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President's Message: May 2021

Thursday, May 13, 2021

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COPRI President Stephen Balint, P.E., D.OE, F.ASCE

Civil Engineering underpins nearly everything that happens in our society, from the high-visibility items like roads, bridges, canals and ports, to power distribution networks, internet towers, offshore wind developments and efforts to maintain the coastal land on which many people and "traditional" infrastructure reside. The need to maintain the infrastructure is getting a lot of press these days, and from my vantage point, that's a good thing. The proposed investments will help us maintain those foundations and support safe, efficient flow of goods and services. That's good news for COPRI members.

A few other interesting topics to share with you.

In 1917 the Medical profession began formally certifying competence in Ophthalmology, for Doctors practicing in those areas. Today, specialty certification is commonplace in many areas of medicine. The certification provides independent confirmation of capability that helps the public choose competent doctors while recognizing specialists for the skills they have achieved.

Like the medical fields, certification is also available for COPRI engineers through the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port & Navigation Engineers. The ACOPNE board, on which I also serve, is active in communicating the importance of board certification to employers of professional engineering and agencies responsible for the design, construction, and management of coastal, port, ocean & navigation infrastructure. We have been encouraging the inclusion of diplomate requirements in their bid documents. But whether the specific requirement for diplomate personnel is included or not, having the Diplomate status can give confidence to your clients and enhance the attractiveness of your bid submissions. It is also a key component to advancing our profession. I encourage those qualified to apply at acopne.org.

In our April Leadership meeting, we focused on the tools we have to improve our communications and broaden awareness of the many activities that are occurring within the COPRI tent. To that end, COPRI Staff have compiled an events calendar where you can find out about the many webinars, meetings, and other activities that are open for participation despite COVID restrictions. I invite you to visit the site often to stay abreast of opportunities.

Finally, we continue to work to increase our membership and look for locations where additional professional and student chapters should be started. We have been making good progress, but we have not reached our goal. So, please take this opportunity to join the Institute. If you are already a member, share your experience with your colleagues who could benefit from membership. You can learn all about the benefits here. In addition, if you don't have a professional or student chapter near you and you'd like to get involved to change that, please let me know.

Work safely and safely work, 

Steve