Orange County Branch Newsletter

July 2012

President's Message

Society Institutes and our Branch

By Joshua Nelson, PE

I would say one of the hidden benefits or a benefit that is often overlooked is the institutes. With your ASCE membership, one institute membership is included. With such a broad field with many niche aspects, the institutes are a place for you to find more people like you. I used to always just check a box but never got involved or looked into what the institute could do for me. I wish I had looked into it more closely sooner than later and I encourage you to too.

There are 8 institutes which are listed below. Click the individual icons to be taken to their websites.



As the society notes, to succeed in your specialty area, you need access to the technical, educational, and professional issues moving that specialty forward.  That's why every ASCE member receives FREE membership in one of ASCE's eight Institutes. Each ASCE Institute offers:

  • Opportunities to meet like-minded professional peers
  • Up-to-date information on emerging trends
  • New knowledge through tailored professional development programs -- offered at a significant discount -- to fit your specific career goals
  • Leadership opportunities through Technical Committees

At the Orange County Branch, you may know that we have a "Transportation Technical Group" or "TTG" as we call them as well has a "Hydrology and Hydraulics Technical Group" or HHTG as well call them. We are looking into converting both of them to institutes. Our TTG would become a chapter of T&DI or the Transportation & Development Institute. Nothing would change necessarily other than we would be listed on their chapter page here. Our HHTG would become a chapter of EWRI or the Environmental & Water Resources Institute. We would also then be listed on their chapter page as well right here. By becoming an institute our local chapter/branch will be more connected to national activities and events and our events will get more national coverage as well.


T&DI actually has a conference schedule for Los Angeles in June 2013. It is the "2013 T&DI AIRFIELD AND HIGHWAY PAVEMENT SPECIALTY CONFERENCE." Preliminary info can be found on the T&DI homepage for now but mark that one down on your calendar now. Some of the expected topics include:

  • Airfield and Highway Pavement Construction and Rehabilitation Techniques
  • Flexible and Rigid Pavement Advanced Modeling and Design/Analysis Approaches
  • Asphalt and Binder Material Characterizations and Testing
  • New and Advanced Methods on Pavement Quality Control/Quality Assurance
  • Pavement Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment Method
  • Pavement Monitoring and Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation
  • Pavement Interlayer Systems
  • Accelerated Testing and Instrumented Pavements
  • Unbound Material Testing, Modeling, and In-situ Characterizations
  • Pavement Management Systems
  • Case studies of interesting or unusual paving projects

The other thing that T&DI provides for you is the opportunity to take part in webinars on transportation topics. Upcoming ones include:

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity
  • Friday, July 13, 2012 Improving Safety at Railroad Highway Grade Crossings
  • July 18, July 31 and Aug. 8 - Bus Rapid Transit- A Viable Alternative – Three-Part Series
  • Wednesday, July 18, 2012 Bus Rapid Transit- A Viable Alternative - Part I of III
  • Friday, July 20, 2012 Designing Bicycle Facilities
  • Friday, July 27, 2012 Navigation Engineering- Understanding the Basics of This Growing Specialty
  • Friday, July 27, 2012 Route Planning and Street Operations of Light Rail Systems
  • Tuesday, July 31, 2012 BRT Running Ways - A Civil Engineering Perspective - Part II of III


EWRI has numerous events coming up that you can find here. Some of the ones that caught my attention were:

  • Aug 12 - 15, 2012 EWRI Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Method Conference
  • Dec 13 - 14, 2012 HEC-HMS Computer Workshop - San Francisco, CA CA - Burlingame
  • Feb 6 - 8, 2013 Dam Breach Analysis Using HEC-RAS - San Francisco, CA CA - Burlingame
  • Mar 14 - 15, 2013 Water Hammer in Transmission and Distribution Systems - San Diego, CA

I highlighted just two of the institutes but follow the links at the top of this article to find more details about groups that might interest you more than these two. You should be able to find something that interest you. I am curious if any of you knew about the institutes and if you are involved with any of them. Please click the links in the surveys below. It doesn't require any registration and takes just a few clicks.