Orange County Branch Newsletter

Established 1953

July 2022

President's Column

Summer Bike Rides

Summer Bike Rides

My friend, Sam Ali, P.E., recently wrote a story on bike trail connectivity in Orange County. The article was published in the ASCE Civil Engineering Magazine. Since Sam and I share the same passion for cycling, I thought I would seize the opportunity to share a few enjoyable rides of mine in our OC backyard. Bicycle rides bring a healthy balance of physical activity, fresh air, much-needed mental rejuvenation, and an occasion to expand our knowledge of Orange County historical landmarks. Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) references all trails and routes in a single map that I have found very useful over the years.

  • Black Star Canyon to the Waterfall (~5 miles RT).  In 1769, Black Star Canyon and the Silverado Canyon area were named “Canyon de la Madera” by the Governor of Lower California as timber cut from the canyon was used to build the San Juan Capistrano mission.  Later, unfortunate events earned the canyon its reputation as one of the most haunted canyons in Southern California.  Today, you can bike then hike to the waterfall, where you may distinguish the remnants of a former silver mine and learn about mining in the area (Black Star Mining Company). 
  • Beeks Place (~15 miles RT).  Past Black Star Canyon Waterfall, if you keep climbing Main Divide Truck Trail, you may notice an old cabin offering a panoramic view of the San Gorgonio Mountains inland and Catalina Island offshore (even San Clemente Island on a clear day).  The old cabin is named Beeks Place after California Secretary of State Joseph Beeks, who had the family vacation cabin built in the 1930s. Joseph Beeks notably established the Balboa Island Ferry, which to this day transports locals and tourists between the Newport Peninsula and Balboa Island.
  • San Juan Lollipop (~22 miles RT).  The trailhead is located starting just north of Caspers Regional Park on Ortega Highway. The trail will take you to an alpine meadow with a perennial flow, which is certainly worth the trip.  Next to the trailhead sits the San Juan Hot Springs, which were historically appreciated by Native Indians.  From the 1870s until its permanent closure in 1993, amenities were constructed around the hot sulfur springs to offer therapeutic treatment to vacationers.
  • Santiago Creek Trail (~20 miles RT).  Starting with the historical dam at Santiago Oaks Regional Park, the trail alternates segments of dirt, decomposed granite, and paved surfaces to its end by the Discovery Cube of Orange County.  By the way, the rock cement dam along Santiago Creek was built in 1892 by the Bixby Land Company to collect resurfacing groundwater and support growing agricultural farming (City of Orange).  The ride to Grivalja Park and Old Towne Orange is rather enjoyable, especially when motivated by a weekend lunch or coffee at the destination.  Occasionally, I would extend the ride to reach the Santa Ana River Trail, but urban traffic between the two trails remains challenging.

There are many more routes that we could write on, but, as a starter, I’d like to think that you will be tempted by one of the routes above. And you, what are your favorite rides? Why? Feel free to share them with me.

Since we are on the topic of active transportation and cycling, I couldn’t close the topic without mentioning the Fall and Spring bike rides organized by Nathan Forrest, P.E., and our proactive Orange County Branch Sustainability Committee.  Keep an eye on the upcoming dates by signing up to our newsletter.

That’s a wrap. I hope everybody enjoys the outdoors this summer.  ‘Til next time, take care of yourselves, and please reach out with any questions or suggestions.


About the Author:

Remi Candaele, P.E., M.S., QSD/QSP, M.ASCE, is a Stormwater Professional at Q3 Consulting and the 2021-2022 President of ASCE Orange County Branch. Remi can be contacted at [email protected].


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ASCE OC Government Relations

Meet Your State Representatives

ASCE Orange County welcomed Assemblywoman Laurie Davies and Senator Dave Min to discuss becoming public officials, the state's overall condition on infrastructure, IIJA and the next steps in securing funding, post-COVID transit, water shortage issues, and several other infrastructure topics. The roundtable discussion was emceed by John Kilps, ASCE Region 9's Government Relations Committee lead. Afterward, both legislators took questions from attendees.

About the Author:

Steven Anderson is a Civil Engineer for David Evans and Associates in Tustin, CA. He now spends his free time with his daughter, Olivia, on a play mat. Steven can be contacted via email at [email protected].


