Industry Leaders Forum Explores Climate-Resilient Design Solutions

November 8, 2018
The 2018 Industry Leaders Forum addressed the challenges of climate-resilient design. PHOTO: Jason Dixson Photography

For civil engineers climate change is more than a social obligation, it’s a matter of business.

As Terry Neimeyer, CEO of KCI Technologies, said at the 2018 ASCE Industry Leaders Forum, “In my own company, we’re being asked by our clients to design projects and facilities that are resilient and sustainable – and to account for future climate change.”

Neimeyer hosted the ILF panel discussion, “From Disasters to Solutions,” at the ASCE 2018 Convention, Oct. 14 in Denver. Chris Stone, Clark Nexsen CEO, moderated the panel, which included Alice Hill, research fellow at the Hoover Institute, Bilal Ayyub, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, professor at the University of Maryland and editor of a new ASCE manual of practice on climate-resilient design, Kathleen White,  Ph.D., P.E., climate preparedness and resilience community of practice lead for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Jim Starace, P.E., chief engineer at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

They discussed what they’re doing in their various roles to account for climate change and make communities more resilient.

Watch the entire Industry Leaders Forum below, or scroll through various topic highlights using the following viewer’s guide.


2018 ASCE Industry Leaders Forum Viewer’s Guide

Panelist presentations

10:10 – “Civil engineers … are in a unique position to help… .” – Alice Hill

13:18 – Outline of the ASCE Manual of Practice Climate-Resilient Infrastructure – “A new design philosophy.”

19:36 – Adoptive design for 2100 sea level

22:28 – Outline of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers system of water-resources infrastructure

25:48 – USACE’s four principles of resilience

29:44 – Superstorm Sandy’s effect and lessons learned for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Moderator Q&A

34:40 – How prevalent is the concern about negligence liability for failure to consider climate risks?

45:33 – Do you predict there will be an increase in litigation due to damages from climate change?

38:16 – What is the difference between a manual of practice and a standard?

50:20 – Do you see the manual of practice becoming a standard someday?

40:38 – How does the USACE consider sustainability and resilience in its plans and designs?

53:07 – With so many papers and journal articles dealing in climate science, why don’t you just use the latest information as your models?

42:33 – How have the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy affected the short-term and long-term resilience planning and construction for the Port Authority of NY&NJ?

54:48 – What sustainability and resilience guidelines are required by the Port Authority?

Audience Q&A

58:03 – Is the debate around the cause of climate change an obstacle to policy decisions?

1:01:38 – Other than sea-level rise, what is the biggest climate change risk to the USACE’s infrastructure?

1:04:13 – Should we be expediting the creation of climate-related standards given the UN’s climate change report?

1:07:12 – As cities all race to become “smart,” what do civil engineers need to do to ensure cyber-resilience?

1:08:50 – Many elected leaders openly claim climate change to be a hoax. How do we as responsible professionals change that mentality?

1:15:32 – We as engineers love to solve problems where there is definition around the problem. When it comes to climate change and sea-level rise, what’s an
engineer to do when there isn’t a published standard to design around?

1:20:03 – What roles do construction materials play in resilience?

Learn more about the ASCE Grand Challenge to significantly reduce life-cycle costs by 2025.

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