineers Week don’t begin or end there. There are hundreds of activities to get young civil engineers interested. Hands-on engineering opportunities have been extremely popular in past years, and the creativity continues to amaze me. Whether its popsicle or toothpick building competitions, building home-made water filtration systems, or roller coasters, the opportunities are endless. To find more than 100 ideas for hands-on activities for all ages visit asceville.org/lessons. For those engineers that are unsure about their teaching skills, we offer free pre-college outreach training materials online.

I can’t wait to see what activities our ASCE members explore this year! Here’s to celebrating the engineer!





In case you missed them, here are some other exciting developments around the ASCE community:

Longtime active members tabbed as 2018 President-Elect official nominees

The official nominees for 2018 ASCE President-Elect, as selected by the Society’s Board of Direction Nominating Committee, are Kancheepuram (“Guna”) N. Gunalan, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE, and Robin A. Kemper, P.E., LEED AP, F.SEI, F.ASCE.

Get to know the candidates’ backgrounds and some of their thoughts on ASCE, civil engineering, and what they would seek to emphasize if elected.

ASCE will hold its election from May 1 to June 1 through online balloting. To vote, members must be in good standing as of April 1.

ASCE Collaborate, an exclusive forum for members, now available

ASCE Collaborate provides a dynamic community designed and built exclusively for Society members. It’s the perfect place for knowledge exchange, content curation, idea incubation, and professional networking.

ASCE members can join as many communities as they’d like. Members log in using the same ASCE username and password they use to access their ASCE profile.

Jeff Bridges to narrate ASCE’s Dream Big movie

Jeff Bridges, Academy Award-winning actor, has been announced as the narrator of Dream Big: Engineering Our World, the giant-screen film presented by Bechtel and produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films in partnership with ASCE.

Read what Bridges had to say about narrating the film.

Meet the New Faces of Civil Engineering – College edition

ASCE’s New Faces of Civil Engineering program highlights the next generation of civil engineering leaders by showcasing young, diverse, talented engineers the program shows that engineering is an exciting profession open to everyone.

From a women’s hockey captain to a jazz saxophonist, this years New Faces are a cornucopia of talent. Meet this year’s 10 young leaders.

Help update the Body of Knowledge and establish a new one for technologists

Given the rapid change of recent years, does ASCE’s Body of Knowledge Second Edition, issued in 2008, satisfy today’s standards for what is expected of civil engineers as they enter the profession? And what standards should be expected of a civil engineering technologist? Help determine the future direction of BOK by taking an online survey, then share your views on a new draft BOK for technologists.

Career adviser’s tips to construction engineers seeking experience for a P.E.

In a recent edition of Ask Anthony for ASCE News, engineering career adviser and professional engineer Anthony Fasano explains how civil engineers who work in the construction field can find enough experience for your P.E. and why it’s not a simple answer. Check out his latest post and the archive of past posts at the ASCE News Careers & Leadership page.

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