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SBCTA Update

ASCE OC T&DI invited Dr. Ray Wolfe, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), to speak to T&DI regarding upcoming projects. Some of the projects highlighted during the presentation include Redlands Passenger Rail Project, Brightline West, and ONTLoop. The Redlands Passenger Rail Project, known as ARROW, is currently under construction and train testing.

This virtual event allowed all participants to network over 10 minutes in multiple breakout rooms. While everyone got to participate in the breakout room discussion, only the event sponsors had the opportunity to speak to the guest speaker in the sponsors’ breakout room.

Thank you to our speaker Dr. Wolfe for joining us, and thank you to all the sponsors for sponsoring this event (ACT, Mark Thomas, Michael Baker International, and Transystems.) We had almost 60 participants and had a rigorous discussion during Q/A.

Senate Bill (SB) 743 was brought up during our Q/A discussion. SB 743 was implemented in 2020 with its goal to change the way Caltrans evaluates transportation projects and reduce the amount of time traveling, this means that moving forward, the project will assess vehicle miles traveled (VMT) instead of the level of service (LOS). SB 743 is also part of a broader set of state initiatives to achieve climate and environmental goals.

For more details on SB 743, please see the link:

Technical SB 743 Fact Sheet is also available for a quick read:

About the Author:

Charlotte Wu is a Transportation Engineer with AECOM. Charlotte is passionate about designing transportation projects that improve the quality of life while maintaining a balanced and sustainable community. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities such as running, snowboarding, and riding a motorcycle. Charlotte can be contacted at [email protected].


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Night at the Driving Range

On May 26th, the OC YMF hosted a Night at the Driving Range for members to gear up for the OC Branch Golf Tournament. Upon arrival to the Newport Beach Golf Course, members were already on the range swinging away that post-work stress. Various levels of expertise attended the event, and a few beginners were fortunate to get a one-on-one lesson with OC Branch Past President Clint Isa. After several buckets, the group shared their golfing strategies over pizza and appetizers. We were grateful to see new faces and network with the students that attended. Thank you to the dozen folks who came out and be on the lookout for our next Night at the Driving Range this fall.

Members of ASCE OC sharing their golf tips n tricks over pizza

About the Author:

Melissa Hilsabeck currently works at the Port of Long Beach in the Construction Management Division. She has a background in civil engineering design with mixed-use residential, commercial, and waterfront projects. Melissa has been involved in various levels of ASCE over the past seven years and continues to be passionate about giving back to the profession.


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WRYMC 2022 at Park City, Utah

Creating connections, rekindling out-of-touch relations, and putting a face to the network we worked so hard on creating in the last few “virtual” years, ASCE Younger Members throughout the Western Region came together in Park City, Utah, from July 8th to July 10th to attend the Western Regional Younger Member Council 2022 Conference. ASCE Utah Younger Members welcomed over 120 members, 15 of which represented Orange County, to join and participate in a combination of Younger Member Leadership Symposium (YMLS) and YMLS Alumni Summit workshops.

As a first-time attendee of a WRYMC and YMLS event, I did not know what to expect. To say the least, my expectations were blown out of the water. I had the opportunity to attend workshops led by my peers, engage in round table discussions, and attend one of the two technical tours. In addition to the workshops, Orange County YMF brought home awards for Outstanding Support of a Student Chapter and Outstanding Member in ASCE Activities, won by the University Outreach Committee (Janelle Gonzalez) and Elizabeth Ruedas, respectively.


Individuals from Orange County such as Jazzy Principe, Chuck Karunathilake, Elizabeth Ruedas, and Nestor Godinez prepared and presented on Strategic Networking, Effective Planned and Impromptu Presentation Skills, Intentionally Inspiring Innovation, and the WRYMC Business Meeting. Individuals outside of Orange County (Elyssa Dixon, Kelly Keselica, Teresa Kaimrajh, Jaffer Almosawy, Isamar Escobar, Vanessa Eslava, Kailene Gini, Dennis Wilson, Katie Klose, Felipe Vazquez, Matthew Jacobson, and more) spoke and led workshops including but not limited to Personal Vision, Engineering Your Time, Communication Styles, and Understanding Emotional Intelligence.

