Orange County Branch Newsletter

Celebrating 63 Years of Service

October 2018

President's Message

Graying the Lines

It is amazing how quickly this year has gone.  I want to sincerely thank all of you, especially those who supported our committees and institutes by planning, executing, and enjoying the amazing events we had this year.  You made serving as Branch President as smooth as I could have ever imagined.  You also made it very rewarding.

There are plenty of areas where I wish I would have focused more effort, or events I would have loved to attend, but they pale in comparison to how impressive it was to see the leadership within our Branch, YMF, and student chapters grow and accomplish so many great things. You planned great networking and professional development gatherings, had record attendance at our largest events, “Dreamt Big” with our own viewing party, and raised a funds for scholarships, mentoring younger engineers, and student outreach.  The attendance or revenue numbers aren’t what I will remember about this year though. 

The relationships I developed with many of you have been the most rewarding aspects of serving as President.  I thoroughly enjoyed our committee meetings, board meetings, and one-on-one lunches and coffees, where we discussed how to bring the most value to our fellow Orange County Branch members, and made sure to have fun while doing it.  I hope this was only the beginning of our journey together and look forward to many more years of great memories.

I really appreciated the support of the Branch Past Presidents, especially Josue, Steven, and the late Gary Gilbert, for the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board and for the advice you provided throughout.   We have numerous committee and institute chairs who dedicate a lot of time and effort so we can enjoy intriguing luncheon presentations, fun networking events, rewarding community outreach projects, state-of-the-practice professional development seminars, and unforgettable marquee events.  It was an honor to work with each of you.  Your energy and commitment inspired me throughout the year.  I would also like to specifically thank Chuck, our YMF Past-President, for the friendship we developed throughout the year and for your consistent focus on how the Orange County YMF and Branch could partner to provide the best opportunities and resources to our members. You were the perfect fellow president for my vision of graying the lines between student chapters, YMF, and the Branch.

I am very excited about the new leadership at all levels of our Branch.  I look forward to seeing you advance our profession through ASCE and as the leaders in our industry.  If there is anything I, or my fellow past-presidents, can do to help you achieve your goals, please do not hesitate to reach out, as you never hesitated to help us reach ours.

I hope to see you at the next Branch event.


Jeff Braun

Past President

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President's Message

New Fiscal Year!

After graduating from the University of California, Irvine in 2014 and still trying to figure out this whole adulting thing, Jennica Smith and I were looking for ways to reconnect with our fellow classmates who had now all gone on to do their own thing. We noticed several of them were planning to attend an upcoming American Society of Civil Engineers, Orange County Younger Member Forum (ASCE OC YMF) event at a local restaurant, so we thought we would check it out as well. 

It was great getting a chance to catch up with everyone, but I specifically remember Remi Candaele and Nestor Godinez making us feel welcomed and even inviting us to attend an upcoming ASCE OC YMF Board Meeting. "Board Meeting" had a special ring to it, and it initially discouraged us from wanting to attend because it sounded a little too official, as we knew close to nothing about the organization. Huge shoutout to Nestor too for writing an article about that evening four years ago! Check it out here and/or see below for a couple of photos from that day! 


The first General Meeting of the 2014/2015 ASCE OC YMF fiscal year was held on October 14, 2014 at the Lazy Dog Café in Orange.


Fast forward four years, and and here we are now! I have the honor and privilege of introducing our new ASCE OC Officers.


Please help me welcome our new ASCE OC Branch Board of Directors!

Elizabeth Ruedas

Ravi Shah

Remi Candaele

Clint Isa

Jeff Braun
Past President


Only a few days into our new roles, and already we have tons to share!!


ASCE Presidents and Governors Forum (PGF)

On September 23-24, 2018, over 100 Section and Branch Presidents, Region Governors and Society Directors from across the globe attended the annual Presidents and Governors Forum (PGF) at ASCE Headquarters in Reston, Virginia. This event was organized and moderated by the Leader Training Committee (LTC) and provided opportunities for attendees to learn about ASCE resources, network with one another, and gain useful training that will benefit our local Sections and Branches. 

