Login Menu

Robin A. Kemper, P.E., LEED AP, F.SEI, F.ASCE

2017 President-Elect Official Nominee

EDUCATION

  • MEng: Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 1981
  • BS: Civil Engineering, Minor in Spanish, Minor in Archaeology and Anthropology,  RPI, 1979
  • BS: Building Science (Department of Architecture), RPI, 1979

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Licensed Professional Engineer in six jurisdictions
  • Zurich Services Corporation, New York, NY:  Senior Risk Engineering Consultant.  Provide investigation and technical support of major construction claims including construction defects, review and analyze structural engineering designs, and develop best practices for consulting design processes for both the Professional Liability and Construction Properties Risk Engineering Groups, 2014-present.  
  • Nelson Forensics, Plano, TX: Senior Project Director. Experience included discovering the cause of failures through on-site investigations, field data collection, and testing.  Work also entailed structural analyses, litigation support, report preparation, and consulting services, 2012-2014.
  • French and Parrello Associates (FPA), Wall, NJ:   Associate/Assistant Manager to the Structural Engineering Group in the Building Design Services Department. Senior Project Manager and structural design engineer on numerous structural and multi-discipline engineering projects.  Experience also included developing new clients and maintaining existing relationships, preparing proposals, reviewing invoices, and providing assistance on accounts receivable, 1992-2012.
  • Blackburn Engineering Associates (BEA), Princeton, NJ: Associate.  Structural engineering design focused on buildings.  BEA was acquired by FPA in 1992, 1984-1992.
  • Weidlinger Associates, New York, NY; Bechtel Petroleum, Inc., Louisville, KY; Bechtel Power Corp., Midland, MI; US Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, KY, 1979-1983.

ASCE INVOLVEMENT

Leadership Positions

  • Director (ASCE Representative), New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, 2015-present
  • Director (ASCE Representative), Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB), 2007-2010; Member, 2008-present
  • Director, District/Region 1, 2004-2007
  • President, New Jersey Section, 1992-1993
  • President, Central Jersey Branch, 1990-1991
  • Student Chapter President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1979-1980

Committee Chair 

  • Chair, Member Communities Committee, 2012-2013
  • Chair, EWB Task Committee 3, 2007-2009
  • Chair, Program Committee 2007; Committee Member, 2004-2007
  • Chair, Region 1 Formation Team, 2005-2006
  • Chair, Membership Committee, 2002-2004; Vice Chair, 2001; 
  • Committee Member, 1996-2000 and 2001-2006 
  • Chair, Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Membership Committee, 1999-2002; Committee Member, 1999-2004
  • Co-chair, Upstate New York Regional Student Conference,1980

Committees

  • Committee on Professional Conduct, 2013-present
  • Committee on Sustainability, 2010-2013
  • Committee on Government Affairs, 2008-2009
  • Educational Activities Committee, 2007-2009
  • Task Committee ASCE-Institute Operating Procedures, 2007
  • Task Committee Election Procedures, 2007
  • Task Committee on Committees, 2007
  • Finance Committee Ex-Officio, 2005-2007
  • Task Committee Political Involvement, 2005-2007
  • SEI Nominating Committee, 2003
  • Committee for Section and Branch Leaders, 2000-2004
  • National Infrastructure Policy Committee, 2000
  • SEI Charter Member, 1996-present
  • Membership Benefits Committee, 1990-1995
  • Tellers Committee, Periodic

Awards

  • ASCE Civil Engineer of the Year, New Jersey Section, 2015
  • William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award, 2013
  • Central Jersey Branch Appreciation Award "For her Extraordinary Efforts in Establishing Our Region 1 Governance Ahead of Schedule for 2007", 2006
  • ASCE Civil Engineer of the Year, Central Jersey Branch, 2003
  • National and Zone I Younger Member - Daniel W. Mead Prize, 1987
  • ASCE Mohawk-Hudson Section Student Award, 1980

Presentations

  • Presenter, "Dream Big!", Council of University Transportation Centers Summer Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, June 2015 
  • Guest Speaker, "Understanding the Four Working Generations", 2015 ASCE Metropolitan Student Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, April 2015
  • Co-presenter, "Professional Ethics", 2015 ASCE Multi-Regional Leadership Conferences, Miami, FL; Houston, TX; Bellevue, WA, January and February 2015, 1 PDH
  • Presenter, "A Discussion of Ethics in Engineering Using Case Studies", ASCE Metropolitan Section Construction Group, New York, NY, October 2014, 1 PDH
  • Keynote Speaker, "A Discussion of Ethics in Engineering Using Case Studies", 2014 Professional Engineering Conference & Exhibition, Atlantic City, NJ, April 2014, 1 PDH
  • Presenter, "Finding an Ethical Path Through a Minefield of Corruption - A Workshop on Engineering Ethics", Central Jersey Branch ASCE, Yardville, NJ, September 2013, 2 PDHs
  • Presenter, "Ethical Issues for the Forensic Engineer - What would you do?", 6th Congress on Forensic Engineering, San Francisco, CA, November 2012, 3 PDHs 
  • Moderator and Organizer, "Integrated Approach to Sustainability Workshop", A Workshop on Designing a Sustainable Infrastructure, Portland, OR; Nashville, TN; Kansas City, MO, January and February 2012, 4 PDHs
  • Presenter, "Ethical Issues - What would you do?", A Workshop on Engineering Ethics, Multiple Locations, November 2011 and February 2012, 1.5 PDHs 
  • Panelist, "Making the Most of Generational Differences", ASCE Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO, October 2009

