Himansu Banerjee, Ph.D., CPEng, F.ASCE
Region 10 Director-Elect
The ASCE is the pre-eminent Civil Engineering Society in the world. The diversity and richness of the collective wisdom and experience of its membership are unparalleled.
Most of Region 10 countries have a very strong engineer’s National Association, membership of which is a pre-requisite for professional recognition. Although membership of ASCE is well regarded in most countries, it normally ranks second to that of the National Associations. This results in a de facto loss of relevance of the ASCE membership.
- If elected, I would like to establish dialogue between ASCE and the local professional societies to engage with them in a meaningful way to get the benefit of each other’s wisdom and experience. I believe that with two successive terms of Governorship of Region 10 under my belt, I am in a unique position to act as an agent of change.
- Most local associations view ASCE as their competitors. We need to dispel this myth.
- Region 10 is vast and far removed from nucleus of ASCE. We need to explore ways to keep alive the sense of collegiality amongst the membership. I propose that we hold a bi-annual convention in Region 10 to nurture the sense of togetherness.
- The Region 10 entities can improve their image by organising high-end technical seminars and conferences having direct relevance to local problems. I would campaign for creating a separate administrative set-up managed by the Director, International Relations with a dedicated on-going budget to facilitate these activities.
- A number of Region 10 entities are cash starved. Good quality technical presentation needs cash. Current level of funding from ASCE is inadequate for the purpose. Without adequate funding, they will become a little more than a social club. I would campaign for the ASCE Board of Direction to tackle this issue head on to ensure the viability of a strong and focussed Region 10.
- A KEY priority for Region 10 is to arrest the rapid decline of the paid membership base. If not addressed now, we may not have a viable Regional entity in some countries in ten years time.
- The leadership teams for most Region 10 Sections and Groups are generally populated by the older ASCE members (age 50+). I would like to see that the Student and the Affiliates are given the opportunity to contest and vote in election of office bearer positions at Tier 2 level (Secretary/Treasurer/Events -ordinator). Their enthusiasm and capacity to work hard can make a real difference.
- Good communication with the members is essential for the success of any organisation. It is critically important for the members of Region 10. I would strive to impress upon the administration to seek urgent improvement in this area.
- I do believe that ASCE has the capacity to take the mantle of world leadership of the profession. One pathway to that is to develop a really strong Region 10. India and China are the emerging world powers. Here is an opportunity for Region 10 to grow exponentially from this point on provided we want to walk the walk.
I have been instrumental in restructuring the ASCE India Section (3800 members) and ASCE Australia Section (625 members). I have helped the New Zealand members to start an ASCE NZ Group (80+ members). I feel that I have the right credentials to take up the leadership of Region 10 during this change process. I would be honoured to serve as Director Region 10.