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Spring 2016

posted Aug 12, 2016, 10:40 AM by Charles Mitchell

http://ascemd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/NicholsonCarrie_headshot.jpgHello Maryland Section ASCE members! Welcome to spring!  

Spring is upon us and we continue to focus on the themes set forth at the start of the 2015-2016 session for the Section – celebrate our industry, advocate for our industry, and plan for the future of our industry.

Celebrate our industry

Congratulations to the Maryland Section members who have been recognized by the Engineers Society and by ASCE and its institutes for their technical and service excellence. Art Barrett and Fred Mirmiran, 2014-2015 Maryland Section award recipients, were recognized as part of the 2015 Engineers Club Honors as Engineer of the Year and for Meritorious Service, respectively. See below for the details of other honors recently bestowed on Maryland civil engineers.

Mark your calendars to join fellow Maryland Section members and their guests for the annual spring member appreciation event and awards night, Thursday, 9 June. Anticipate a fun celebration of the Section’s members and our industry. The event will be hosted at the newly renovated Baltimore Visitor Center on the Inner Harbor. Details are coming together and will be communicated in a timely manner.

The Section’s spring member appreciation and awards event is one opportunity to recognize and celebrate Maryland Section members. Remember to regularly recognize and celebrate your peers for their terrific and important work. Remember that what we do as civil engineers – as planners, designers, constructors, and operators of the built environment – is not only cool, but also significant.

Advocate for our industry

Celebration is one avenue to keep our industry in the limelight. Other intentional advocacy is through discussion and government-relations activities. Consider signing up for ASCE’s Key Contact program and receiving and reading its regular “Week in Washington” correspondence. Learn more about the program and how National ASCE works to create a voice for the industry that can influence the policy process at the state and federal levels at asce.org/keycontacts. Stay tuned, too, for details on assembling the sophomore issue of the Report Card for Maryland’s Infrastructure. Reach out to MarylandReportCard@members.asce.org to express your interest or provide feedback.

I recently seized the chance to sit down with fellow Maryland ASCE members Thomas Lanyon, Michael Perrotta, and Dennis Warner and staffs from both Maryland Senators and three Maryland Representatives to talk about relevant legislation currently on the Federal stage. Consider approaching any of the four of us to elaborate on our meetings which were arranged by ASCE during its National Legislative Fly-In, 16 March.

Advocacy is integral to planning for the future of our industry. ASCE President Mark Woodson, P.E., L.S., asserts “that each of us can be an ambassador for local infrastructure.” It is our responsibility to be advocates.

Plan for our industry’s future

I’d like to share my appreciation and congratulations to the scholarship committee for organizing another successful indoor putt-putt event to support the Section’s scholarship endowments. Thank you also to sponsoring firms and volunteers who helped make the 5 March fundraiser possible. Student scholarships are one way we plan for the industry’s future.

The Maryland Engineering Challenges and similar outreach are another way to grow the industry for the future. Typically sponsored by local firms and culminating in marquee events each spring, the Maryland Engineering Challenges aim to introduce students in grades one through 12 to the roles of engineers in today’s society and to connect what students learn in school with real-world engineering concepts and applications. Learn more about these programs on the Baltimore Museum of Industry’s website.

Please speak to a board member if you are interested in participating in Maryland Section-sponsored pre-college and college outreach.

In his recent President’s message, Geo-Institute President Kord Wissmann asserts that “progress is driven by people who first recognize the need, even when the need is not readily apparent to others, and then find creative bridges to get there.” He said, “all developments, great and small, start with people. People who somehow see the need that others don’t and then have the knowledge, wits, creative imagination, and courage to bring a new twist to the package.” The needs to celebrate, advocate, and plan for the future of civil engineering and our infrastructure are readily apparent (refer to recent infrastructure report cards) and it is up to each of us to talk about what we do, not as “just” or “only” engineers, but as stewards of the built and natural environments and students and professionals best situated to discuss their value. Let’s discuss them while we continue to deliver.

Peruse the website for information about upcoming spring events. The spring and fall schedules are filling up with exciting goings on. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out with your feedback for the Section or me.

Carrie Nicholson, P.E.