Creating a space where people feel included, valued, and welcomed is not always a simple task. To do so with over 100 people is exponentially more difficult. I applaud each presenter and every volunteer who stood up, got out of their comfort zone, grabbed the microphone, and shared. Younger members engaged in the discussion to really hit the point of “what are we learning and why are we here”? Key takeaways can be summarized as personal and professional growth. Additionally, I’d like to share one of the many topics that resonated with me during a roundtable discussion, and that is vulnerability. Most people view vulnerability as a weakness that can be exploited due to opening up. As young professionals, we are learning and growing. We were taught to know the answers to everything in school, but the reality is that’s not always true. There are times to be vulnerable and ask for help with things you don’t understand. Most growth comes from making mistakes and learning from them. We grow and advocate lifelong learning so that one day the next generation of future young professionals can learn from us to create a better community.

As we recap the WRYMC 2022 event, we look to the future 2023 WRYMC event hosted by Orange County. Eyes are set on the sunny Southern California skies as the Western Region will venture to the OC, some for the first time and some as returners from the previous 2021 WRYMC. Days are quickly being crossed off the calendar as the OC WRMYC planning committee has picked up from where they left off prior to hosting a virtual WRYMC in January 2020. We are all looking forward to WRYMC 2023, and we hope to see you there!

About the Author:

Tyler Hodges, E.I.T., is a Design Engineer with Mark Thomas. He currently serves as a PE/FE Review Co-Chair and will soon serve as the President-Elect for ASCE Orange County Younger Member Forum. Tyler can be contacted via email at [email protected] or LinkedIn.


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Introducing Our 2022-2023 Co-Presidents

ASCE CSULB wrapped up another successful year of student development and enrichment last year with the guidance and leadership of Past Co-Presidents, Kyra Tan and Charlene Suarez. This year, I would like to introduce myself and Kevin Tasci as the new ASCE CSULB Co-Presidents for the 2022-2023 school year. We are both incoming seniors at CSULB pursuing their bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering. Kevin and I have been actively involved in our chapter of ASCE since our first year and successfully led the Timber Strong Design-Build team to a second-place victory at the 2022 PSWS in UCSD as the Co-Project Managers.

We are eager to become more involved in YMF activities and to attend more events this year to grow our network. We strive to provide our student members opportunities to gain more exposure to the industry through various networking opportunities, mock job interviews, technical workshops, and much more. Kevin and I cannot wait to work with our wonderful board of officers this year, and we hope you all continue to support our Beach family throughout the year!

About the Author:

Erin Santiago is a fourth-year Civil Engineering Student at California State University, Long Beach and Co-President of their student chapter of ASCE for the 2022-2023 school year. Erin plans to continue her career in Development Services after interning at Kimley-Horn. Erin can be contacted via LinkedIn.


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ASCE OC University Outreach

Mentorship End Games July 2022

The University Outreach team successfully hosted the University Mentorship Program for the 4th year in a row. To conclude the program, all members were invited to the Annual End Games held at William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine this year. Attendees participated in fun outdoor park games such as water balloon tosses and relay races.

Members attempt to solve a puzzle at the end of the relay

During lunch, students and professionals shared summer plans and discussed how to navigate the transitions after college. The day concluded with a ceremony where all program participants were recognized with a certificate. The End Game winners were also announced, and the 2022 Mentorship Program top 3 winning groups were announced. Winners of the Mentorship Program were determined based on participating in University Outreach events and the number of meetups each Mentorship group has throughout the program.

End Game Winners

This program continues to benefit all of our local Universities with opportunities to network with professionals and other students. The University Outreach team looks forward to hosting this program again next year!

All End Game attendees receive their certificate

About the Author:

Darlyn is a Highway Design Engineer at Mark Thomas working in the Irvine office. As the UCI Practitioner, Darlyn strives to keep communication transparent between ASCE Society and the UCI Student Chapter and provide guidance on navigating the Civil Engineering Industry to the student chapters. When she's not planning or hosting a University Outreach event, Darlyn enjoys going to Disneyland, traveling, and growing her plant collection from local vendors.


