Robert D. Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., AICP, F.ASCE
President-Elect Official Nominee
In these challenging times, it’s still great to be a civil engineer. While civil engineers can provide society the infrastructure that it needs, it is only possible for us to do that if funds are available to do it. Both our Infrastructure Report Cards and Failure to Act reports provide valuable information. They are helping us get the message out that the condition of our infrastructure is not what it should be or could be and that more public- and private-sector funding is needed. While we are doing a great job getting this message out to the public and our elected officials, more needs to be done. We especially need to do more to enhance our efforts towards influencing public policy. I see an ASCE that is an even more influential leader.
ASCE’s Roadmap 2025 provides specific steps that the civil engineering profession can take to achieve the Vision 2025 for the Civil Engineer. This is a global vision of civil engineers working smarter and more effectively for the good of all people by creating a sustainable world and enhancing the global quality of life. To accomplish this, civil engineers need to not only be planners, designers, constructors, and operators of the built environment but also leaders in infrastructure policy, managers of risk due to natural and man-made disasters, and innovators and integrators of ideas and technology. It will take a closely coordinated global civil engineering community endeavor to achieve this Vision. There is much to be done to achieve Vision 2025 in the next 12 years.
There are also a number of specific items in the nearer term vision for ASCE that needs to be done:
- Enhancing the relationships between the geographical Regions, Sections, and Branches and the technical activities of ASCE found in local technical groups, the eight Institutes, and the new Society Committee on Technical Advancement (CTA).
- Integrating more effectively the civil engineering paraprofessional into the work of civil engineering and providing a place for them in ASCE.
- Continuing to provide information, examples, and tools for working smarter and producing results in the most efficient manner.
- Making consideration of life-cycle costs and sustainability standard in civil-engineering work including use of the new sustainability tools from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, of which ASCE is a founding member, so as to fully consider the environment, the economy, and society in our work.
- Building and promoting the ASCE brand to enhance membership value and attract members from within and from outside the USA.
- Finding better ways to give members, prospective members, and society the information they require via the most effective and lowest cost methods.
- Completing the update of all ASCE web sites and offering more electronic networking and learning opportunities while adjusting to the “paperless” trends that we’re all experiencing.
- Making members more aware of opportunities to serve as volunteers on professional and technical committees; as Student Chapter, Section, Branch, Region, and Institute leaders and officers; as nominators of potential awardees; with Engineers without Borders; and as Key Contacts furthering government relations.
- Working together more effectively with related organizations including other civil engineering organizations to reduce redundancy and costs and increase the strength and worth as well as the perceived value of the Civil Engineer.
- Raising the bar through on-going efforts with NCEES and others to promote the Body of Knowledge and 30-hours or masters degree as the standard for becoming a PE in the future to enhance both the knowledge and value of civil engineers.
- Promoting the successful Infrastructure Report Cards to raise infrastructure awareness and the Failure to Act Reports to encourage more public and private investment in infrastructure.
While ASCE has grown to over 140,000 members, it has continued to offer members new benefits and programs and additional opportunities to serve. All members have a place to participate in their local ASCE Section or Branch. Those who choose to can also participate in a local technical group, in one of the eight Institutes, in the committees of the new CTA, and in many other professional or technical activities of ASCE. It is essential that we make members more aware of these opportunities as ASCE offers in one organization something for all of the specialty disciplines that comprise the civil engineering profession.
With 80% or more of ASCE members identifying with an Institute or CTA, our members can benefit from an increasing focus on the technical activities of the many specialties or disciplines within civil engineering. It is essential that the Institutes and Sections and Branches continue to expand their activities and to build closer working relationships so as to keep all of the civil engineering disciplines working together for the overall good of the public and the profession.
My overall vision for ASCE is consistent with and is based on us achieving the Society’s five goals discussed by our President, Greg DiLoreto, in his President’s Note in the November 2012 issue of Civil Engineering. These five goals deal with advancement of technology, lifelong learning, professionalism and the profession, career enhancement, and infrastructure and environmental stewardship while protecting public health and safety. Let’s all work together to achieve our vision and make it happen!
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