President-elect candidate

Portrait of Brett C. Phillips

Vision statement

America is home to citizens who have migrated from more than 220 countries and dependencies. It has a larger immigrant population than any other country. This has shaped its culture and has created a diverse society.
ASCE is the home for civil engineers in 177 countries. Its membership is diverse both geographically and longitudinally with members at all stages of their careers from students just beginning their careers in civil engineering to life members whose careers have spanned 35 or more years.

The success and strength of ASCE is due to our diverse membership and the active involvement of our members across the globe in Sections, Branches, Groups, Regions, Student Chapters, Institutes and Society Committees.  Actions which will continue to strengthen ASCE include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Strengthening of the culture within ASCE by:
    • increasing the interaction of the Regions, Sections, Branches, Groups, Student Chapters and Institutes between one another and with ASCE staff and leadership;
    • our members interacting with leaders of our Regions, Sections, Branches and Groups and Institutes at ASCE conferences or forums;
    • providing a voice to all our members who are willing and keen to serve as office-bearers or committee members irrespective of the stage of their civil engineering careers;
    • connecting our life members to our student members to inspire the next generation of civil engineers and to share lessons learned from members who have had successful civil engineering careers.
  • To operate effectively and leverage everything ASCE does, we need to break down silos by facilitating:
    • communication between Sections, Branches, Groups and Student Chapters within and between Regions; and facilitating
    • exchanges between Regions, Sections, Branches, Groups and Student Chapters and ASCE’s Institutes and the Committee on Technical Advancement.
  • Ensuring that ASCE has a focused outreach and is acknowledged as an impartial leader.
  • Assisting ASCE to develop cost structures to deliver ASCE products and services at acknowledged value to members wherever they are located.

ASCE was instrumental in passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the final legislation addressed 47 solutions recommended in our 2021 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure. This was a result of a more than 20-year commitment by ASCE to the preparation and dissemination of Report Cards on America’s Infrastructure.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is a five-year, $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that was signed into law in November, 2021. The bipartisan IIJA marks the country’s largest investment in infrastructure across all Report Card categories in nearly a century. The IIJA, in part, aims to target “40% of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities.

ASCE is also a Founding Association Partner and currently a Bronze Partner (one of 21 partners) of Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA). In 2021 EWB-USA partnered with communities worldwide to improve infrastructure challenges impacting the health, safety and economic opportunity of more than 1,600,000 people (2021 Annual Report).

Our student and professional volunteers partner with underserved communities at home and internationally to build a more sustainable world… (Mission & History (

In February 2014, ASCE launched the Community Engineering Corps (CECorps), an exciting alliance with Engineers Without Borders USA and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). CECorps harnesses the strengths and expertise of thousands of volunteers from these three premier engineering organizations, by providing pro bono engineering services that address the infrastructure needs of underserved communities in the United States (Community Engineering Corps | ASCE).

ASCE also has adopted a new Code of Ethics where: All members of The American Society of Civil Engineers, regardless of their membership grade or job description, commit to all of the following ethical responsibilities. In the case of a conflict between ethical responsibilities, the five stakeholders are listed in the order of priority.

The stakeholders are 1. Society, 2. Natural and Built Environment, 3. Profession, 4. Clients and Employers and 5. Peers.

The highest priority stakeholder is 1. Society and the first two ethical responsibilities are: Engineers: a. first and foremost, protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public; b. enhance the quality of life for humanity.

As of October 23, 2022 ASCE has a new strategic plan:

The strategic plan is separated into two main sections – strategic shifts and strategic objectives – with the six action verbs used to highlight specifics under each. “Innovate” and “Advocate” apply to societal shifts and objectives; “Inspire” and “Stimulate” to the profession; “Magnify” and “Deliver” to ASCE membership” (Civil Engineering Source)

A common thread in the IIJA, the goals and activities of Engineers Without Borders, CE Corps, in our Code of Ethics and in our new strategic plan are actions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of disadvantaged and underserved communities.

To demonstrate our commitment, it is proposed that 2025 be declared a year devoted to “Serving our Communities” with the aim that all Student Chapters across the globe, with the support of Younger Members, Member and/or Life Members as appropriate, each undertake one community project during 2025.

If I am elected as the 2024 President-Elect then I will work closely with our Regions, Sections, Branches, Groups, Institutes and ASCE staff and leadership to realise a shared vision where ASCE is:

  • an acknowledged thought leader and promoter of innovation through its successful delivery of the Future World Vision project and of other initiatives;
  • an essential partner when it comes to working in the civil engineering profession;
  • the leading organization in civil engineering which collaborates with others to resolve global issues;
  • admired for our bodies of knowledge that can be accessed by our members;
  • well known for its members participating in and helping to solve local, regional, national and global issues; and where
  • 2025 is a landmark year “Serving our Communities”.