OTHER VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

  • Certified Disaster Service Worker (Evaluator) California's Safety Assessment Program, 2015-present
  • Advisory Board - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, 2010-present
  • Advisory Board - Department of Civil Engineering of The College of New Jersey, 2015-present
  • Har Sinai Temple Architect Selection and Building Committee,  2004-2007
  • Order of the Engineer, 2003-present
  • Chair, Har Sinai Temple Building and Grounds Committee, 2000-2003
  • Advisory Board - Civil Engineering Department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1999-2010
  • Board of Trustees Har Sinai Temple, 1999-2003
  • Rotary Club of Holmdel, Charter Member 1996; Member, 1996-2005
  • Allied Member, AIA Central New Jersey, 1994-2012
  • Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers, 1994-2012
  • Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Theatrical Society, 1979-present
  • Chi Epsilon Honorary CE Society, 1977-present

PERSONAL

  • Married 35 years to Christopher Kemper
  • Two daughters, son-in-law, and "soon-to-be" son-in-law
  • Love to travel, go to the theater, take seaside vacations, and spend time with my family
  • Rotary International Exchange Student to Cochabamba, Bolivia - Junior year of High School
  • Conversational Spanish
  • Publications

    • Kemper, R.A., "A Discussion of Ethics in Engineering Using Case Studies" Proceedings of the 2014 Professional Engineering Conference, Caesars, Atlantic City, NJ, pp. 1-16 (April 2014)
    • Kemper, R.A (Primary Author), Kehrt, A., Czarnik, T.S., "Monumental Stair Welcomes Students" Modern Steel Construction, pp. 41-43 (August 1996)
    • Kemper, R.A., "Which Comes First - Responsibility or Liability", Journal Professional Issues in Engineering, 115 (4), pp. 438-440, ISSN 0733-9380 (October 1989)
    • Block*, R.A., "Building System Selection Through Key Parameters", a project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (March 1981), *maiden name

ENDORSEMENTS FROM ORGANIZATIONAL ENTITIES

1.         Regions and Institutes
  • Region 1 Board of Governors
2.         USA Sections and Branches
  • North Jersey Branch
  • New Jersey Section
  • Central Jersey Branch
  • South Jersey Branch
  • Syracuse Section
3. Councils
  • South Jersey Younger Member Forum

ENDORSEMENTS FROM INDIVIDUALS

2.   Current Governors and Institute Leader
  • Theodore Green, P.E., M.ASCE; Region 1 Governor; Engineering Project Manager, Center for Advanced Infrastructure & Transportation Rutgers University; NJ
  • Erin K. McCormick, EIT, A.M.ASCE; Region 1 Governor; Project Manager Regional Transit Service; NY
3.    Past Board of Direction Membe>
  • David T. Biggs, P.E., S.E., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE; Past District 1 Director; Founder, Biggs Consulting Engineering, PLLC; NY
  • Larry J. Feeser, Ph.D., P.E., Hon.M.ASCE;  Past District 1 Director; Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; CO
  • Moustafa Gouda, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE; Past National Society Treasurer; Principal, Maser Consulting; NJ
  • Paul D. Moyer, P.E., M.ASCE; Past ASCE Region 1 Director; Principal, Gill Engineering Associates, Inc.; MA
  • Bruce E. Podwal, P.E., F.ASCE; Past District 1 Director; Parsons Brinkerhoff; NY
  • Mark P. Rusnica, ENV SP, F.ASCE; Past Region 1 Director; Retired Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; NY
4.    Section and Branch Board Members
  • Christopher James Carter, P.E., M.ASCE; Treasurer, Mohawk-Hudson Section; Structural Engineer, Stantec; NY
  • William Emanuelli, J.D., P.E., M.ASCE; President, Puerto Rico Section; Ponce, PR
  • Neil E. Sander, P.E., M.ASCE; President, Central Jersey Branch; Senior Project Manager, Dynamic Engineering Consultants; NJ
5.    ASCE Members
  • A. Andrew Feranda, P.E., M.ASCE; Past President, New Jersey Section; Senior Project Manager at Shropshire Associates LLC; NJ
  • Jean G. Hansen, P.E., M.ASCE; Past President, New Jersey Section; Senior Consultant, Construction Claims Group; NJ
  • Chris Letchford, Ph.D., CPEng, F.SEI, F.ASCE; Head of the Department Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; NY
  • Theodore J. Weidner, Ph.D., P.E., R.A., F.ASCE; Past President Mohawk-Hudson Section; Associate Professor, Construction Engineering and Management Purdue University; IN

