Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Engineers Respond to Challenges Outlined in the President’s State of the Union
attributable to Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., president of the American Society of
Civil Engineers (ASCE):
times get tough, America
has a long history of reinventing ourselves to lead the way forward to a better
future. As the President noted, the generations before us changed the face of
our nation when they built an interstate highway system and brought electricity
to rural communities. In many ways, the challenges we face today are very
crumbling infrastructure can no longer support a thriving economy, or for that
matter, a thriving public. If we are to maintain our position as a world
leader, that cannot be acceptable. Not only must we dedicate ourselves to
investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow, we also have to hold our nation’s
leaders accountable for the success of this commitment. The longer we allow
essential programs that would facilitate this kind of investment to be delayed,
such as national transportation authorization, the less likely it becomes that
we will be able to leave our children with a legacy as good, if not better,
than the one we received.
with any investment, a solid ‘return’ is essential to long-term growth. When it
comes to infrastructure, that may be the easiest part of the equation.
Dedicating resources to our nation’s power grid, water pipes, transportation
networks and other critical infrastructure systems will create jobs and support
our economy in real and measurable ways. And, the impact will be long-lasting.
of those things will be possible, however, if our education system cannot meet
the requirements of our increasingly technological society. Who will be there
to address the infrastructure needs of our ever-changing world if we cannot
foster an appreciation and understanding of science, technology, engineering
and mathematics among today’s students?
the infrastructure and education challenges facing the nation may be numerous,
the consequences of inaction are unacceptable. We have the knowledge, skills
and drive to tackle these challenges head-on. With committed leadership at all
levels of government and from both sides of the aisle, as well as ample and
appropriate resources and a dedication to innovation, we will overcome them.”
Founded in 1852, the
American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil
engineers worldwide and is America’s
oldest national engineering society. In January 2009, ASCE released its 2009
Report Card for America’s
Infrastructure, with grades in 15 categories. For more information, visit www.infrastructurereportcard.org.