Orange County Branch Newsletter

July 2017

ASCE OC Younger Members Forum

Speaker Series


By: Guillaume Iradukunda

The 2017 Speaker Series "Civil Engineering Innovations for an Interconnected World” was a month-long event, where four prominent and well-respected members in the civil engineering field gave interactive presentations. The Series took a look at innovative technologies in the Civil Engineering Industry and how they are applied both locally and internationally.

When Imagination Drives Engineering

The first event of the series; "When Imagination Drives Engineering” with Juan Varela, PE, QSD, took place on May 2nd. This event focused on the design and construction of the recently opened Shanghai Disneyland Resort in China. The Resort consists of the Shanghai Disneyland Park, hotels, an entertainment district, and a transportation hub.  The theme park faced the unique challenge of combining traditional Disney stories and themes with attractions specifically designed for Chinese guests. Engineers, consultants, and constructors, in particular, were challenged with completing the project following all standards that satisfy both the client and local government.


Navigating International Projects

The Second event; "Navigating International Projects” with Derya Thompson took place on May 9th. This event focused on the speaker's vast experience in consulting for large local projects and large international projects. Items of discussion included projects in Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Derya shared the challenges and the rewards of working in many countries as well as the benefits always seeking to develop in one’s career. She also gave good advice on how to be emotionally intelligent, especially while working with people from different backgrounds, cultures or nations.


Innovative Solutions at the Port of Long Beach

The third event; "Innovative Solutions at the Port of Long Beach" with Joe Litchfield, PE took place on May 18th. This event focused on the speaker's experience with the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project at the Port of Long Beach.  The Project is combining two aging shipping terminals into the greenest, most technologically advanced container terminal in the world.  The Project will aggressively implement environmental measures to minimize or eliminate negative environmental impacts of shipping.  With ships getting bigger and bigger this project was a must for the port to meet the present and future demand.


Speeding into the Future of Transportation

The final event of the series; "Speeding into the Future of Transportation" with Mario Hansl, PE  took place on May 23th. This event focused on the new Hyperloop One design and technology, showing how it could be the next mode of transportation. The successful prototype test made headline news to the world over the last year.  Hyperloop One promises to revolutionize the transportation industry by efficiently accelerating levitated pods caring cargo and people through a low-pressure tube at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. 

The 2017 Speaker Series was an amazing and efficient way to learn about innovation and international projects in the civil engineering industry. The hope is that lessons learned from all speakers will in many ways influence attendees in their daily lives and careers.  Special thanks to HNTB their Santa Ana office, for helping us host the series.

Awards