ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith

Over the past several weeks we’ve witnessed how hurricanes with their destructive winds and devastating floods have left thousands homeless and without power and water in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. And an earthquake, one of the strongest in a century, pummeled Mexico City where hundreds lost their homes. The tragic loss of life in each instance served as yet another reminder of the importance of investing in our infrastructure.

I’m often asked how ASCE gets involved or helps in these times of disaster.

Perhaps the most recognized of ASCE’s disaster initiatives is our postdisaster engineering assessment. This program draws on our members’ technical expertise with the purpose of learning from disasters and disseminating that knowledge to advance the science and profession of engineering for the public welfare. ASCE has been conducting engineering postdisaster assessments as far back as the Johnstown Flood in the late 1800s. These teams document lessons learned, including success stories, failures, and restoration efforts. Their efforts, along with the ongoing work of volunteers who develop ASCE’s standards, journals, conferences, continuing education, and many other technical and professional programs, serve as a proactive measure to protect the public and save lives long before disasters strike.

We frequently respond to disasters by making our relevant disaster preparedness and mitigation publications available to the public on our website. Additionally, we serve as a resource for scientific and technical expertise for government and nongovernment organizations, as well as for national and local media. We remain in close contact and communication with agencies such as FEMA, USAID, and USACE, and NGOs like the American Red Cross, Hands On Disaster Response, the International Association of Emergency Managers, RedR, and Build Change.

Through our relationship with the American Red Cross and the generous contributions of our members, ASCE has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars in relief funds on behalf of the civil engineering community.

Thank you to the thousands of volunteers and donors who have helped aid the needy in these difficult times. Together we can help those whose infrastructure has failed them and work even harder to ensure that our infrastructure is resilient enough to withstand the next disaster.


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

Are you or someone you know among the next great young civil engineers?

ASCE’s New Faces of Civil Engineering recognition programs highlight the next generation of civil engineering leaders. By showcasing young, diverse, talented engineers, the program demonstrates that engineering is an exciting profession open to everyone. Ten honorees are selected by ASCE in each of two divisions: Collegiate and Professional. Discover what it takes to become a New Face, check out past winners, and get an application for the 2018 edition.

Upgrade to ASCE 7-16; Hazard Tool subscriptions now available

The standard ASCE 7-16, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures is now available in print and as an e-book for purchase in the ASCE Library. The edition is the most up-to-date and coordinated loading standard for structural design on the market.

Yearly subscriptions to the ASCE 7 Hazard Tool are now available. See how quickly it delivers seven types of hazard data to help you determine structural design loads. The tool’s wind-speed and tsunami maps will remain free indefinitely. See its offerings for yourself.

How can a young engineer overcome a fear of networking? Career expert offers advice

For a recent post in his ASCE News series Ask Anthony, engineering career adviser Anthony Fasano shares five foolproof ways to get over a fear of networking. He offers advice on the use of technology, repetition, and maximizing your comfort levels. Read Fasano’s post, then explore the archive of advice in his past posts.

Discover three strategies for strong leadership

Incoming Region 9 Director Kwame Agyare has served in numerous leadership positions for ASCE and shared some advice to those who aspire to be a leader within the organization and outside of ASCE. Read the tips he shared with ASCE News.

Nominate great coverage of infrastructure for ASCE Excellence in Journalism Award

Don’t miss an opportunity to nominate good journalism that brought attention to an important infrastructure issue. Recognize a reporter for effectively covering the effects of infrastructure on your local economy, or on a national or international scale.

Submit entries for the ASCE Excellence in Journalism Award via email to Becky Moylan at Pieces originally running in printed magazines may be scanned and included as an attachment. For large digital audio or video files, please email a completed entry form along with a link to download the file via a file transfer service.

Last chance to participate in SEI trial problem on snow loads

The Structural Engineering Institute’s Trial Design Problems gauge whether civil engineers accurately understand code provisions, generating valuable data that improves future codes and standards. The latest problem is focused on snow loads. Do you have what it takes? Submit your response by Oct. 15.

Renew now for 2018 and you could win Amazon gift cards

Ensure that your ASCE membership advantages will continue uninterrupted and you could win Amazon gift cards. Don’t miss benefits like 5 free PDHs and a wide array of discounts that more than offset your dues. With ASCE’s renewal raffle, the earlier you renew, the higher your odds of winning.

1 Comment
Leave a Reply

— required *

— required *