Biographical statement


  • B.E., Civil, (1st Hons) University of Melbourne, 1979
  • M.Eng.Sc., University of Melbourne,1981
  • Ph.D., University of Canterbury, 1985

Certification and licenses

  • Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng)
  • Registered on the Engineers Australia National Engineering Register (NER)
  • Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer accredited by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (BC.WRE)
  • International Professional Engineer registered in Australia (IntPE(Aus))
  • APEC Engineer, Registered on the APEC Engineer Register

Work experience

  • 38+ years of experience in managing and undertaking a wide range of hydro-environmental assessments, catchment management studies, flood studies, floodplain management studies, flood mitigation and stormwater quality investigations for Government and Industry clients in Australia and overseas
  • Project Director / Manager, Team Leader or Senior Engineer on 350+ projects for public and private clients
  • Workshop Leader or lecturer at more than 35 Workshops on integrated catchment management, sustainable development, catchment water quality and hydraulic and hydrological modelling
  • Senior Principal, Stantec Australia, 2022-present
  • Global Senior Principal, Cardno, 2018-2020
  • Senior Principal, Cardno, 2001-2021
  • Director, Cardno (NSW/ACT) Pty Ltd, 2009-2019
  • Director of Cardno Willing Pty Ltd., Cardno (NSW) Pty Ltd, XP Software Pty Ltd, XP Software Inc, 2001-2009
  • Director of Willing & Partners Pty Ltd, 1997-2001
  • Associate Director then Principal and Manager, Willing & Partners Pty Ltd, 1991-1997
  • Associate and Manager, WP Research, Willing & Partners Pty Ltd, 1988-1991
  • Senior Hydrologist / Hydraulicist, Willing & Partners Pty Ltd, 1984-1988

ASCE involvement


  • Life Member and Fellow who joined ASCE in 1979
  • Member, ASCE Board of Direction, 2016-2019
  • Member, ASCE Executive Committee, 2018- 2019
  • ASCE Region 10 Director, 2016-2019
  • Attended ASCE Annual Conventions
    • Panama City, Panama, 2014
    • Portland, OR, 2016
    • New Orleans, LA, 2017
    • Denver, CO, 2018
    • Miami, FL, 2019
    • Anaheim, CA, 2022
  • Attended Multi-Region Leadership Conferences in Orlando, FL and Honolulu, HI, 2019; Anaheim, CA, 2022
  • Attended OPAL Awards in Anaheim, CA, 2022
  • Attended OPAL Awards in Arlington, VA, 2017-2019
  • Attended Presidents & Governors Forums in Reston, VA, 2012-2013 and 2016
  • Member, Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, 2022-present
  • Member, Member Communities Committee, 2021-present; Corresponding Member, 2019-2021
  • Member, Task Committee on Committee Realignment, 2019-2020
  • Member, Raise the Bar Rebranding Task Committee, 2018-2018
  • Member, ASCE Task Committee on Governance Structure, 2016-2017
  • Vice-Chair, Global Strategy Council, 2015-2016
  • Corresponding Member, Global Strategy Council Task Committee, 2014-2015


  • ASCE Region 10 Immediate Past Director, 2019-2022
  • Chair, Region 10 Board of Governors, 2016-2019
  • Governor of ASCE Region 10, 2014-2016
  • President of ASCE Australia Section, 2013-2014
  • Vice-President of ASCE Australia Section, 2011-2012
  • Presented at Region 10 Leadership Training Seminars for ASCE members held in Bogota, Colombia; Lima, Peru; and Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2018
  • Presented at Region 10 Leadership Training Seminars for ASCE members held in Bangkok, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Singapore, 2019

Other volunteer activities

  • Fellow of Engineers Australia, joined in 1978
  • Member, Engineers Australia National Committee on Water Engineering (NCWE), 1988-2020
  • Chair, Engineers Australia NCWE, 1995-1997
  • Deputy Chair, Engineers Australia NCWE, 1993-1994
  • Chair, GN Alexander Medal NCWE Judging Panel, 1999-2020
  • Chair, JD Lawson Scholarship NCWE Judging Panel, 2015-2020
  • Australian Journal of Water Resources published by Engineers Australia, Member, Editorial Panel, 1988-2022; Editor-in-Chief, 1998-2004, 2008-2015; Associate Editor, 2015-2022
  • Chair, Technical Program for 9th International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference and the 3rd International Erosion Control Association National Conference, Co-hosted by Engineers Australia, Stormwater NSW, International Soil Erosion Association, Sydney, 2015
  • Chair, Technical Program Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Engineers Australia, Canberra, 2005
  • Member, Local Organizing Committee, Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Engineers Australia, Auckland, NZ, 1997
  • Member, Local Organizing Committee, Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Engineers Australia, Newcastle, 1993
  • Chair, Technical Program for Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Engineers Australia, Christchurch, NZ, 1989
  • Chair, Technical Program for Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Engineers Australia, Canberra, 1988
  • Member, Stormwater Australia Management Committee, 2006-2014
  • Life Member and Member of Stormwater NSW Committee, 2004-present
  • Stormwater NSW Treasurer, 2006-present
  • Life Member of International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research, 1980-present
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Applied Water Engineering and Research, 2015- 2020
  • Co-Chair, 8th International Conference on Urban Storm Drainage, IAHR, Sydney, 1999
  • Associate Member, Australian National Committee on Large Dams,1986-present
  • Chair of the Hydrological Society, Canberra, 1988-1992
  • Committee Member of the Hydrological Society, Canberra, 1986-1992


  • Project Director or Project Manager or Team Leader or Senior Engineer on 33 projects that have received 43 Divisional and/or National engineering excellence awards from Engineers Australia, Stormwater Australia, Stormwater NSW, Consult Australia and from other prestigious organizations since 1987


  • Author or co-author of more than 200 papers published in International and Australian conference proceedings on sustainable development, integrated catchment management, flooding and floodplain management and hydrology