ASCE OC finds so much value in the event, if fact, that every year we send both our incoming OC Branch President and President-Elect. This year, Ravi and I not only had the honor of attending and representing the OC Branch, but we also gave a presentation highlighting our social media presence and our award winning website. If interested in learning more about our presentation, click here


ASCE California Surface Transportation Report Card Release

The 2018 Report Card for California’s Surface Transportation Infrastructure, released on Wednesday, October 3rd, graded the state’s roads at a “D” and bridges and transit each at a “C-.”  The grades were released at simultaneous events in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the second and third most congested urban areas in the nation, respectively. The Report Card finds that 44% of California’s major roads in the state are in poor condition and that California’s bridges account for 13 of the top 25 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in the United States. The grades for these three categories were released early, in an effort to provide voters with a nonpartisan, fact-based assessment of the state’s transportation systems, before heading to the polls on November 6. ASCE Region 9 is urging Californians to vote “No” on Proposition 6 to preserve $5.4 billion annually for the state’s roads, bridges, and transit systems. You can look for the full Report Card for California’s Infrastructure to be released in early 2019. Read More>>



ASCE Committee on Younger Members

Over the first weekend in October, the ASCE Committee on Younger Members (CYM) had their Fall In-Person Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The weekend was filled with event planning, voting, discussing lessons learned, reassessing committee/individual goals, and a lot of fun team building activities.

Best of all, we welcomed three new Committee Members:
Isamar Escobar | Muhammad Elgammal | Anali Gonzalez

Both happy and sad to have officially entered into my third year (out of three) with CYM, I am as excited to continue to help grow our Younger Member programming across the globe (e.g., Younger Member Leadership Symposium, Legislative Fly-In Younger Member Program, Career Booster Webinars, Younger Member sessions at Conferences/Conventions), while also using this year to transition others to do the same.

Awesome News!! The ASCE Foundation just announced that #Giving Tuesday 2018 is November 27th and that the funding raised will go towards our ASCE Younger Member Leadership Symposium!! Woot! Woot!! Read More>>


ASCE Los Angeles Section Annual Meeting, Installation of Officers & Awards Luncheon


We are thrilled to share that three of our ASCE OC Younger Members and many of our ASCE OC Projects were recognized at the ASCE Los Angeles Section Awards Luncheon!

  • Outstanding Civil Engineer in Legislative Activities
    Elizabeth Ruedas, P.E. 
  • Outstanding Civil Engineer in Service to YMF
    Jazzy Quinabo, E.I.T. 
  • Outstanding Younger Civil Engineer
    Nestor Godinez, P.E.

Huge congratulations to all award winners!! Click here for a full list of the 2018 Award Winners.

ASCE International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure

As a member of the 2019 ASCE International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) Steering Committee and a Co-Chair for the ICSI Younger Member/Student Member Subcommittee, I am excited to share that the planning for the conference is well underway! Aside from the event being at an awesome and historic venue, we have received great session abstracts from members accross the country now as well!

I am especially thrilled to share that our ASCE ICSI YM/SM Subcommittee submitted the following abstracts. Although the proposed sessions will be open to everyone, our targeted audience will be Student and Younger Members. 

  • Sustainability Career Panel
  • Big Planet, Bite Sized: Sustainability Flash Talks
  • 2019 Sustainable Solutions Student Competition Showcase
  • Younger Members Shaping the Future of the Profession
  • Bridge to Vision 2025 - Engineering Sustainable Solutions


Please save the date and help us spead the word about this great event!

ASCE OC Volunteering Opportunities

We are especially interested in filling the positions below, but if you are at all interested in giving back to the profession, please let us know via email at [email protected].

  • Student Activities Co-Chair
  • Construction Institute Co-Chair
  • Publications Chair









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ASCE Region 8

ASCE Region 8 - Get Out to Vote: Participate in the 2018 Election Cycle
Message from ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year

This election cycle is a good time to get engaged in public policy. It’s an opportunity to not only get to know your elected officials better, but also to become a more educated voter. Many candidates will be reaching out to their voters to learn about their concerns for the next legislative cycle and chances are their research may include a call to your Section or Branch. This offers an opportunity to educate a potential elected leader and increase their interest and understanding of infrastructure issues.

