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Established in 1939 in honor of the 67th President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Daniel W. Mead Student Contest provides an opportunity for young civil engineers to further their professional development and gain national attention by addressing ethical issues affecting the Civil Engineering profession.

AWARDS: Up to five cash prizes will be awarded (1st place $1000, 2nd place $800, 3rd place $600, 4th place $400, 5th place $200).

TOPIC: “Ethics and Globalization”
The following can be used to stimulate, but should in no way limit, discussion:

The forces of globalization are strong – cultural, economic, and political movements abroad seem to be driving the world toward an interconnected web of differing cultures, economics, and information. These trends are being accelerated by the internet and other forms of digital communication.

In business and in the Civil Engineering profession, this globalization has many ramifications. It is now possible to design many elements of a civil engineering project in different countries and continents all under the direction and supervision of a Professional Civil Engineer located in a city many miles away. Engineers are now working on projects where the planning, the engineering, and the construction phases may be completed under different global cultural and regulatory frameworks.

The powerful forces of globalization raise many ethical questions that must be asked, among them:
• What are ethical implications of utilizing globalization in Civil Engineering?
• How does the current ASCE Code of Ethics address this topic? Are changes to the Code necessary?
• How does the ASCE Code of Ethics affect engineers working abroad?
• How does this globalization affect the US economy and to what degree? And the economy of other nations? Should this be a concern of an ethical engineer?
• Which standards should be followed? Should the typically stringent American standards be followed despite less strict standards existing in other countries?
• How might differing standards call ethics into consideration? How will the differing standards affect safety? How might this issue be addressed?
• Do Civil Engineers have an obligation to address the issue of fair wages for laborers and engineers?
• What obligations exist for Civil Engineers concerning differing construction practices in other nations?
• What role does ASCE have in regulating globalization in civil engineering? What is the responsibility of ASCE in this matter?

RULES: Papers are not to exceed 2,000 words in length, must be written by only one person, and should not have appeared in any publications other than in school or chapter publications. Reference citations of the papers should conform to the official ASCE Authors' Guide to Journals and Practice Periodicals, which can be found on the ASCE Publications website here. Entries for the contest shall be limited to one paper from each ASCE Student Chapter, ASCE International Student Group, or AEI Student Chapter and must be submitted through the Faculty Advisor. Authors must be undergraduate students, Student Chapter/International Student Group members in good standing, and ASCE and/or AEI members in good standing at the time of submission to be considered. Entries should include a cover letter from the Faculty Advisor stating the name, ASCE/AEI member ID number, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail of the paper's author. Send entries to Entries must be received by March 1, 2012.

SELECTION: Selection will be made by the ASCE Committee on Student Activities and winners will be announced in May 2012. If insufficient qualified essays are received, fewer than five awards may be presented. Questions should be directed to ASCE Student Services at

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2012 Daniel W. Mead Student Contest Winners

Daniel W. Mead Prize for Students