ASCE Working to Align Engineering Education to a Changing World

October 7, 2015

ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith

ASCE’s Raise the Bar initiative is straightforward: align civil engineering education with the changing world through increased formal education before professional licensure. Why is this so important? Because better prepared engineers will have the enhanced technical, leadership, communications, and business skills to deliver increased value to their clients and to effectively protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

I’m happy to report that at its Aug. 21 annual meeting, the council of the National Council of Examiners of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) also recognized this need, voting by a nearly two-thirds majority to adopt an NCEES position statement that calls for increased educational requirements for future licensure. I applaud the many active ASCE members who are also active in NCEES through their roles as P.E. board members or NCEES leaders. Those who are contributing volunteer service to the licensure process are essential in our efforts to advance our profession.

A number of ASCE members are also active in advocating for the future adoption of increased educational requirements for licensure through work on Raise the Bar–related committees at the Society, Section, and Branch levels. Those individuals continue to share the message nationwide, this year holding successful training workshops in Memphis and Seattle for local champions and advocates. Raise the Bar advocates also participated in the American Society for Engineering Education annual conference in Seattle with a series of papers about other advanced-education approaches to meeting the body of knowledge requirements for the licensed practice of engineering and the new ABET CE program criteria.

ASCE needs to remain at the forefront of this important movement to help prepare the engineering workforce of the 21st century. Learning – through formal education, experience, and continuing education – remains a cornerstone for civil engineers’ ability to safeguard the health and welfare of the public. ASCE is here to help you meet those expectations and be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.




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

The recently released Engineering Competency Model is an “important resource” that will “help prepare engineers to function effectively in a rapidly changing world,” writes engineering leadership consultant and ASCE Distinguished Member Stu Walesh in a post to ASCE Roundup. Issued by the U.S. Department of Labor after nearly two years in the works, including assistance from Walesh as ASCE’s official consultant to the project, the ECM establishes core skills for entering the profession and for maintaining midcareer proficiency. Walesh explains the five-tiered model and its benefits in his post, which also has generated some interesting feedback in the comments section.

Approaching new infrastructure projects with resilience in mind is becoming more crucial. But what makes for a resilient community? How do civil engineers incorporate resiliency concepts into their work? And why is it important? A new ASCE video explores these questions and more.

Resiliency includes building better schools, and ASCE members who work for an Oregon school district are applying such principles to their project work. Find out how they are leveraging a state law to help make their facilities more resilient.

The 2015 Member Renewal Drive is on, which means potential prizes for those who renew their membership early. Congratulations to Diana Hasegan, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE. Because Diana renewed by the earliest deadline in ASCE’s membership renewal contest, she is now the happy first recipient of a $500 Amazon gift card. Renew now and you’ll still get in on the deadlines for $250 and $100 gift cards – plus, everyone who renews by Dec. 14 will also be entered into a grand prize draw of a $1,000 Amazon gift card. So the earlier you renew, the more chances you have to win. Renew online today.

Our first ASCE Convention is drawing civil engineers from across the country and around the world this month to New York City. This successor to our annual conference will explore the state of the industry and profession through a thought-provoking, multidisciplinary program. Technical sessions and tours of significant infrastructure include work on the new Second Avenue Subway, a new cable-stayed bridge, and more.  can earn attendees PDHs. The Distinguished Lecture series is returning with three authors delivering engrossing talks, and opening keynote speaker Luke Williams is an authority on business innovation leadership. Check out the new ASCE Convention.

ASCE and DiscoverE are seeking up-and-coming engineering leaders whose early successes in college and as young pros point to careers of great achievement. Ten young professionals and 10 undergraduate students will be selected as ASCE’s 2016 New Faces of Civil Engineering–Professional and College editions. Honorees will gain exposure in ASCE print and digital media, plus recognition at Society events. From among the top three honorees in each edition, DiscoverE will select its civil engineer designates for its overall 2016 New Faces of Engineering–Professional and College awards. Apply today.

Now in production for a 2017 release, Dream Big, ASCE’s giant-screen documentary on engineering, seeks a diverse group of teenagers with the spirit to dream big to solve global challenges, and the budding engineering talent to make those dreams real. If you know a teen like that, nominate her or him to be featured as a Dream Big Young Innovator. Send to a brief biography, a portrait photo and/or one in action, and a note on why you think they qualify.

The 2015-16 Member Resource Guide are now available, including two new editions for students and international members. All available in print and downloadable formats, the guides offer convenient access to all of ASCE’s products, services, and other benefits. Your print copy should have been mailed last month with the September issue of Civil Engineering magazine. Here’s the link to the downloadable editions worth keeping on all of your digital devices.

The Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute recently launched. ASCE’s ninth specialty Institute will serve civil engineers and other professionals in pipelines, geomatics, utilities, and surveying. Learn more about UESI and its launch or read the Institute’s mission and join UESI.

ASCE’s Public Agency Peer Review Service will give you a fresh perspective on what’s working and what’s not in your government agency, and how to make improvements with the advice you’ll get from them. Volunteer peer reviewers, including experienced public agency leaders, provide a confidential, customized evaluation, including insights into how other organizations have addressed similar challenges. Write to with any questions. Explore the program.

Don’t miss ASCE’s Infrastructure #GameChangers. The report and associated website written and compiled by our Government Relations team identifies top trends in energy, freight, transportation, and water, and the ways they are transforming how infrastructure is designed, planned, and built. Explore the more than 30 examples at

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