Orange County Branch Newsletter

November 2013

Secretary's Column

Secretary's Column - The Importance of Being Involved

By Christopher J. Zadoorian, GE

As we approach this year’s History and Heritage and Student Fellowship Night on November 21, my thoughts are centered on the promising and energetic student members and, specifically, their potential career paths. My current thoughts stir memories of my undergraduate courses at the University of Buffalo: the fixed-in-place, auditorium-style seating (suitable for you and your 500 closest friends) and a gigantic chalk board with indecipherable formulaic scribbles. While I knew a few of the basics about civil engineering going in at that time, I really had no idea how intertwined civil engineering was with every facet of our lives.

As part of the History and Heritage event, scholarships will be awarded to many local engineering students and it’s clear to me from reading the essays submitted by the student applicants for those scholarships that they are well-ahead of the curve in understanding the significance of civil engineering in modern times. The essays eloquently summarized the relevance and significance of civil engineering endeavors and reminded me why I chose Civil Engineering:

Civil engineers add and restore value to works and improve the lives of everyone on the planet!

From current disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, to on-going improvements in Green-Building practices, transportation projects, and general development projects including housing, healthcare and educational facilities among others, this fact could not be clearer.

However, as everyone reading this will likely attest, the CIVIL nature of our profession often takes a backseat to those ever-so-pesky items such as utilization, projections, and deliverables, among many others. 

As we move forward and into 2014, I encourage you to take a minute to reflect on your accomplishments and contributions to CIVILization; and appreciate those accomplishments and those of your colleagues.

Additionally, take a few minutes to review the ASCE-OC web-site ( and see all of the activities. Since officially joining the board earlier this month, I have been amazed at the variety of endeavors and intensity of the current board. From the recent Young Member Forum-lead tour of the Tustin Ranch Road Bridge over Edinger Avenue project to the upcoming History and Heritage event, our Board’s efforts are significant and far-reaching!  The activities maintain a relevant thread between current, past and future civil engineering professionals and cumulatively serve to continually improve our profession.

Collectively, the students and the Board have energized me and reminded me the importance of getting involved. Take a minute to talk to students at all levels and provide encouragement and support whenever you can. These are the future designers of our bridges and tunnels and the ones who will take the baton and develop solutions for such challenges as climate change as well as address our aging infrastructure. Offer your support to the Board in their many endeavors; reach out with an email or a phone call to a colleague with a suggestion or a service that you can provide to maintain the positive momentum and make a difference, locally.

Get involved, be supportive and make a difference!

Visit our Sponsor