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September 2018 UESI President's Letter

Friday, September 7, 2018

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Four short years ago, the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute was only a dream. Google didn't even have a definition for Utility Engineering.  Now we are gaining world-wide attention and acclaim for developing Utility Engineering as a "new" field of civil practice.  We put together a new definition as follows:  "Utility Engineering is a branch of Civil Engineering that focuses on the plan, position, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and asset management of any and all utility systems, as well as the interaction between utility infrastructure and other civil infrastructure."  It seems that just having a formal definition is serving to lift and promote practice.

Our Survey and Geomatics Division is diligently putting together content to fill the gaps in our undergraduate engineering curriculum regarding survey education.  Our Pipelines Division is working with the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division in creating new Manuals of Practice for keeping our utility infrastructure strong and healthy.  Our Asset Management Division is assembling information for ASCE's next Report Card and looking at how utility infrastructure is interrelated and connected.  The Utility Risk Management Division has developed a 40 hour course with Louisiana Tech's Trenchless Technology Center in Utility Investigations and facilitated a serious piece of legislation in Colorado regarding the mandatory use of ASCE 38.  And our Standard Division now has a total of six standards to manage, with more proposals in the works.

It is gratifying to see all the members of UESI contributing to a common goal.  This was never more evident than in Toronto at the annual Pipelines Conference and in Pomona at the Survey and Geomatics Conference.  Both conferences set a bar for attendance, content, and comradery moving forward.  The addition of Student and Public Sector Scholarships was a big hit.  It's difficult to keep up with all the Institute activities, Division Committees, and Task Committees.  I encourage everyone to visit the UESI website regularly, where we will attempt to keep it all corralled.  Speaking of updates, our new Utility Engineering + Surveying Magazine, the first issue coming out in October, will an exciting new way for all of us to contribute and to stay informed.

UESI has an education, certification, and collaboration mission. We are running flat out with them all. In the first 6 months of 2018 we had 92,000 views of our abstracts on-line, and 11,000 full-text downloads.  We had 38 other countries represented at the Toronto Pipelines Conference. We have traveled to India, China, Columbia, UK, and more to disseminate UESI information.  The TTC Course now has over 100 graduates, and another event scheduled in February 2019.  We've successfully advocated with several state and provincial engineering boards to recognize subsurface utility engineering experience for licensure.  We've also begun a task force for certifications that might include (in no particular order) Certified Pipeline Engineer, Certified Subsurface Utility Engineering Professional, Certified Subsurface Utility Engineering Designator, Certified Utility Engineer, Certified Engineering Surveyor, and Certified Utility Coordinator.

I encourage each of you to try to recruit one new member next year.  Our goal is to get to 10,000 members.  Just think what we could accomplish with all that people-power! 


Jim Anspach, UESI President 2018