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July Message from UESI President

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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As the UESI Board of Governors President, it is my great pleasure to welcome all UESI members and thank you for your support of UESI. 

The purpose of this communication is to provide the membership with information and summary updates relative to what is going on UESI and importantly our active Divisions. If you have any areas of interest or something you would like to be addressed, please let me know. Your feedback will be well received and valued be it content, technical interest, and recommendations on how we can all make UESI a better Institute for all members and professionals.

We will continue to have challenges to overcome to make UESI a well-established organization, offer opportunities for participation, to be prosperous, and fulfill the technical and professional needs of our members. Please consider joining one of the dynamic UESI technical committees and provide your expertise and advance your career. Meet new friends and network with other professionals. 

Membership Opportunities

UESI's ongoing challenge is to build on our membership. There are opportunities available for utility engineers, surveyors, and geomatics professionals to be full ASCE members, Institute-Only members and Organizational Members. Note that ASCE currently has a membership promotion incentive ongoing. For every new member you recruit, you receive a $50 gift card.

Pipelines 2017 Conference

The Pipeline Division is working on the next great technical conference for 2017 in Phoenix, AZ. You should be well aware and hopefully registered for Pipelines 2017, at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in breezy, dry-heat Phoenix, AZ. Recent reports show that we will have approximately 160 papers that will be published and presented. Also, there are over 100 exhibitors on board, a record high. 

Don't forget the Pre-conference workshops that fill up the weekend along with Executive Committee and Technical Committee meetings. Committee meetings are all open for your interest or participation. 

The conference agenda is consistent with past conferences with distinguished speakers for the Monday Opening Plenary Session, Tuesday Awards luncheon, external evening event, and final session on Wednesday morning with a closing speaker. Technical paper presentation sessions will take place Monday - Wednesday. So if you have not registered yet, get it done and do not miss Pipelines 2017.

Outreach to Other Organizations and Membership Building

External activities include having a presence and publicizing our brand by exhibiting at Underground Construction Technology (UCT), North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT), and most recently, the Esri User Conference. We connected with many potential members and feel that a good message was received by all who visited our Exhibit. 

An extension of our monthly BOG conference calls, we also started having bi-monthly calls with our Charter Organizations headed up by Past-President, Randy Hill. The purpose of the calls is to discuss any chapter issues and needs to help them succeed consistent with the intent of the UESI Vision and Mission.

Younger Member Engagement Committee

For the Younger Members, we have formed a Young Member Engagement Committee. This is a UESI Administrative Committee headed up by Kris Harbin. Kris's responsibilities include reaching out to promote membership and committee activities, and be a voice for younger member interests to the UESI BOG. Recently, Kris has committed to contribute to our Marketing Committee headed up by BOG member, Ralph Carpenter.

Active Division Updates

The makeup of the UESI includes 6 divisions of technical areas of interest. UESI now has 5 Divisions active and running. In due time, we expect to activate the Utility Construction Management Division.

Brief Summary of what is going on in all Divisions;

The Pipeline Division is working on getting two new Manuals of Practice ready for publication and several Task Committees are addressing various pipeline issues for future publications. Also, the Pipeline Division has started planning Pipelines 2018 in Toronto and researching for Pipelines 2019 to be located in Nashville, TN.

The Utility Risk Management Division is making great progress forming Technical Committees to address mitigating risk. There are now 5 standing Committees established. They have updated ASCE Standard 38, are developing an ASCE Standard addressing Utility As-Built Drawings, and are conducting and planning several risk related webinars.

Over the last few months the Utility Asset Management Division was formed and leadership positions assigned. This effort was initiated and headed up by BOG member Jim Anspach, with appointed UESI Member John Campbell as Division Lead. This Division is actively contributing to the ASCE Report Card for 2020, which will have a Utility component for the first time. 

The Surveying and Geomatics Division is nearing completion of the updated Surveying Manual, and planning for the Surveying and Geomatics Specialty Conference in 2018 at Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA. The call for Abstracts is now open. Please submit your abstract no later than October 6, 2017.

The Standards Division was established and leadership roles assigned so they can meet their objectives for 2017. The division will assume a number of Risk related standards to be transferred from the Construction Institute and collaborate on two new proposed standards with the pipeline division.

Presentation to the TRBG and ASCE Board of Direction

This year UESI was required to present a Peer Review of UESI organization progress and activities to the Technical Regional Board of Governors (TRBG). TRBG consists of all other 8 Institutes's Presidents and Presidents elect, two ASCE Board of Direction members and ASCE Staff. Jim Anspach, John Segna and myself presented a 43 slide presentation on June 23 addressing our performance and the technical activities of the Divisions. The presentation was well received and TRBG approved and endorsed UESI for final blessing by the ASCE Board of Direction for full institute status at the July 28 ASCE Board meeting. 

The good news of the day is that UESI has prepared a presentation for the ASCE BOD for the purpose of confirming UESI as a fully operational ASCE Institute. If the motion is approved, this will be a major landmark for the Institute: 

  • UESI will be empowered to retain the profits made from conferences, manuals, and publications.
  • Awarding Sponsorships; In this anticipation, UESI Staff is assembling a process for awarding scholarships to employees of public agencies, such as cities, utility companies, government entities that do not typically support their employees to attend UESI activities. 
  • As the revenues build-up, UESI will be able to support relative initiatives to enhance our technical needs. 
  • In FY 2018, Membership will have voting opportunities to elect the incoming FY 2019 BOG and President-elect candidates.

On behalf of the UESI Board of Governors, the working committees, and the staff of ASCE, thank you for your passionate commitment, your generous support, and all that you do for our profession and leading UESI to new heights of excellence.


Joe Castronovo, P.E., F.ASCE
UESI President