While ASCE Sections and Branches cannot endorse candidates or make campaign contributions, there are other ways to become engaged. You can host panel discussions or open forums on infrastructure to which you invite all candidates to share their ideas and get feedback from the public and our members. In doing so, it is critically important that your invitation be extended to all candidates in the field – they don’t all have to participate but, they must all be invited. If you want help to plan one you can reach out to ASCE’s State Government Relations at [email protected]. ASCE has resources to help you in the prepare and plan for an event like this.

If you’re just looking to be a more educated voter, I encourage you to attend panel discussions arranged by another group, such as your local Chamber of Commerce. If you’re not a member find a public forum or ask a member if you can attend as their guests. When attending events inform yourself by reviewing the latest state report card and the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, and reach out to ASCE’s staff to ask for the latest briefing documents.  Take any opportunity to ask questions, to help inform the discussion and work towards building a stronger community by reminding candidates of the importance of keeping up with our infrastructure needs.

In many states, candidates won’t be the only thing on the ballot.  Make sure you’re keeping an eye out for any ballot measures (sometimes called referendums or propositions) that relate to infrastructure. Be sure to educate yourself on these questions which appear on the bottom of your ballot. They can be just as critical to funding our infrastructure as electing the governing body.

Last, but not least, ensure you are registered to vote. If you aren’t, visit your city or county board of elections website to find out how to register. If you’re registered, learn where to go to vote on Election Day and whether you have early or alternative voting options – like vote by mail or online voting.  

I hope that you’ll participate in this year’s Election Cycle and also consider becoming an ASCE Key Contact and make advocacy a year-round habit.

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ASCE OC Programs

Banc of California Stadium Technical Tour

ASCE OC coordinated with Mark Josten, PE (PCL Construction), the Senior Construction Manager for the new Banc of California Stadium, to tour the new structure on Friday June 29th. Several attendees had vested interests in the stadium, ranging from providing their services for the design to being a fan of the Los Angeles Football Club, which calls this stadium home.

Banc of California Stadium-Home of the Los Angeles Football Club.

The Banc of California Stadium resides at Exposition Park on the site of the former Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Mark explained how it was completed in 21 months from the start of the project. The fast-paced construction alone took only 17 months from placement of the foundations to opening day. It is the first open air stadium to be built within Los Angeles city limits in 56 years.

Mark Josten, PE (PCL Construction) points out the intricacy of the steel structure to support the roof.

The key to fast-tracking the project was the existing approved EIR for a 22,000-seat soccer specific stadium at the site. Using that approval, the team developed an intimate stadium with seating sloped 34 degrees so even the furthest seat is only 135 feet from the action. To generate revenue with the smaller capacity, luxurious club suites were developed. ASCE also toured the Figueroa Club and Founders Club through which the team enters the pitch.

The tour discussed the unique design which utilized four different structures and foundations to frame the field. This allows each to move independently in a seismic event. In addition, ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) film is used to cover the roof. This unique material allows light to pass but reduces temperatures and blocks glare. If you look closely during your next game there is a soccer ball pattern on the edges of this stadium’s roof.

Mark explains how the ETFE film roof was utilized to optimize the enjoyment of the Southland Sun.

Please join ASCE OC on Thursday October 18th at our Branch Luncheon where we have invited Mark Josten to follow up the tour with a presentation on the challenges of constructing this LEED Silver rated stadium.

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Sustainability Committee

Branch Luncheon - Sustainability in Transportation

The Sustainability Committee and the ASCE-OC Branch organized this luncheon event on Jul 19, 2018 covering the subject of Sustainability in Transportation. The three presenters shared how each agency is implementing sustainability in their transportation infrastructure. 

Juliet Su, PE, Corridor Manager-Design at the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) covered:
  • How TCA integrates sustainability into its engineering projects.
  • Promoting sustainability principles on TCA’s roadways.
  • TCA is creating mitigation sites to preserve local species and providing protective measures for wildlife along toll roads such as wildlife crossings and treated metal fence along the corridors.