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ASCE OC Publications

DEI Best Practices in Engineering: Expanding the K-12 Pipeline

With the civil engineering profession becoming increasingly diverse, the ASCE OC Publications Committee discusses Part I of ASCE National's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Best Practices in Engineering – Expanding the K-12 Pipeline [1]. This topic addresses the value of expanding and reimagining the K-12 STEM and university systems necessary to prepare the next generation of engineers for the future world. Part II – Universal Design and Part III – Sustainability of the series will be featured in future ASCE OC Newsletters to promote the initiative at the local level. Below is the official video of Part I of the series:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Expanding the K-12 Pipeline

As discussed in the video series, K-12 and University Outreach play a critical role in expanding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education to people from all backgrounds. 48% of post-millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our nation’s history [2]. However, a significant number of minorities are still underrepresented in the field of engineering, especially within leadership positions.

Being “STEM-prepared” across all populations was stated as a mandatory factor in staying competitive in the global market. However, the lack of access to STEM resources in low-income neighborhoods presents a huge challenge for underrepresented students to envision themselves in roles within STEM careers. The historically white and male-dominated industry shows a homogeneous point of view, while underserved communities are seen as “statistically improbable” in even becoming a part of the industry.

Developing a critical eye to social justice in the STEM field will create a massive impact in expanding the conversation to people of color and the youth in academia. Organizations like ASCE, Great Minds in STEM, and Viva Technology Program are essential in linking the pathway to an engineering career path and creating programs that illustrate the realistic possibilities of a diverse population of STEM leaders.

It establishes a wide range of opportunities accessible to underrepresented groups. Entering the pipeline becomes probable and will prepare students from all communities with the proper resources to face tomorrow’s challenges. By bringing forward a diversity of faces and experiences, innovation in design and technology represents the whole community, not just a portion of it.

Nurturing and Growing STEM Interest Locally

At the local level, ASCE Branches, Younger Member Forums, and Student Chapters have developed programs that expand the K-12 pipeline by introducing STEM and civil engineering as possible career options. Below are some local annual K-12 and University Outreach initiatives that bring forth the opportunities available in the profession while also giving light to the conversation of diversity and representation.

ASCE LA Section’s Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition (PSBC)


The Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition (PSBC) is an educational competition between local high school students throughout Southern California hosted biannually by the ASCE Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Bernardino/Riverside Younger Member Forums (YMF). Hundreds of local high school students participate in a full day of competition to exhibit their engineering knowledge. They receive mentorship from their teachers and local engineers. Overall, the event celebrates and unites the STEM community annually.

ASCE CSULB’s Dream Big: A K-12 Civil Engineering Outreach Event


Inspired by ASCE's documentary film, Dream Big, ASCE CSULB created Dream Big: A K-12 Civil Engineering Outreach Event in the Fall of 2018 to encourage young students to pursue a career in civil engineering. As one of the event's co-founders, Dream Big inspires K-12 students from the Los Angeles and Orange County area to foresee STEM as an option through various workshops, team-building activities, a professional panel, and of course, streaming the Dream Big movie itself. The fifth installment of the event will occur this Fall 2022!

ASCE OC YMF’s Pathways Academy


Established in 2019, the ASCE Orange County YMF Pathways Academy is a three-part summer program that introduces university students to the various civil engineering disciplines through our "Engineering Your Future" Speaker Series, office tour seminars, and valuable professional networking opportunities. This program aims to give students a sneak peek of what it's like to work in the civil engineering industry in a fun, unique, and intimate setting. It bridges the gap between academia and industry by encouraging students to explore all their potential career options.

ASCE LA YMF’s Engineer’s Week


ASCE Los Angeles YMF’s Engineer’s Week features five days in the Los Angeles area dedicated to introducing students of all levels to local branches of government and various engineering fields. Its goal is to educate students about how their communities were built upon and created and inspire them with future possibilities of helping to change their built environment positively!

Personal Experiences

As a young engineer in the civil engineering industry, I represent three minority groups: women, immigrants, and people of color. It is a role I did not anticipate playing growing up, but an opportunity I learned to embrace as I embarked on this journey. The voices I represent in the industry are often underrepresented. By taking space, I learned that showing up as a triple minority provides a crucial perspective in developing projects to improve society for the next generation.

  • In my first 2.5 years as a full-time engineer, I was the only woman in my group.
  • When I was in college, I was typically 1 out of 2 or 3 women in the class.
  • In my family, I am the only girl out of all my maternal cousins.