Vision Statement


Of the many roles I have enjoyed while serving ASCE at the local and national level, the most important is being an "active member." ASCE would not exist, nor hold such a paramount role in the civil engineering profession today, without its active members. Key to my vision for ASCE's future is to continually listen to our members in order to provide the services and programs that they value. This includes all ASCE members, no matter where they live, whether they are student members, institute members, active at the local and/or national level, or not active. This past year I attended the ASCE Board of Direction Meetings, a Technical Region Board of Governors Meeting, the Multi-Regional Leadership Conferences, and various Region Assembly Meetings; listening to and talking with ASCE members, finding out how ASCE is doing as an organization, what is working, and what should be changed. This formed the basis of my vision for ASCE - being the champion of our members, and the Civil Engineering profession's global leader.

ASCE provides our members with valuable leadership in setting the direction of the civil engineering profession as well as providing a single voice to co-professionals, policy makers, and the public. This unified leadership is essential for the growth and future success of our profession. ASCE's The Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025 is a great statement of our aspirations for our profession, and ASCE's Achieving the Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025: A Roadmap for the Profession provides a path for us to follow.   

The valuable role played by ASCE is important not only to civil engineers in the United States but also to our global members and communities. In his book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman points out how we are a global community. The civil engineering challenges we face today are global engineering issues. Recognizing this, ASCE has adjusted its focus to acknowledge that all of our members belong to a global network. I foresee that this will position ASCE as the preeminent leader of the civil engineering profession worldwide.  To serve all our members, ASCE already has in place an excellent organizational structure to "Think Globally" through its Society and Institute Board activities, and to "Act Locally" through its Student Chapters, Institute Chapters, Sections, and Branches.

In recent times, civil engineers are sometimes considered as commodities rather than as professionals. A commodity implies there is no differentiation across the market for a service or product.  We are professionals!  It is our obligation to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  To differentiate ourselves from others who claim to be qualified to perform our work, we need to continually increase our education, knowledge, and expertise which is the foundation of our organization. ASCE has continually promoted continuing education to our members, and most jurisdictions in the United States now require continuing education to maintain licensure. ASCE's "Raise the Bar" initiative promotes the need for a Master's Degree or equivalent to be a licensed professional engineer. I prefer ASCE Past President Bob Stevens' name for the initiative, "Restore the Bar," because it more clearly reflects why more education is needed for our future civil engineers.  At its meeting in August 2015, NCEES, an "organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors," reaffirmed its support of ASCE's initiative by voting in favor of a position statement that requires additional education beyond the Bachelors for engineering licensure.

Sustainability is a key to upholding our quality of life.  I had the privilege of serving on ASCE's Committee on Sustainability and witnessed the inception and development of the Envision rating system. Civil engineers are THE professionals who can maintain a healthy world to live in today, with ample resources for future generations.  We need to think more holistically in our approach to sustainability, and not only think about the "built project."  I foresee that sustainability will become so integrated into our education and thought processes that it will no longer be a separate topic for discussion.

Infrastructure renewal has been an ASCE priority for many years; yet more work needs to be done. We have made inroads with our policy makers through ASCE's editions of the Report Card for America's Infrastructure and our Failure to Act reports.  A new Report Card is due out in 2017. ASCE must provide continued leadership to show the public and policy makers the need for infrastructure investment for our overall well-being, as well as how to achieve it. This involves tough conversations, such as the discussion of taxes.  I believe that the talent and commitment of our membership will make a better world by serving as influential leaders in public policy. Convince the public, and you will convince the policy makers. We need to step-up our training opportunities and resources for our members to learn how, what, and where to speak to the public.

ASCE's long-term viability is another issue that requires ongoing attention. With the worldwide economic roller coaster over the past several years, ASCE has taken some financial hits. Electronic publishing is also presenting new financial challenges. Difficult decisions will need to be made over the next several years to remain financially sustainable, balancing income against members' professional needs and global concerns. ASCE's second largest net revenue is from membership dues. This brings us full circle to ASCE not being able to exist without its members. We need to focus on what our members want throughout their lives, and help them transition between the various stages of their life in ASCE and its Institutes.

ASCE has been an important part of my life since I was a student. ASCE is my second family; my husband and daughters can attest to that! As my family, I care deeply and passionately about the organization. As ASCE's President, I will do all I can to ensure ASCE's continued success, growth, and well-being, and increase our visibility and influence throughout the world.