Guest Speakers ASCE OC Branch Luncheon with Topic in Sustainability in Transportation

Paul Martin, PE, TE, LCI, Active Transportation Coordinator at Orange County Transportation Agency (OCTA) covered:
  • Countywide planning efforts underway at OCTA.
  • Collaborative efforts to host community events and marketing campaigns to address safety related to active transportation.
  • Funding opportunities that are well suited for local agency pursuits.
Barbara P. Marquez, Deputy District Director, Sustainability at Caltrans District 7 covered:
  • Overview of Caltrans’ Sustainability Program with specific emphasis on efforts within Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Counties.
  • Active transportation and complete streets in Caltrans projects.
The meeting was attended by more than 80 participants and the presentations were followed by a Q&A session.  Thanks to the presenters and to all who participated and supported this meeting.

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ASCE OC Environmental & Water Resources Institute

Keeping Your Assets Above Water: Coastal Flood Issues, Climate Change, Land Use Planning

In August, the ASCE OC EWRI Committee welcomed John Moynier, Vice President at Michael Baker International, for a special presentation on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Given the recent challenges posed by coastal flooding, climate change, and regulations that apply to jurisdictional dams, it was a timely and relevant discussion.

Climate change is a hot topic in today’s news and coastal communities are becoming increasingly aware of the potential risks of coastal flooding in the coming years. It is anticipated that by 2050, most U.S. coastal cities will face the threat of 30 or more days of ‘nuisance flooding” each year due to the impacts of sea-level rise even with moderate levels of sea-level rise (i.e., 1.5’ by 2100). If there is an increased in the frequency of storms along the coast, or if sea-level rise that exceeds the global projections, these communities will reach what NOAA considers to be the “tipping point” of 30 days of floods annually even sooner. The heavy winter of 2016-2017 already showed a taste of what the future might bring in areas like Newport Beach, San Diego and Santa Clara County.

Mr. Moynier discussed how the NFIP addresses these challenges through technical studies.  Concurrently, dam owners located upstream of habitable structures are required to update the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Inundation Maps by the end of 2018.  The ASCE OC EWRI Committee would like to thank John Moynier for a very informative presentation that was well received by approximately 50 attendees.  

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ASCE OC K-12 Outreach Committee

2018 Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition

On March 3rd, 2018, ASCE LA Younger Member Forum (LA YMF) hosted the 24th Annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition (PSBC).  The event took place at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) with over 50 schools, 200 students and faculty advisors, and 70 ASCE volunteers from the Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego YMF sections.  Some of the volunteers were actually former high school students who previously participated in the same competition! 


Student teams were judged based on their posters, oral presentations, technical papers, craftsmanship, and lastly, their bridges’ performance when subjected to loading.  In between the competition, the students also participated in fun, creative team-building challenges, enjoyed campus tours led by CSULA’s ASCE Student Chapter, and were inspired by keynote speaker ASCE Society President-Elect, Robin Kemper and our very own ASCE OC board member, Isamar Escobar.  The competition ended with a special screening of ASCE’s Dream Big film to further inspire future generation of engineers.  ASCE OC K-12 had a great time volunteering and supporting LA YMF with the event – what a fun way to engage local high school students and introduce them to the amazing civil engineering profession!


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ASCE OC YMF - Mentorship Program

End-of-Year Banquet

By Paul Gabot, E.I.T.

On August 9 the 2017-2018 Mentorship Program held its End-of-Year Banquet at Chapter One: the modern local in Santa Ana, CA. Mentors and Protégés were able to meet once more over great food and drinks. The Banquet was highlighted with a panel discussion where questions such as "What is the most rewarding part of your profession?" and "Describe an issue that came up during a project you worked on and the steps you took to solve it." were discussed. Mentors and Protégés were able to discuss their experiences and stories with one another in an interactive, open setting. Panel members included Mentors Jeff Braun and Sam Ali as well as Protégés Victor Aguirre and Guillaume Iradukunda.

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Southern California Younger Members Forum

Padres Game + Mid-Coast Trolley Tech Tour

Written by Noe Martinez, ASCE LA YMF | Photos by Lenard Tran, PE, ASCE SD YMF

Many of us have ridden a light rail train at least once in our lifetime. Whether for leisure, commuting or curiosity, trains can be a very convenient mode of transportation. However, rarely do we wonder about the process required to design and build a light rail. As we admire the moving landscape outside the glass windows, the last thing on our minds is, "how did this all happen?" On Saturday, July 28th, the San Diego Young Member Forum hosted a technical tour of the Mid-Coast Transit Project, where we had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the 11-mile trolley extension that will connect Downtown San Diego to University City.