Although it sounds like I should be used to being the only woman in a room full of men, you can never get used to the moments where being a woman feels like a disadvantage. The reality is that the shortage of women in the industry does not always facilitate the fundamental conversations that should represent a woman’s standpoint. With this, I learned that a diverse gender representation within leadership positions and upper management is critical to increasing gender equality in the industry. It allows for mentoring of young professionals, promotes more opportunities to learn from others with the shared experience, and continually encourages future leaders to consider gender equity in succession planning.

  • I was born and raised in the Philippines.

Being a Filipino engineer in America, I could not always relate to my peers’ childhood. I did not watch all the same TV shows or learned certain basic concepts at school in the same way. However, what was unique about my experience was that I had a story to tell. I heard about other people’s stories, while getting the opportunity to tell my own. In the industry, I learned that being different does not mean what you can do as an engineer is any different. Our work still and must serve everybody, regardless of our racial or ethnic background. It also means I can relate to more people with similar experiences.

This past March 2022, during Women’s History Month and Engineers’ Week, I had the opportunity to share my experience with a group of middle school girls at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Female Leadership Academy’s STEM Conference at Eunice Sato Academy of Math and Science High School in Long Beach. Being asked to be a speaker for this event held close to my heart as I am an alumnus of Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) schools, but it also allowed me to share my story as a woman and person of color in the industry. Seeing the students' faces learning about STEM and its possibilities was priceless.


Being a minority in the infrastructure profession, the space I take and my role affects the communities my projects serve. This personal attribute diversifies the trade and considers a varied point of view to the table. Through this, the industry can continue to bridge technology to reality and recognize essential solutions to move society forward. An opportunity that I can only hope to help fulfill and expand for future minorities in STEM.

If you or someone you know is interested in expanding their K-12 and University Outreach through ASCE OC, please feel free to contact our committees via our website.


[1] Narrated by Yvette E. Pearson, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Best Practices in Engineering Part 1 | Expanding the K12 Pipeline, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1 Dec. 2021,

[2] Fry, Richard, and Kim Parker. “Early Benchmarks Show 'Post-Millennials' on Track to Be Most Diverse, Best-Educated Generation Yet.” Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, 14 Aug. 2020,

About the Author:

Marionne Lapitan is a Civil Associate in the Traffic/ITS Department at Michael Baker International. She is currently the ASCE OC Publications Committee Editor-In-Chief and the ASCE OC YMF Communications Committee Co-Chair. Actively involved in various professional organizations, she is passionate about designing and building communities, both structurally and socially. She aims to make a difference in the world through civil engineering in hopes of building a brighter future for the next generation. She also enjoys traveling, graphic designing, and reading books in her free time. Marionne can be contacted via [email protected] or LinkedIn.


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ASCE OC Branch

Welcome New Members!

Welcome to the American Society of Civil Engineers! We are happy you joined us in ASCE's Orange County Branch. Remember...there are 101 ways to benefit from your membership with ASCE. Become involved, educate yourself on an engineering topic outside of your expertise, and build relationships with others in the industry - to name a few.

Please contact a Board Member if you have questions, or a committee chairperson to become involved.

Welcome New Members:

June 2022

  • Rehan Khan, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Caitlin Metcalfe, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Yok Pang, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Matthew Quintanilla, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Ron Richardson, Aff.M.ASCE
  • Dean Stanphill, A.M.ASCE

July 2022

  • TBA


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ASCE OC Publications Committee

Newsletter Information

Do you have an interesting topic you would like to share?  We are always looking for new and relevant content to distribute to our members relating to Civil Engineering in Orange County (no ads!).  If you have an idea please feel free to submit it to the Publications Committee! You will receive a confirmation email; however, no further acknowledgment will be sent.  There is no guarantee of publication.

Advertising Rates:

Company Business Cards / Professional Directory: $500 for 177px X 300px company business card placed in the bimonthly newsletter and on our website for the year.

Newsletter ads: Tier 1 - $350 (top section), Tier 2 - $300 (middle section), Tier 3 - $250 (bottom section) for 300px X 800px ad placed between articles in the bimonthly newsletter for the year.

Annual Sponsorship Opportunities: See our website for information on how to become an annual sponsor for even more benefits.

For more advertising and billing information please contact our Publications Committee at [email protected]

National ASCE: (800) 548-2723 (ASCE),

LA Section:

Orange County Branch:

Orange County Younger Member Forum: