Orange County Branch Newsletter

April 2010

Secretary's Column

ASCE Workshop for Section and Branch Leaders

By Tapas Dutta, PE



I attended the ASCE Regions 8 and 9 Workshop for Section and Branch Leaders (WSBL) held in San Diego on February 26 and 27, 2010.  ASCE also held the Western Regional Younger Members Council (YMC) and a Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders (WSCL) concurrently at the same location.  There were several joint sessions where two or all three of these ASCE groups participated.

Here are some of the highlights.

Friday February 26, 2010

The welcome address was given by Gregory DiLoreto, PE, Chair for the Committee on Geographic Units, and Philip Kern, PE, the San Diego Section President.  The session was moderated by Charles Spinks, PE, Region 9 Director.

  • ASCE is working on a new website, which will be rolled out in the next few months.
  • The Civil Engineering Magazine is being worked on from a new approach and will have a new and improved look.
  • ASCE’s partnership with Engineers Without Borders  (EWB) will be enhanced.
  • ASCE is working on a comprehensive Student Transition Strategy.

The speakers emphasized on the excellent value that ASCE brings to its members and looks forward to continuing to engage the Civil Engineering leaders.

  • ASCE has 237 employees to assist the members on a wide variety of services.
  • Jennifer Epp, PE, Region 9 Governor moderated the session on “Succeeding with Generational Differences”. The presenter was Alicia Karwoski, PE, Director, Professional Practice. 

There are currently four generations in the workplace. Understanding each of them makes for a more successful workplace. The four generations are as follows with their birth years in parenthesis:

  • Traditionalists (1925-1942)
  • Boomers (1942-1960)
  • Generation X (1961-1981)
  • Millennials (1982-2000)

Alicia provided tips for understanding and successfully working with the four generations:

  • Traditionalists:  They are often well –received mentors of Millennials.
  • Boomers:  Boomers are often knowledgeable of corporate history and politics. Seek out their insights prior to suggesting a change.
  • Generation X:  Tap into a Generation Xer’s adaptability and flexibility. Do not micro manage them.
  • Millennials:  Millennials value two-way feedback: constructive feedback about their work and providing feedback to you.

One of the Region 9 Breakout sessions was facilitated by Charles Spinks, PE, Region 9 Director.  The topic of discussion was attracting, retaining, and engaging ASCE membership.  The participants had a lively discussion and shared experiences and ideas from their branches.

  • Invite members to Board meeting and other activities
  • Pair up a new attendee with a member who follows up and encourages  the attendee to participate in other ASCE activities
  • Have good speakers to attract attendees and new members
  • Encourage attendees to bring their friends to ASCE events
  • Encourage YMF board members to become ASCE Branch officers
  • Have joint YMF/ASCE luncheons
  • Consider having a Facebook page (Sacramento  YMF has one)
  • Encourage graduating students to become ASCE members

The breakout session on Mentoring was facilitated by Curtic Nunley, Director, Membership.  He discussed the mentoring programs that ASCE offers which are:

  • eCareer Mentor
  • Sections/Branch Mentors
  • EWB-USA Project Mentors

More information on these mentoring programs may be found at http://www.asce.org/mentorship.

Saturday February 27, 2010

Dennis Richards, PE, Region 8 Director was the moderator for the session “ASCE Strategic Initiatives”. The presenters were Jeffrey Russell, PhD, PE, Chair, Committee on Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice and Kenneth Rainwater, PhD, PE , Committee on Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice.

The rapid changes in the complexity and extents of the Civil engineering professional practice puts greater stress on the curriculum of the B.S. degree, the profession’s ability to assure competence in engineering specialty areas and the civil engineers’ ability to acquire sufficient non-technical professional skills such as communications, management and leadership.

ASCE is doing an on-going assessment of the profession’s dynamic Body of Knowledge (BOK).  ASCE has established the criteria to translate the BOK into meaningful accreditation within the academic program which has been approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

ASCE’s Policy Statement 465 includes defining the requisite components for the BOK in the near future:

     BOK = B(ABET) + (M/30)Validated and E  or  B + M(ABET) and E,

     Where,

     “B(ABET)” is a ABET accredited BS degree in civil engineering

     “M” is a MS degree

     “30” refers to approximately 30 semester credits for graduate level or upper-lever undergraduate courses in a specialized area in civil engineering that may be substituted for a MS degree.

     “E” refers to progressive structured professional engineering experience

The alternate path to a BOK requires an ABET accredited MS with a BS that may be non-ABET accredited.

ASCE is working with the Universities and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) to implement this program.

ASCE wants to elevate the Civil Engineering professional practice to be on par with other professions such as Accountants, Lawyers and Doctors who mandate post Bachelor degree requirements.

Kancheepuram Gunalan, PhD, PE, Region 8 Director was the moderator for the “Civil Engineering Industry Leaders Forum”.  The speakers were David Hayhurst, PhD, PE, Dean of Engineering, San Diego State University, K. N. Murthy, PE, Deputy Chief Capital Management Officer, LA Metro, and Jerry Porter, PE, Vice President, Peter Kiewit & Sons.

The speakers talked about the importance, future and the importance of leadership for the civil engineering profession.  Some of the comments made were:

  • The importance of getting involved with your community
  • Supporting organizations such as Engineers Without Borders
  • Continuing Education
  • Improving educational curriculum by including public speaking, technical writing and construction engineering

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