Our technical tour started in the back parking lot of the VA San Diego Health Care System. YMF Members from Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego all gathered around our tour guide, Jack Boda, an engineer with more than 35 years of experience working with transportation systems in California. After the introductions, Jack provided overall information about the project and described its pre-construction process. The presentation continued as we passed the giant concrete columns holding the elevated trolley rail line. We drove to three other key locations, where Jack fed our amazement with fun facts and stories about the challenges this project had to overcome. The stories ranged from the electromagnetic interference of the trolley lines with campus equipment, to the study carried out on how the trolley could distract baseball players, while travelling in the background of the outfield. Our tour concluded at the new Transit Center, where we showed our gratitude to our tour guide.

Jack Boda explaining the construction of the elevated trolly rail line.

As we waited for the start of the Padres vs Diamondbacks baseball game, several of our attendees were inspired to park our cars at a nearby train station to ride the local rail system to the Petco Park Station. We were received at the front gate with a bobble-head figure and made our way into the stadium. The game was packed with familiar faces of YMF members. The environment was electrifying as everyone joined in the cheering. This was an overall, tremendously fun event. It was a balance of learning, exploring, and enjoying the company of amazing people.

View from our seats!


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Networking Social July 2018

On July 26th, 2018, a group of 20+ ASCE OC YMF members took over the patio of The Wall on the Orange Circle for a happy hour/networking social.  The event was a mix of familiar and new faces looking to get more involved with the local civil engineering community.  We enjoyed a warm summer evening with 50+ taps offered at The Wall and great conversations with fellow engineers.  Thank you everyone who came out to our July networking social – and for those who couldn’t make it, we'll see you at the next one!

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ASCE Orange County Branch

New Members August 2018

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 a engineering topic outside of your expertise, 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:
August 2018
MR Matthew Eggen
MR Crystal Faqih
MRS Jessica Gonzalez
MR Clinton Holts
MR Kichul Kim
MR Ryan Tanaka
MS Rebecca Trow
MR Jonathan Uhler


September 2018
MS Priscilla Alvarez
MISS Lorena Bennett
MR Kyle Bushhousen
MR Nathan Caparaz
MR Sara Dabzadeh
MR Michael Davie
MR Bao Duong
MR Joshua Eley
MR Xavier Espinosa
MR Morgan Esquer
MR Mark Evans
MR Robert Faber
MR Rishab Gakhar
MR Grant Han
MR Nathaniel Hasal
MR Thomas Hernandez
MR Brandon Holzhauer
MR Yuhsiang Huang
MR Kevin Kling
MR Lowen Lobaton
MR Sachindu Lokukatagoda
MR Carlos Monsalve
MR Nghiep Ngo
MS Lynh Nguyen
MR Phillip Nguyen
MR Luke Obena
MR Adrian Peralta
MR Parker Poole
MR Alex Quazza
MR Ashish Rajmane
MS Allison Richter
MISS Ellie Roy
MS Monica Samano
MR Felix Sanchez
MR Shane Simpson
MR Nathian Soto
MISS Ruth St. George
MR Stephen Stone
MR Jose Talavera
MR Ernest Tse
MR Tony Wang

Publications Committee

Newsletter Information

ASCE Orange County Branch - Publications Committee  Information

Editor In Chief:

Robert Martinez, E.I.T.

Editor - Newsletter/Assembly:

Adeleine J. Tran, E.I.T.

Editor - YMF/Communications:

Crystal Mena

Editor - Article Review:

Joseph Huynh, E.I.T.

Committee Members:

Charlotte Wu, P.E.

Andrew Lam

Elizabeth Ruedas, P.E., QISP, ENV SP

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 futher acknowledgement will be sent.  There is no guarantee of publication.

Advertising Rates:

Company Business Cards / Professional Directory: $300 for 177px X 300px ad placed in the newsletter and on our website for the year.

Newsletter ads: Tier 1 - $300, Tier 2 - $250, Tier 3 - $200 for 300px X 800px ad placed between articles in the monthly newsletter.

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

For more advertising and biling information please contact Robert Martinez at [email protected]

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

LA Section:

Orange County Branch: