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A Message from the President

posted Oct 4, 2016, 12:22 PM by Charles Mitchell

It is exciting to begin this Presidency knowing that my predecessors have set a high standard and laid a strong base on which to continue expanding initiatives, membership, and overall visibility to the greater community.   It is also refreshing to be part of a Board and Section with a renewed influx of young leaders, through our various committees and associate groups.  I’d like to especially thank Carrie Nicholson, P.E. for her contributions as Past President and extensive knowledge base from which to lean upon. 

As we reflect on this past fiscal year, there were a select few members and organizations that were recognized at our annual June Awards Banquet for accomplishments within our field:\

  • Civil Engineer of the Year  -  David D. Dee
  • Young Civil Engineer of the Year  -   Matthew E. Davis and Nathaniel Krause
  • Outstanding Educator  -  Dr. James Hunter (Morgan State University)
  • Meritorious Service to the Civil Engineering Profession  -  Daniel T. Cheng and David A. Greenwood
  • Outstanding Project (Under $20M) - Piscataway Hills Landslide Stabilization
    • Owner - Prince George’s County DPW&T
    • Contractor – Corman Construction
    • Consultants – KCI Technologies and AB Consultants
  • Outstanding Project (Over $20M) - Reconstruction of Charles Street from 25th St. to Univ. Pkwy
    • Owner – City of Baltimore, Department of Transportation
    • Contractor – Concrete General
    • Consultant – Rummel, Klepper & Kahl
  • Life Membership Recipients:  Michael F. Allen, John K. Burch Jr., Sanjib Chaki, Thomas Chicca, Michael J. Cohen, Philip Der, Michael G. Goode, David A. Greenwood, James M. Irvin, James A. Markle Jr., Richard E. Matz, Howard S. Moy, Hudson Myers III, Michael E. Perrault, Donald L. Pommer, Dr. Andrew A. Prinaris, Robert D. Rauch, Robert Rubright, Ronald W. Rye, Dr. Charles W. Schwartz, Douglas F. Suess, John L. Verde

Starting last May, Carrie and I met with the Section Board and vetted the idea of testing various formats for our monthly general membership meetings, in hopes of providing more variety of presentations, meeting times, and the opportunity for attendees to receive additional PDHs. Please offer your feedback to myself or any of the Board members as we strive to make our meetings more convenient, interesting, and beneficial for our wide range of Section members.

Hopefully by now you have also had the opportunity to check out the rest of our Section’s revamped website (a special thanks goes to Charlie Mitchell, P.E. for his contributions).  If you haven’t, please do, and you will notice a simpler platform for maneuvering between subject matter, as well as updated meeting registration choices offering a means to RSVP and pay via PayPal at the same time. 

Regarding Section initiatives and action items - I will be tasking the Board, Committee Chairs and you (the general membership) to embark on a “17 for 17” campaign.   This will essentially be to advance 17 focused Section initiatives during the 2017 calendar year.  You will hear more about the specific initiatives and how to get involved in the months approaching the new year.  A few hints are revealed below:

  • Continued emphasis and involvement with our Section’s affiliate student chapters at UMD, JHU, MSU, and the Naval Academy.  After all, these students are the future torchbearers for our employers and our Section in general.  Examples include:
    • A successful Resume Workshop was held in late September, led by the efforts of Kelly Ambrose and the Younger Members Council. 
    • Morgan State Univ. will be hosting the ASCE Region 2 Assembly on November 12th.  Sections, younger member forums, student chapters, and practitioner advisors will be attending from throughout the mid-Atlantic.   Be on the lookout for more information via our website.
    • Chapter support will be given to the University of Maryland’s Suit Up and Be Civil event, to be held February 7, 2017 at the Riggs Alumni Center where professionals and students will come together for a unique networking opportunity.
    • Career Fairs will continue to be held in both the Fall and Spring at our general membership meetings. 
    • Emphasis will continue on the annual mini-golf event where 100% of the funds raised go to scholarships for our student chapters. 
  • The Dream Big Film -- We will be showing a sneak preview clip during announcements at our October 12th general membership meeting and will be asking members to get involved spreading the word and helping our Section appeal to local venues to show the film in 2017.
  • The Maryland Infrastructure Report Card -- We are currently forming a committee to tackle this undertaking, in conjunction with ASCE National’s 2017 Report Card for America’s InfrastructureIt has been over 5 years since the last ‘State’ Report Card was produced, covering roadways, bridges, transit, dams, stormwater, and drinking water.  
  • Advocacy:   A few of us had the opportunity to attend the ASCE National “Fly-in” on Capitol Hill this past April, which presented the opportunity to take part in governmental advocacy to advance civil engineering policy.  We would like to continue expanding our Section’s role in shaping the future of our disciplines by attending events led by ASCE’s Governmental Affairs office, sending letters and meeting with our local elected officials to garner support towards advancing infrastructure renewal within Maryland and nationally, and discussing the aforementioned Report Card and the ramifications of continuing to forego securing the necessary funding needed.
Our scheduled programs for the upcoming year are taking shape, not only for our monthly general membership meetings, but also within our affiliated technical institutes (Geo, Environmental and Water Resources, and Structural Engineering), our Younger Members Group, and other events associated with Engineers Week, Future Cities, and the WoodBridge Challenge.  All information is available on our Section website, with highlights contained in the following paragraphs.  

We hope to see large crowds at our upcoming October 12th general membership meeting at ESB, where Lt. Col. Peter Feng will speak on how military engineers have used life cycle management principles to successfully construct Engineers Without Borders projects.  This meeting will also feature our annual Fall career fair, where sponsor firms have the opportunity to meet prospective graduates from our affiliated student chapters. You must REGISTER via our website by THIS FRIDAY.  Speaking of sponsorships……it is still not too late to become a Section Sponsor for the current fiscal year (October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017).  Besides having the opportunity to participate in the career fair and advertise within our quarterly newsletters, sponsor firms may now post job openings to our Section website though a dedicated page (http://www.ascemd.org/jobs).  Please contact any of our Board members if your firm is interested in sponsoring. 

Please mark November 9th on your calendar as we are excited to have Theresa McClure speak on harnessing the power of community engagement as part of civil engineering projects.  Also, note that December 14th will be our annual Holiday Gathering at ESB, with good food, drink, holiday music, exceptional desserts, and great networking opportunities.
I look forward to this upcoming year and hope to see large and interactive crowds at all of our future events.

Michael A. Perrotta, P.E., AICP