To satisfy the growing demands of evolving societies, civil engineering must innovate. Yet "innovation" defies a clear definition. How do innovations come about? How can they be inspired?

From the winners of ASCE’s first Innovation Contest, here are 10 insights:

“Innovation doesn’t always have to make sense. It may not make complete sense at first, the idea that you have in your mind, but it can lead to ideas that then work.”
– Jason Magalen, P.E., M.ASCE, HDR Engineering Inc., Beaverton, OR

“If I could offer one piece of advice it would be to just do it. Everybody has good ideas, but they’re afraid of the risk or they’re afraid of being laughed at. You have to just do it.”
– Martin Voorma, MSc., Arcadis, Assen, Netherlands

“The main ingredients for successful innovations are: creativity, perseverance, and entrepreneurship.”
– Mahmoud Halfawy, P.Eng., M.ASCE, Infrastructure Data Solutions Inc., Regina, SK, Canada

“Innovation is a basic instinct in human beings. We want to evolve and achieve more. Innovation drives us to [be] paragons of excellence.”
– Purushottam Gupta, School of Electronics Engineering at VIT University, Chennai India

“Innovation looks like there is no traffic on the bridge during your 8 a.m. commute. It looks like a video game that somehow makes your kids want to exercise (looking at you, Pokémon Go!). Innovation looks like solutions that are integrated into our daily routines, making our lives streamlined and happier.”
– Morgan DiCarlo, S.M.ASCE, Stony Brook University, Thiells, NY

“I told our boss in the Netherlands to get more lazy people in the firm. Lazy people think every day at their work, ‘How can I do this in less time?’ They’re the ones with the creative ideas.” – Martin Voorma

“Innovation doesn't have to be big; it just has to be better.” – Morgan DiCarlo

“Innovation is the surest path to success. Innovation gives us [a] much-needed edge over market competition and helps deliver better products and services to humanity.” – Purushottam Gupta

“We innovate when we manage to connect ideas from different disciplines.” – Mahmoud Halfawy

“The best way to encourage innovation? Be a mentor to someone who is vastly different than yourself.” – Morgan DiCarlo