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

2018 President-Elect Official Nominee

Vision Statement

We are presently at a crossroads in ASCE's evolution. And the path we choose from this point forward will factor significantly in how much power ASCE will have to shape the future of our profession, because the outcome of this election will affect our ability to enhance the image and perception of civil engineers in the eyes of the communities in which we work and live, the degree and type of benefits we're able to provide for our members, and the methods by which we ensure that those in the civil engineering profession are qualified to practice.

Our shared vision -- to be an influential, well respected, and highly competent organization -- can only be achieved in the face of the challenges that surround us today by focusing on three core activities:

  • Providing a greater number of tangible benefits of higher value to attract, retain, and energize our members so that our membership expands, we attract a higher number of younger members critical to our future existence, and see a higher percentage of our members participate actively;
  • Developing an even more focused strategy that directs the majority of our resources to a limited number of highly impactful initiatives that will further our cause; and
  • Adopting best operational practices so that our organization can accomplish more with our available resources and serve as a model of efficiency that demonstrates good leadership, including business skills as well as technical competence.

The first of these core activities is essential to our organization's sustainability and strength because we must provide a stronger value proposition to members that is capable of surviving tough and cyclical economic times. Companies increasingly scrutinize the return on their investment in sponsoring employee memberships, and are often forcing employees to choose among various organizations to determine which ones they will join, and which ones they will not. The demographics of our membership highlights the need to attract younger members, because our member population is heavily weighted toward baby boomers, and our number of eligible voters has declined nine percent over the past decade. Additionally, the percentage of eligible persons voting hit a new low of 4.2 percent in 2016, representing a 42 percent decline in comparison with participation a decade ago. These figures are a clear warning sign that as an organization we have not been communicating or connecting well with members. Our members don't think their vote matters, or they simply don't care. We must build and energize our membership, which is the true source of our influence in the world in which we work.

The second core activity, focusing our strategy, is essential because our resources are finite. While it's great to pursue topics that are of personal interest, our organization must be capable of prioritizing those issues that have the greatest impact on our future, and be able to adequately address those issues with our available human and financial resources. If spread too thinly, we are less likely to succeed and the most critical issues will not be fully addressed, or will be addressed too slowly to accomplish our desired outcomes.

The third activity, becoming a well-managed and efficient organization, will enable us to do a better job on the first two activities, and help us to increase the perceived return on investment in membership with our organization. The time of being perceived as competent solely on the basis of technical skills has passed. The world recognizes the need for good business, financial, communication, and interpersonal skills as part of professionalism, so we must exemplify the professional image we wish to portray.

Above all, I encourage you to have an active voice by voting in the upcoming election. Your support for me as your new president will be much appreciated, as we have a lot to accomplish, and I'm ready to represent you enthusiastically as we take a path designed to lead ASCE to a bold new level of achievement.

Endorsements


EDUCATION

  • MEng: Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 1981
  • BS: Civil Engineering, RPI, 1979
  • BS: Building Science (Department of Architecture), RPI, 1979

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Licensed Professional Engineer in six jurisdictions
  • Sr. Risk Engineering Consultant, Zurich Services Corp., New York, NY, 2014-present.
    Advise owners and engineering, construction, and architectural firms on matters of professional liability, builders risk, risk management, and best operational practices. Provide technical insight into construction and professional liability claims.
  • Senior Project Director, Nelson Forensics, Plano, TX, 2012-2014.
    Demonstrated strong interpersonal and communication skills interacting with people who had experienced major losses. Exhibited the ability to effectively allocate limited resources to accomplish fast-track forensic investigations for more than 100 projects.
  • Associate/Assistant Manager, French & Parrello Associates (FPA), Wall, NJ, 1984-2012.
    Worked in a highly matrixed environment similar to that required for serving as President of ASCE. Developed strong turnkey business skills spanning from building new relationships and writing proposals through managing multidisciplinary technical projects and performing collections. Provided structural engineering for buildings at Blackburn Engineering Associates prior to their acquisition by FPA in 1992.
  • From 1979-1983, held progressively responsible positions at Weidlinger Associates, New York, NY; Bechtel Petroleum, Inc., Louisville, KY; Bechtel Power Corp., Midland, MI; and the US Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, KY

Personal

  • Married 36 years to Christopher Kemper
  • Two married daughters; one grandson
  • Like spending time with my family, traveling, theater, and seaside vacations
  • Rotary International Exchange Student to Cochabamba, Bolivia in 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", submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Master of Engineering degree, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (March 1981), *maiden name

 

ASCE INVOLVEMENT

Leadership Positions

  • Director (ASCE Representative), NJ Society of Professional Engineers, 2015-present; serving as first ASCE representative on the Board
  • Director (ASCE Representative), Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB), 2007-2010; Member, 2008-present; one of the first two ASCE representatives on the Board; resolved challenging leadership transition
  • Director, District/Region 1, 2004-2007; chaired the governance committee through Region 1's formation
  • President, NJ Section, 1992-1993
  • President, Central Jersey Branch, 1990-1991
  • Student Chapter President, RPI, 1979-1980

Committee Chair (UNO)

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

Committees 

  • Raise the Bar Committee, 2016-present
  • NJ Raise the Bar, 2015-present
  • Committee on Professional Conduct, 2013-present
  • Committee on Sustainability, 2010-2013
  • Committee on Government Affairs, 2008-2009
  • Committee on Education, 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 UNO)

  • Over 15 Engineering Ethics Presentations for ASCE, NJSPE, NYSPE, NYDOT, and MENY Meetings/Conferences, Multiple Locations, 2011- present, 1 to 3 PDHs
  • "Understanding the Four Working Generations", 2016 Florida Annual Conference, Jacksonville, FL, 2016 and 2015 ASCE Metropolitan Student Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, 2015, 1 PDH
  • "A Discussion on Public Policy", The College of NJ Senior Class, Ewing, NJ, 2016
  • "You Can Be A Great Leader", The College of NJ Senior Class, Ewing, NJ, 2016
  • "Dream Big!", Council of University Transportation Centers Summer Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, 2015     
  • Moderator and Organizer, "Integrated Approach to Sustainability Workshop", A Workshop on Designing a Sustainable Infrastructure, Portland, OR; Nashville, TN; Kansas City, MO, 2012, 4 PDHs
  • Panelist, "Making the Most of Generational Differences", ASCE Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO, 2009

OTHER VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

  • Certified Disaster Service Worker (Evaluator) California Safety Assessment Program, 2015-present
  • Advisory Board, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Rutgers University, NJ, 2010-present
  • Advisory Board, Civil Engineering (CE) Department, The College of NJ, 2015-present
  • Har Sinai Temple Architect Selection and Building Committee, 2004-2007
  • Order of the Engineer, 2003-present
  • Chair, Har Sinai Temple Building & Grounds Committee, 2000-2003
  • Advisory Board, CE Department, RPI, 1999-2010
  • Board of Trustees Har Sinai Temple, 1999-2003
  • Rotary Club of Holmdel, Charter 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

Social Media Links

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/RobinKemperASCE

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-kemper-055a267

Twitter: @kemper1_r