New Year’s resolutions are tricky things.
It’s easy to say you want to eat less and exercise more this year. One week in, those plans usually fall by the wayside.
But what about New Year’s resolutions from civil engineers? Those won’t be mere idle promises. Civil engineers are resolute by nature. Designing and executing plans is what they do year-round.
So with that in mind, ASCE News checked in with several young ASCE leaders who were brave enough to put down in writing, for all to see, what they plan to accomplish in 2017.
Marlo Abramowitz, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE, transportation engineer at HDR, Denver, CO, member of the ASCE State Government Relations Committee and the Committee on Advancing the Profession:
“My New Year’s resolution is to continue to grow technically as a civil engineer and to become more involved in public policy issues locally in my new state of Colorado.”
Ozzy Bravo, P.E., M.ASCE, geotechnical engineer at Terracon Consultants, Lenexa, KS, ASCE Kansas City Section director:
“My New Year’s resolution is to set aside some time once a week to get informed about my local legislators’ activities and make an appointment to visit with them at least twice next year in person about our infrastructure and professional issues. I have accomplished half of that goal so far in the last few years; maybe 2017 is a breakthrough year!”
Sean Franklin, EIT, A.M.ASCE, civil design engineer at Galloway and Company, Denver, CO, ASCE Colorado Section president:
“My four focuses as president are to make sure that we have the Infrastructure Report Card finished, investigate reorganizing the Colorado Section to create a Denver Branch, continue encouraging Younger Members to get involved with the Section, and assist in the release of Dream Big.
“My individual resolutions are to perform well at my job, begin studying for the P.E. exam, learn Spanish and travel to Spain in May, and find myself on the trails at least once per week (mountain biking or skiing).”
Derek Harzinski, S.M.ASCE, ASCE Student Chapter president at Widener University, Chester, PA, 2016 ASCE Student Leadership Award winner:
“My New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with the future leaders of our Student Chapter to share with them what I’ve learned about the benefits of ASCE so they, too, will be driven by the knowledge of what ASCE can do for them and continue the success of the Widener University Student Chapter.”
Rajan Jha, EIT, A.M.ASCE, environmental consultant at EMA Inc., Richmond, VA, ASCE Virginia Section president-elect:
“I want my 2017 to be a year of traveling and cooking. Let me just accept it: I am a terrible chef, especially when it comes to preparing Indian food. This year I want to learn the mysteries behind the Indian spices and be able to prepare something tolerable for my company’s next potluck.
“Apart from cooking, I also want to carry on my tradition of exploring not-so-popular towns along the East Coast. Believe me, such towns have the best food and beer. And oh yes, while I keep working toward these two major milestones, I want to make sure that I have ASCE by my side.”
Mark Koegel, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE, assistant project manager for Kleinfelder, Raleigh, NC, ASCE Member Communities Committee member, North Carolina Section Eastern Branch treasurer:
“My New Year’s resolution is to work on my listening skills and to be fully present in conversations.”
Ken Mika, P.E., M.ASCE, environmental engineer at Natural Resource Technology, Milwaukee, WI, ASCE Wisconsin Section secretary, ASCE Wisconsin Section Southeast Branch president, 2016 ASCE Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement winner:
“My New Year’s resolution is to use more paid time off and spend more time with my family. I definitely need to take more time off in 2017 than I did in 2016.”
Shreyans Nahar, S.M.ASCE, ASCE Student Chapter public relations officer at Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India, 2016 ASCE Student Leadership Award winner:
“In this devastating world of ours, global warming has taken an upper hand. There is no sustaining in sustainable development. Deforestation has taken a front seat. My resolution as a civil engineer is to build with greenery. Build green buildings! I pledge to plant any kind of tree every week, which means 52 trees a year. If each one of us did this, we might rescue mankind.”
Danielle Neighbour, S.M.ASCE, recent University of Arkansas graduate, 2016 ASCE Daniel W. Mead Prize for Students winner:
“When setting my goals for the new year, I always try to choose three resolutions, each in a slightly different area of my life. For 2017, my New Year’s resolutions are to run a second-half marathon, be able to hold a conversation in Mandarin Chinese by the end of the year (I’m pursuing a master’s degree in Beijing beginning this August), and to make a more concerted effort to make my friends’ and family’s birthdays special.”
Elizabeth Ruedas, EIT, QISP, CSI, ENV SP, LEED GA, A.M.ASCE, design engineer at CNC Engineering, City of Industry, CA, ASCE State Government Relations Committee Region 9 member, Committee on Younger Members programs chair, Orange County Branch secretary:
“I hope to better serve our engineering community and the general public through effective communication, inspire younger generations, and influence those in a position of power. I also plan to encourage innovation by promoting, developing, and implementing policies, programs, and content that attract diversity.”
Duke Slifko, P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE, project engineer at Gannett Fleming, Harrisburg, PA, ASCE Central Pennsylvania Section newsletter editor:
“My New Year’s resolution is to become more familiar and adept in using drainage design software to help in performing my job duties, and to expand my knowledge base. I have not performed drainage design yet in my job as it has always been done by someone else. This year I want to take the opportunity to learn and be able to complete drainage design for my projects.”