Arthur G. Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE., M.ASCE
Technical Region Director Nominee
Responses to Questions for the 2012 Technical Region Director Nominees:
1. What do you perceive as being the most significant responsibilities of a Technical Region Director?
The Technical Region Director’s primary responsibility and opportunity is communication and coordination between the Institutes, the ASCE Board of Direction and the Regions, to facilitate improved relationships and shared, positive outcomes. The Technical Region Director also leads the Technical Region Board of Governors, helping them identify and implement actions to achieve their individual and collective objectives.
Advocacy for the Institutes within the ASCE Board of Direction is important, but facilitating cooperative activities between these groups, as well as external organizations, to improve already strong and productive relationships, is the most valuable and important aspect of the Technical Region Director’s responsibilities.
2. What do you perceive as being the most significant challenges and opportunities facing the Institutes and ASCE?
Infrastructure and Raising the Bar are ASCE and, by extension, Institute priority issues. Challenges and opportunities revolve around them.
The significant need for repair and upgrade of aging infrastructure is a challenge that ASCE has turned into an opportunity by standing as the preeminent organization advocating for the public interest. Advancement of the profession and our members’ need for continuing education challenge ASCE with providing these products while providing opportunities for Institutes and local Institute Chapters to produce high quality learning content to satisfy these member needs. Recruitment and retention of Younger Members also challenges us.
3. As Technical Region Director, how would you enhance the effectiveness of the Technical Region in serving the Institutes and ASCE?
I’ll concentrate on the relationship between the Institutes and ASCE. As a past Institute President, I understand the Technical Region and individual Institute’s needs. As Gannett Fleming’s Corporate Quality Officer, I facilitate meetings of project teams, looking for things that went well on projects and things that didn’t go as well, and identifying the causes of both. I’ll use my facilitation and communication skills to work with the Institutes and ASCE, identifying opportunities to build on our successes and to learn from our disappointments.
4. As Technical Region Director, how would you promote better understanding and cooperation between the Geographic Regions (Sections and Branches) and the Technical Region (Institutes and TAC)?
I’ve served as President of the Geo-Institute (G-I) and Technical Region Board member, Chair of the G-I Sections and Branches and Organizational Member Councils, a member of the ASCE Task Committee on Institute Affiliation with Local Groups and President and Geotechnical Committee Chair of the Pittsburgh Section. Since 1997 I’ve been working with the Institutes and Sections and Branches to improve relationships and add value. I’ll continue that effort by leading the Institutes to actively reach out, from the Board level, to technical groups, local Institute Chapters and Graduate Student Organizations. These new personal relationships will improve mutual understanding and cooperation.
5. What can the Institutes do to more effectively recruit and better serve local Institute Chapters?
By involving Institute Board members in Section and Branch outreach, the Institutes will develop relationships with the local Chapters. Following the Geo-Institute’s lead, Institutes could host local Institute Chapter summits, identifying valuable, cooperative initiatives (perhaps development of continuing education webinars). Summits facilitate development of Chapter to Chapter networks and activity. Institute leaders could also visit and support Graduate Student Organizations and sponsor top graduate students’ attendance at Institute conferences. These activities would be coordinated through the Geographic Region Directors to make sure that the appropriate groups and people are involved in the planning and implementation of the activities.
6. As Technical Region Director, what would you do to increase the interaction of the Institutes with the Industry Leaders Council, EWB-USA and other similar entities?
ASCE, the Institutes and engineering organizations are challenged with recruiting and retaining younger members. Younger engineers are motivated by the mission of EWB-USA. There is synergy here to capitalize on. Add the Graduate Student Organizations and the Section and Branch Younger Member groups, and there are opportunities to serve everyone’s needs. I’ll lead the Institutes to work with the Industry Leaders Council, local Institute Chapters, local Younger Member groups and Graduate Student Organizations to develop projects with EWB-USA. My firm, Gannett Fleming, is a financial supporter of EWB-USA and is involved in a EWB-USA student chapter project in West Africa.
7. As Technical Region Director, what would you do to help ASCE achieve its vision for the profession of civil engineering in 2025?
Two actions supporting the achievement of the outcomes set forth in Vision 2025 are continuing education and specialty certification. I can encourage local Institute Chapters to develop geographically specific continuing education programs, including both seminars and webinars. As a Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. (CEC) Board member, I am already involved in advancing specialty certification for civil engineers. CEC is focusing on demonstrating the value of Board Certification to owners of infrastructure (the clients of civil engineers) as well as to State Registration Boards and our own ASCE members. As Technical Region Director, I will continue these activities.