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Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Award

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Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year
Award Nomination Guidelines

We know that many ASCE Key Contacts are actively building relationships with and educating their members of Congress on issues important to the civil engineering profession and the public we serve.  Because many of our initiatives depend on action by the U.S. Congress, we want to recognize these efforts of outstanding ASCE advocates and teams who consistently promote ASCE issues to their members of Congress.

Award Parameters

The Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year will be given to an individual ASCE member and an ASCE team (e.g. Section, Branch, Younger Member Group). The criteria are identical for the individual and team awards. Please see below for specific criteria.

Who Determines the Award Recipients?

Any ASCE member can nominate another individual or team, and self-nominations are also welcome.  Just complete the Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year appropriate nomination form to nominate yourself, another ASCE member, or a Section, Branch or other group that meets some or most of the criteria below.   

ASCE's Key Contact Committee and two members of the Government Relations staff team will review all nominations and vote on the winners. 

Award Criteria

The Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year program will recognize an individual Key Contact as well as an ASCE Section or Branch who has made strides in engaging their member(s) of Congress and/or state legislators on priority ASCE's Priority Issues.   

While all nominations will receive consideration, favorable consideration will be given to those that advance our strategic legislative goals, specifically focusing on:

1: Priority Legislators Who Serve on Committees of Jurisdiction: As you are aware, there are certain legislators who have a greater impact on the passage or defeat of our legislative priorities than others. Their leadership on civil engineering issues, as well as their influence among their colleagues, can affect our legislative outcomes more than other legislators. Therefore, engagement with these legislators has a bigger return on investment than with lawmakers who are not involved in civil engineering issues.

Of course, included in this group is any member of the House or Senate Leadership. You can find a list of House and Senate Leadership here:

For example, in the House, members of the following committees are especially important to our legislative goals:

In the Senate, lawmakers who serve on the following committees that deal with the Highway Trust Fund are especially important:

2: Priority ASCE Issues: While our membership has diverse civil engineering interests, there are certain issues that affect a larger portion of our members than others, or that have cascading effects on the future of civil engineering and public safety.  ASCE members or teams who advocate on our priority issues will be given favorable consideration.  

Our 2014 Federal Priority Issues Agenda 

  • Clean water, drinking water and wastewater issues
  • Natural hazards mitigation & infrastructure security
  • Qualifications based selection for engineering service
  • Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education
  • Sustainable development & sustainable energy use
  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Water resources infrastructure

3: Freshman Legislators:  Many new legislators have little understanding of civil engineering issues.  Therefore, our ability to provide credible information early in their careers increases the possibility of their support during critical legislative debates.  Check out a list of freshman legislators, and sort by state, age, previous elected office, etc.

4: High Engagement Activities: "High engagement" refers to those activities that require more time. They are usually characterized by offline, or face-to-face interaction with the legislator. We know that legislators place a higher degree of influence and importance on face-to-face contact opportunities, such as constituent meetings and town hall events in the district (Congressional Management Foundation, 2011). High engagement communications convey more sincerity, effort and intensity----all components of relationship building.

Included in this category are high engagement activities that seek to educate external audiences about how legislation affects civil engineering, such as media interviews, speeches to local business organizations, presentations to opinion leaders, etc.


Winners will receive recognition at ASCE annual Legislative Fly-in.  They will also receive automatic acceptance to the next Legislative Fly-in.

A presentation at the winner's local Section or Branch meeting can also be arranged, if desired.  In addition, an award announcement will be sent to the media outlets of the winner's choice.  Notification will also be sent to the winners' local, state and federal elected representatives.

Important Deadlines

Nominations are due to ASCE Government Relations, attention "Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year" no later than October 17, 2014.  The Key Contact Committee and two members of the Government Relations staff will review all applications and vote on the deserving candidates.

Email nominations to ASCE Government Relations or mail to:

American Society of Civil Engineers
Washington Office
Attn:  Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year
101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Suite 375 East
Washington, DC 20001


Questions?  Please email ASCE Government Relations or call us at 202-789-7850.