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AAWRE Honors New Diplomates and Offers Sessions at EWRI Congress

July 2008 Volume 33, Number 7  

Short Takes

Nearly 300 environmental and water resources engineering professionals convened on May 13 to honor approximately 50 individuals who had met the requirements for certification as water resources engineers set by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE). The ceremony and reception formed part of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute’s 2008 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, which was held in Honolulu. Those who seek diplomate status as water resources engineers include water engineering experts from academia, public service, and private practice. The status requires a master of science or a doctorate.
ASCE’s president, David G. Mongan, P.E., F.ASCE, participated in the ceremony, which was held to honor all who had met the requirements for certification since the fall of 2007. Mongan emphasized the importance of postlicensure specialty certification for civil engineers. The AAWRE conferred a special award on Major General Steven Abt, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE, of Colorado State University, in recognition of his engineering work in Iraq. It also recognized its most recent honorary diplomates: Asit K. Biswas, Ph.D., Hon.D.WRE, from the Third World Centre for Water Management, based in Mexico; Rafael L. Bras, Sc.D., P.E., Hon.D.WRE, F.ASCE, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Paul Boulos, Ph.D., Hon.D.WRE, M.ASCE, from MWH Soft, headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado.

The AAWRE also organized sessions as part of the congress. Three two-hour sessions provided AAWRE diplomates and other attendees a convenient opportunity to fulfill annual professional development hour (PDH) renewal requirements. The sessions were organized as interactive short courses, which encouraged group discussions. They were presented by Steve K. Starrett, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Kansas State University, and were facilitated by Alicia Karwoski, P.E., M.ASCE, a manager in ASCE’s professional activities department. All participants earned two PDHs for attending one full session. Because ethics figures prominently in the AAWRE’s specialty certification program, the organization plans to offer engineering ethics sessions in the future.

The opportunity to become a diplomate in water resources engineering is ASCE’s first voluntary, postlicensure specialty certification program. The AAWRE diplomate program began in October 2004, and since then more than 400 professional engineers have met its requirements. The AAWRE is a subsidiary of ASCE and was founded by practicing water resources professionals who were members of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute to improve the practice and elevate the standards of water resources engineering and to raise the stature of the field. For more information about the AAWRE, visit