Region 3 November 2020 Newsletter
The Board of Direction’s October meeting was one of the most significant in recent memory, ending with a host of major decisions. The Board approved a new Code of Ethics – the first major revision in 46 years – reshaping it entirely from a canon-based document to one focused on engineers’ stakeholders. It’s a nimble document that is much more relevant to the needs and actions of engineers today.
Another significant decision was in essence a decision the Board chose not to make. There will be no changes made to Life Member status, including any changes to fees or imposition of dues. The Board appreciated the feedback it received on the issue from Life Members and others, and it has been wonderful to receive so many positive responses from Life Members who appreciated the Board’s decision and have renewed their commitment to supporting ASCE student and younger member programs as well as the ASCE Foundation.
Other Board highlights:
- Approved the charge, goals, and membership of the new Government Engineers Council.
- Authorized the alignment of student conferences with region boundaries in Regions 1-9, with a petition process to be developed for exceptions.
- Renamed Policy Statement 417 to “Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” from “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion” along with extensive revisions that better reflect the status of ASCE as a global organization with a global impact.
- Voted to approve a constitutional amendment establishing voting rights for student members. Ratification will require a two-thirds approval from current voting members on the ASCE election ballot in spring 2021.
ASCE also launched the new Civil Engineering Source news and information hub, and daily newsletter. These two new sources represent a significant makeover of how we keep you informed about everything happening in the Society and in the industry. Civil Engineering Source is a one-stop destination bringing you industry news, career and management articles, Society news, job postings, and practitioner-focused technical updates. It includes a completely redesigned Civil Engineering magazine digital edition and will soon bring in content from Geo-Strata magazine.
The new Civil Engineering Source enewsletter is replacing the weekly ASCE News enewsletter and the daily ASCE SmartBrief, which will be phased out in February 2021. The new enewsletter is a “smarter news brief” that uses artificial intelligence to deliver each subscriber a custom experience with content tailored to their interests. Be sure to open it and click on the stories that interest you and watch how it begins to learn what you like.
The Annual Business Meeting in October welcomed a new wave of leadership to our Board and Society officers. Congratulations to Jean-Louis Briaud for assuming the office of 2021 President, accepting the ceremonial gavel handoff virtually from Kancheepuram Gunalan (Guna), who will serve the next year as Past President.
We staged a successful ASCE 2020 Convention this year. Held entirely online, the Society’s flagship event delivered top quality content across professional and technical specialties. Among the highlights was the debut of Future World Vision’s Mega City 2070 scenario, anticipating the changes in technology and society in an urban setting, and the implications for civil engineering over the next 50 years.
The ASCE headquarters parking lot reconstruction is completed. The project was a three-year initiative of the ASCE Foundation, which recruited a host of firms that contributed their time, effort, and materials. The project included low-impact development practices to reduce stormwater runoff and enhance the quality of stormwater discharge, ultimately improving the health of Chesapeake Bay. The project also included rubberized asphalt repaving, utilizing over 600 ground-up used tires. Signage around the lot explains the types of low-impact development used in the project. A special thanks to the many volunteers and staff who contributed their time, talent, and treasure to this exciting project, including the many donors who will see their names engraved in pavers in the new plaza.
- The Industry Leaders Council (ILC) held an all-member meeting and shared a thought-provoking white paper on how civil engineers need to take the lead on cybersecurity, including several recommendations on what ASCE can do. We recently published a member commentary on the topic as well as an ASCE Plot Points podcast. The ILC expanded its membership to recognize the importance of the academic and government sector voices in strategic discussion. New members include Lucio Soibelman, civil engineering department chair at the University of Southern California; David Dzomba, civil and environmental department head at Carnegie Mellon University; Roger Millar, Secretary of the Washington State DOT; and Kevin Ward, general manager of the Trinity River Water Authority in Texas. The ILC continues to participate and advise on the Future World Vision initiative, and many ILC members have already purchased the new FWV education modules as gifts to their alma maters.
- The Alliance for a Climate Resilient Earth (ACRE) has joined forces with ASCE to support our work on a new sustainability standard. ACRE showed its support in an op-ed by its leaders in The Hill.
- The incoming Biden administration represents an opportunity to make infrastructure a priority, and ASCE has a growing list of members and other connections associated with the new transition team. Past President Gunalan’s name has even been suggested to head a “Department of Transportation and Infrastructure”. We will be renewing our efforts to advance safe, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure in 2021, supported by our new Failure to Act studies and 2021 Infrastructure Report Card.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for January 2021.
To share your views or provide ideas on how ASCE can better serve its members, please email Carl.