As part of ASCE’s global civil engineering information exchange and outreach, Tom Smith and I traveled to India and the United Arab Emirates in March. We chose these two countries because of the rapid growth of their populations and infrastructure, and for their deep interest and enthusiasm in being affiliated with ASCE. We also wanted to grow and enrich relationships, international activities and educational initiatives there.
On the first leg of the trip, we traveled to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Both cities are well developed with advanced infrastructure and educational institutions that often include educators from the United States, Canada and the U.K. According to a department chair at Khalifa University, one- third of the world’s cranes are in the UAE, and Emirate engineering graduates receive a starting salary of $10,000 to $20,000 a month.
Tom and I ascended to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Did you know that the weight of concrete used to build the skyscraper is equivalent to 100,000 elephants, and the steel used to construct the frame is equal to that of five Airbus 380 aircrafts? (above)
While in Abu Dhabi, we visited a couple of engineering firms. One of those firms, Bechtel, has been in the UAE for 52 years. In July 2013, they launched a Center of Engineering Excellence focused on rail and marine engineering projects. (above)
To cap our trip to the UAE, we signed an Agreement of Cooperation with the Society of Engineers – UAE. The Society has 37,000 members of which 65 percent are civil engineers. The agreement will enable closer collaboration between SOE-UAE and ASCE. (above)
From Dubai, we flew to Delhi, India. There we met with the Delhi Technological Institute and heard presentations on student chapter activities at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh; Delhi Technological University; PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh; and ITM University, Gurgaon. (above)
On the last leg of our trip, we traveled to Vellore where I delivered a keynote address at Vellore Technical Institute’s “Civil Engineering for a Sustainable Future” symposium. The conference drew 800 attendees including many knowledgeable speakers on sustainability. (above)