ASCE’s Future World Vision is coming into focus.

The Board of Direction voted at its quarterly meeting, Oct. 4-5, to approve the next phase of Future World Vision, which includes activities and member events around the launch of the platform in early 2022. The board also authorized development of a Future World Vision public-outreach initiative that would include a film and educational programs as well as accompanying fundraising activities.

“This is a remarkable project that generates excitement in our members and further increases our public image,” said ASCE Past-President Jean-Louis Briaud.

ASCE began Future World Vision in 2018, a deeply researched, interactive, immersive experience that explores the possibilities of the built environment of 2070 while positioning civil engineers to take the lead on developing those possibilities.

Society members received a sneak peek of the Future World Vision Floating City proof of concept at the ASCE 2019 Convention in Miami; the Mega City 2070 platform is set for launch in early 2022; and with the board’s additional five-year commitment to the project, Future World Vision will expand as a public-outreach tool in the future.

“A project of this magnitude deserves serious investment,” Briaud said. “This investment is an excellent way to say thank you to our members.”

Engaging students

The Student Presidential Group, as has been a habit during Briaud’s presidency, joined the board meeting and gave a presentation about student dues and voting. The group recommended that charging student member dues would present too high a barrier to entry to ever be a net positive for the Society.

Though the board did not vote on the issue, members received the recommendation and approved taking steps toward formalizing the SPG, fully integrated into existing Society structures.

“SPG gives a voice to our future civil engineers,” said Briaud, who initiated the group at the outset of his presidency. “The board agreed to create it in part because of that idea. This group of student representatives can have direct impact on what the board discusses and decides. I’m very happy to see it continue.”

Other meeting highlights

  • The board voted to approve creating the Task Committee on Innovation in Civil Engineering to continue developing the ASCE Innovation Contest, which will launch as a Society-wide student competition in 2022.
  • The board approved a United Nations’ COP26 communique prepared by the Committee on Sustainability for consideration at the UN’s upcoming climate change conference.
  • The Task Committee to Resolve ASCE Certification provided an interim report, as it continues to interview members and gather information toward making a recommendation to the board in March 2022 on the best path forward for the Society’s certification and certificate programs.
  • The board adopted a policy requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 for all attendees and staff at Society-level events, excepting those individuals with qualifying medical or religious exemptions.
  • A newly created Task Committee for Geographic Assessment of Programs and Support will examine the Society offerings at the geographic units level to enhance member value and better align with ASCE’s strategic plan.
  • The board received and approved the Task Committee on Institute Operating Procedures’ recommended revisions – a once-every-five-year update.

Saying farewell

The October meeting marked the end of the line for the terms of board members David J. Odeh, P.E., S.E., SECB, F.SEI, F.ASCE, technical region director; Carl C. Sutter, P.E., F.ASCE, Region 3 director; Robert L. Cagle III, P.E., F.ASCE, Region 4 director; Tony CG Lau, ENV SP, P.E., F.ASCE, Region 8 director; and Past-President K.N. Gunalan, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE.

Maria Lehman, P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE, leaves her role as treasurer and takes over as the 2022 president-elect. Dennis D. Truax, Ph.D., P.E., DEE, D.WRE, F.ASCE, assumes the ASCE presidency.

New board members, who were in attendance at the October meeting as non-voting observers, include Daniel F. Becker, M.ASCE, technical region director; Kenneth R. Mika, P.E., M.ASCE, Region 3 director; Findlay G. Edwards, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, BCEE, F.ASCE, Region 4 director; Lawrence M. Magura, P.E., D.WRE(Ret.), F.ASCE, Region 8 director; and Lou C. Aurigemma, P.E., F.ASCE, treasurer.

And Briaud moves to past-president, having provided steady guidance for the Society through a pandemic-altered but ultimately very productive year.

“It was certainly challenging because of the virus,” Briaud said. “I enjoyed it none the less, thanks to my firm belief that you must find the best in what you are given while working hard to make it better. I missed meeting members in person, but the online interaction saved a lot of travel time thereby giving me more time to work on new ASCE ideas. That was the advantage of the drawback. One of the most memorable years of my life!”