During its meeting held October, 16-17 in Montreal, Canada, the ASCE Board of Direction addressed a number of key issues central to civil engineering and the operations of ASCE. Among them, the board received an ambitious long-term challenge to the profession from the ASCE Industry Leaders Council (ILC) on reducing the cost of infrastructure projects; gave the green light to an advance feasibility study for an exciting IMAX film— REAL BIG!
—that would highlight civil engineering and engineering at large to the public; endorsed a vision statement and key solutions to be included as part of the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
; deliberated ASCE’s potential role as a global civil engineering society; approved the 1907 Titan Clydebank cantilever crane in Clydebank, Scotland, as an international historic civil engineering landmark; discussed a request to revise the current region allotment formula; and approved a revised definition of civil engineering.
Among other key items, the board discussed how the profession can foster greater diversity within its ranks; the establishment of a Sustainable Infrastructure Certification Program; the potential pathways for regions and sections to become proactive in promoting the Raise the Bar initiative to increase educational requirements for engineering licensure, an effort led by Blaine D Leonard, P.E., D.GE, Pres.10.ASCE; and ways to improve transition of student members to associate members.
James A. Rispoli, P.E., BCEE, F.ASCE, a past chair of the Industry Leaders Council and an incoming ASCE at-large director, presented the ILC’s recommendations for establishing an ASCE challenge to reduce the life-cycle cost of infrastructure by 50 percent by 2025 and maximize infrastructure investments for Society. Rispoli also recommended that ASCE expand its regional and state focus, in addition to federal; develop new tools and metrics for better civil engineering decision making; and enhance ASCE’s position in helping to find solutions for infrastructure owners.
Also on the infrastructure front, the board heard a report from Region 2 Director Robert A. Victor, P.E., M.ASCE, the chair of the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure Committee. The board approved the recommendation to include ASCE’s infrastructure vision statement and key solutions as part of the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
, which is expected to be finalized and released in March 2013.
Christine Williams, Aff.M.ASCE, the executive vice president of the ASCE Foundation, and Jane Howell Lombardi, Aff.M.ASCE, ASCE’s director of corporate communications, presented the concept of producing an IMAX film on engineering entitled REAL BIG!
The board authorized the funds for an advanced feasibility study for the project and asked the Finance Committee to evaluate the proposal and make a recommendation to the board at its January 2013 meeting.
The board heard an interim report on global strategy from Fredric S. Berger, P.E., F.ASCE, the chair of the Task Committee on Global Strategy, which included the committee’s vision, five key goals to expand ASCE’s reach beyond the U.S., a study commissioned from the MCI Group regarding the global landscape, and potential strategies for engaging India and China.
An update from Theresa Harrison, P.E., M.ASCE, the incoming chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, focused on the committee’s vision of how ASCE can create a climate of inclusion among all Society members. She also shared with the board a strategic plan the committee developed to further promote diversity and inclusion as a way of doing business within ASCE and the civil engineering profession.
The board discussed the activities and progress of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, Inc. (ISI), a joint initiative of ASCE, the American Council of Engineering Companies, and the American Public Works Association. ISI’s executive director, William J. Bertera, and its president, Howard LaFever, P.E., BCEE, updated the board on ISI’s Envision sustainability rating system and checklists, including information about ISI’s third party project evaluation program, training, membership, and Envision credentialing program, which are available by clicking here
. D. Michael Mucha, P.E., M.ASCE, the chair of ASCE’s Committee on Sustainability, updated the board on additional ASCE sustainability activities, and the board supported ongoing funding to continue work on development of a Sustainable Infrastructure Certification Program.
Edward W. Stafford, P.E., M.ASCE, the chair of the Student Transition Implementation Task Committee, presented the committee’s recommendations to the board, outlining a three-phase action plan, which stated the necessity of making student engagement, involvement, transition and retention a priority issues for the Society. The board directed the newly created Member Communities Committee to monitor, coordinate, and take follow-up actions regarding the task committee’s recommendations.
The board was also presented the final report from ASCE’s president-elect, Randall “Randy” S. Over, P.E., F.ASCE, the chair of the Task Committee on Committee Restructuring. The board approved the task committee’s recommendations to create four new Board level committees, five Society level committees and several constituent and strategic initiative committees.
The board also received reports from Gene L. Dinkins, P.E., P.L.S., M.ASCE, the president of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, and Daniel Wittliff, P.E., DEE, the president of the National Society of Professional Engineers, regarding recent activities their organizations have undertaken in the past year.
The board discussed a resolution to revise the current region allotment formula so that funds are split evenly among the nine domestic regions (with Region 10 to be considered separately), and charged the Member Communities Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of region operations and allotment distributions and to develop an action plan to present to the board at a future meeting. In addition, the board approved the 2013 at-large director criteria as developed by the At Large Director Review Panel. The criteria will be distributed to the newly created standing Board and Society Committees, the Executive Committee constituent committees, and the ILC. Based on these criteria, these committees may nominate individuals to be considered by the At-Large Director Review Panel. Nominations must be submitted no later than December 31.
And finally, the board adopted a revised definition of “civil engineering” as follows: “Civil engineering is the profession that utilizes the materials and forces of nature to create, maintain, and improve the built environment, and protect and enhance the natural environment for the progressive well-being of humanity. The practice of civil engineering is founded on the creative analysis and synthesis of scientific, mathematical, and economic principles gained by study, experience, and practice, and guided by the imperative to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.”