by Brian Morgan, Esq., Legal Counsel, CDM Smith Inc.
ASCE’s President-Elect, Kristina Swallow, attended a Leadership Luncheon with BSCES volunteer leaders and our Society Sponsor representatives on May 12. Ms. Swallow spoke about several ASCE advocacy programs, which included “Raise the Bar” and the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card. The Raise the Bar initiative promotes a change in state licensure laws to raise the educational requirements for licensure of future professional engineers. Currently, the educational requirements for professional engineer licensure call for an accredited bachelor's degree in engineering. Through the Raise the Bar initiative, ASCE promotes state licensure requirements for future professional engineers to obtain: (1) a master’s degree in engineering; or (2) an additional 30 credits of graduate or upper-level undergraduate courses in engineering, science, mathematics and professional practice topics completed inside or outside a university setting. The additional post-baccalaureate education would not apply to engineers already licensed before the effective date of a new law (generally anticipated to be at least eight years after actual passage). To learn more about the Raise the Bar initiative, please visit www.raisethebarforengineering.org.
Every four years since 1998, the ASCE Committee on America's Infrastructure, after assessing all relevant data and consulting with industry experts, prepares a report on the nation’s 16 major infrastructure categories. Using a simple A to F school report card format, ASCE's Infrastructure Report Card provides a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure conditions and needs, assigns grades and makes recommendations to raise them. The 2017 Report Card found the national grade for infrastructure remains at a "D+," the same grade the US received in 2013, which suggests that only incremental progress was made over the last four years toward restoring America's infrastructure. To see real improvement, ASCE advocates making long-term infrastructure investment a priority and estimates that by 2025 a total investment of $4.59 trillion is required to improve the nation's infrastructure. Visit http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ to learn more about the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card.
In addition, Ms. Swallow was the keynote speaker at the Outreach Spring Awards Banquet, which occurred the evening of May 12. This event celebrated those members who achieved ASCE and BSCES Life Member status and the winners of the BSCES-hosted Model Bridge, Online Bridge and the Future City Contests. Please see the page 1 article discussing the 2017 Model Bridge Competition. Ms. Swallow discussed her background with the high school students and discussed ASCE’s inspiring, giant-screen movie Dream Big: Engineering Our World (http://www.asce.org/dream-big/). It is anticipated that Dream Big will be showing at the Boston Museum of Science in Fall 2017.
Please check out the BSCES Special Fund event and other activities happening in June. In particular, please register for the Joseph C. Lawler Lecture on Thursday, June 15, at the Top of the Hub restaurant in Boston. The guest speakers will be Rick Dimino who is president and CEO of A Better City and Barry Bluestone, senior research associate at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University. Both speakers will be discussing Greater Boston’s Infrastructure Needs.
Also, I would like to encourage all structural engineers or anyone who wants to have fun participating in a pedestrian bridge design challenge to attend the Younger Member Group/SEI Boston Chapter networking event on June 21, at the Bell in Hand Tavern in Boston. This will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about both groups.
As we wind down the BSCES fiscal year, I would like to thank our Society and Program Sponsors, whose financial support enabled BSCES and its committees, institute chapter and technical groups to host the numerous networking and professional development events over the last year.
The theme of this month’s newsletter is Outreach & Volunteerism and I urge you learn more about this issue’s featured group, the Younger Member Group, which is chaired by Alyson Stuer of Alfred Benesch & Company. This issue of BSCESNews contains a page 5 article written by Alyson.