by Brian Morgan, Esq., Legal Counsel, CDM Smith Inc.
America’s Infrastructure (overall) was recently graded a “D+” by ASCE. ASCE conducts a comprehensive assessment of the state of our nation's infrastructure across 16 categories and produces an “Infrastructure Report Card” every four years. Through its report card, ASCE also advocates an approach to tackle our infrastructure challenges. Particularly, ASCE believes there are three things that need to be done to meet our nation’s infrastructure challenge: (1) investment and planning in the system; (2) bold leadership by our elected officials at the state and federal level; and (3) planning for sustainability and resiliency in our infrastructure.
ASCE provides a state-by-state breakdown of its report card. ASCE found that Massachusetts faces infrastructure challenges of its own. For example, ASCE found that 16% of Massachusetts’ 36,423 miles of public roads are in poor condition and 483 of the Commonwealth’s 5,171 bridges are structurally deficient. Further, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs over 20 years in Massachusetts are an estimated $1.2 billion and $8.35 billion, respectively. ASCE also found that 292 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential, there is $17.23 million of unmet parks system needs and the state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $1.4 billion. For a more detailed look at Massachusetts’ infrastructure challenges, please review the Infrastructure Report Card, which is available on the ASCE website (http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/state-item/massachusetts/).
Another noteworthy launch by ASCE was the February release of Dream Big: Engineering Our World, an IMAX film that showcases the essential contributions of civil engineering. Aimed at education and inspiration, the film reminds us of our contributions as civil engineers to society throughout history and inspires the next generation of young students to get excited about engineering. The film tells the stories of engineers, which brings facts and figures behind engineering to life. While the film is scheduled to show at the Boston Museum of Science later this year, the film is currently showing at locations around the US, Canada and Mexico. You can learn more about the film and find locations to see it at www.dreambigfilm.com.
Speaking of inspiring the next generation of civil engineers, the BSCES Younger Member Group and Student Chapter Committee hosted the 105th Student Night in partnership with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (“SGH”) at Wentworth Institute of Technology on March 28, 2017. The event featured a keynote presentation from Ron Rochon, FAIA, a partner at Mill Hull Partnership, and Justin Stenkamp, an associate at PAE Consulting Engineers, who discussed the “Results from a Living Building: The Bullitt Center.” Located in Seattle, Washington, the Bullitt Center was designed to be the world’s greenest commercial building, achieving status as a net-zero energy Living Building.
The Student Night event was attended by students from Massachusetts colleges and universities with an ASCE student chapter. At the event, BSCES presented the Howe-Walker Award to eleven students. Assuming they decide to become associate members of ASCE, this award pays the recipients’ first year of society and local section membership dues. Further, John Brooks of Northeastern University received the $500 Desmond Fitzgerald Fund Award and Jennifer Skerker from Tufts University received the $500 William P. Morse Fund Award. In addition, SGH awarded a $7,500 scholarship to Clay Harman, who attends Wentworth Institute of Technology. This scholarship was established by the principals of SGH to encourage undergraduate college students who strive for excellence and who aspire to a career in civil engineering.
I would like to thank our Society and Program Sponsors, whose financial support helps enable BSCES and its committees, institute chapter and technical groups to host the numerous networking and professional development events that are planned for this year.
The theme of this month’s newsletter is Construction and I urge you learn more about tis issue’s featured group, Construction Institute Boston Chapter, which is chaired by Christopher Hersey of Skanska Civil Northeast. This issue of BSCESNews contains a page 7 article written by Chris. I am very appreciative of Robinson & Cole, LPP, which is a BSCES Society Sponsor and sponsor of this newsletter. Please be sure to read Robinson & Cole’s page 1 article titled “What Factors Should an Engineer Consider When Deciding Whether to Use BIM,” which was written by Joseph A. Barra, Esq., a partner at Robinson & Cole.