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December 2018 UESI President's Letter

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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I hope all of you have had a great 2018 and are settling in for a wonderful Holiday break and New Year. It is with great pride that this is my first communication to all of you serving as your Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute President. UESI brings a diverse group of professionals to help advance our profession and aid in the challenge of aging infrastructure. Reflecting back, Past-Presidents Randy and Joe came out of the Pipelines Division, Jim has darn near served every discipline in his ASCE career, and I come to you out of the old Survey and Mapping/Geomatics Division. With this diversity brings many ideas on how to make UESI successful. In Jim's last President's Letter, he mentioned all of the things UESI is doing to put Utility Engineering on the map; pun intended!

As a former utility employee, I am especially proud of the success of our Public Sector Scholarship at the 2018 Pipelines Conference in Toronto. Our conference committee did such a great job. Building off that success we are investing even more for both Public Sector and Student scholarship categories at the 2019 Pipelines Conference in Nashville next July. If you are one or know a local municipal engineer, please encourage them to apply, the deadline is coming soon! I believe having greater municipal engineer participation will keep us grounded in doing the right thing for the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute.

With that Utility background, it is probably no surprise that my presidential passion is about aging infrastructure. I dealt with weekly water main breaks in my local utility. Today, the technology is even better than ever and being applied in innovative ways like never before. This is also why I am a big proponent of getting more Organizational Members to join UESI. As a vendor myself, we are always being challenged to make technology work in pragmatic ways. I am excited to make progress in organizing these corporate members and hearing what they have to say about improving the Report Card for America's Infrastructure.

I am writing this letter as we are convening a meeting of our Utility Asset Management Division in search of the best way to apply our Institute experience. I truly believe in the tenants of the ASCE Grand Challenge, most notably how every civil engineer and surveyor needs to know the value of life cycle cost analysis (LCCA). We don't need to be experts in LCCA, but we do need to know how our part fits into the Grand Challenge.

As if we didn't have enough to do, we also have a long-term commitment to re-establishing the fundamentals in our educational system and helping define Utility Engineering and Surveying in the ABET Accreditation program. As Jim has mentioned in earlier letters, we are pursuing many certification programs in the near-term, but need to invest in our future and work with academia in graduating our next generation utility engineers and surveyors.

I know this is a lot to ponder heading into the Holidays so just think about it, and if you are not involved in a UESI Committee yet, please be ready to roll up your sleeves in January and come work with us, we have a lot to do in 2019.  It's going to be a great year for UESI.

Happy Holidays,

David Totman, UESI President 2019