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Spring 2017 President's Message

posted Mar 22, 2017, 5:30 AM by Charles Mitchell   [ updated Mar 22, 2017, 5:30 AM ]
With Spring upon us, (well, maybe not weather-wise), I am pleased to say that there are many events to recap and announce, as well as several current, ongoing initiatives to discuss.

One of ASCE National’s key initiatives is government relations and advocacy.   To do our part to raise awareness of infrastructure and funding issues affecting our industry to our federal legislature, several Section members attended ASCE’s annual “Fly-In” on Capitol Hill on March 15th.  To keep abreast of the status of the federal issues, visit ASCE’s Government Relations website and Facebook page, or follow along on Twitter (#ASCE2DC).  On the State level, our Section’s Report Card Committee is ramping up outreach to various public agencies throughout the state to gather updated information for the release of the Maryland Infrastructure Report Card later this year.

The Section Board appreciates the efforts of our Scholarship Committee for once again organizing a successful indoor putt-putt event to raise funds for endowments to our chartered universities.  New this year was the cornhole tournament, which seemed to be a big hit with those I talked with.  Congrats to Jason Wheatley and Kris Shea, both from Century Engr., for winning the first annual tourney prize!  And as always, a big ‘thank you’ goes out to those firms and individuals who sponsored golf holes, and to the annual sponsors whose business cards are displayed throughout the newsletter.  

ASCE National’s Dream Big IMAX movie premiere on February 17th at the Maryland Science Center was quite the event.  The sell-out crowd of over 400 (including a large percentage of pre-college students) witnessed the high-end production that was in the development stages for nearly 10 years.  Our Pre-College Outreach Committee is building off the momentum of the film by organizing a late Spring showing for middle and high school STEM students from Baltimore City and surrounding counties. 
April is shaping up to be an exciting and busy month:
  • April 5th – We are pleased to have booked comedian Don McMillan, past winner of Star Search, to perform his ‘Technically Funny’ routine at ESB.  Registration is limited to the first 220 that sign up, so I encourage you to go to our Section website’s homepage http://www.ascemd.org for more details and to register.  This is one you will not want to miss.
  • April 7th-8th – ASCE Mid-Atlantic Region Student Conference, hosted by the University of Maryland.  We encourage Section members to support our UMD Student Chapter by attending.
  • April 25th – General Membership Meeting/Dinner at ESB –  We are thrilled to have ASCE National’s President-Elect, Kristina Swallow, P.E., pay us a visit to discuss all things ASCE.  Please note that this is occurring on a Tuesday evening instead of the normal Wednesday.   
Committee reports:  We encourage Section members to get involved with our various committees, depending on your disciplines and interests.  The Structural Engineers Institute (SEI) has an upcoming meeting on April 4th at ESB with MDTA’s Director of Project Management, Will Pines, P.E.  The Geo-Institute has a couple upcoming events, including an April 5th presentation on the recent 26th Street retaining wall collapse, and a May 3rd presentation on protecting critical infrastructure in our nation’s capital.   The Younger Members Group has a ‘Stream Clean’ scheduled for May 6th at the Fort McHenry wetlands site.  The Chesapeake Bay Environmental and Water Resources Institute (CBEWRI) recently held a meeting at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant to discuss the rehab of underground channels within Baltimore City.  See the Maryland Section’s website for additional information about committee and general membership events.

Be on the lookout for the announcement of the date and location for our annual Awards night/banquet to be held in mid-June.  In the meantime, think about deserving nominations for the “Civil Engineer of the Year”, “Young Engineer of the Year”, “Meritorious Service to the Civil Engineering Profession”, “Outstanding Engineering Educator”, and “Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement” awards. 

The nomination forms are due by April 28th and are up on our website.Speaking of awards……congratulations are in order for Dr. Daniel P. Sheer, Ph.D., P.E., a Maryland Section member, for being selected to receive ASCE’s Environmental and Water Resources Institute’s 2017 Julian Hines Award, recognizing an individual for exemplifying outstanding leadership and vision to water management in the U.S. and internationally.

We have also started program planning for the FY17-18 year, and welcome feedback through our Section’s online survey, which is still posted on our website.  Things to consider are thoughts on off-site meetings, like the Carroll Lecture at JHU this year, as well as potential joint-meetings with the National Capitol Section.  Feel free to reach out and email me with any other thoughts or ideas at president@ascemd.org.  

Michael A. Perrotta, P.E., AICP