The theme of this month’s newsletter is Outreach and Volunteerism. It is an appropriate theme for April but more so, it is appropriate for every single month of the year.
BSCES is comprised of 3,400 members across the Commonwealth but it is a handful of actively engaged volunteers who run the society. They serve on the BSCES board, chair technical groups and institute chapters, lead more than a dozen committees, organize over fifty events each year, advocate for infrastructure investment and awareness with our legislators, coordinate with the ten student chapters, publish an engineering journal, host a variety of activities geared to the K-12 community, and even write newsletter articles. Volunteerism is a key to the success of our society. BSCES is grateful for the leadership, hard work, and dedication of its member volunteers. We are also thankful for the organizations that support these volunteers and make our events and activities possible. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, see the Get Involved section of our website.
Similarly, our Outreach efforts occur year-round. Our activities for K-12 students are vast and varied. The Model Bridge Competition allows students to build bridges that must comply with specific standards (this year’s chosen material was pasta) and are judged for efficiency and aesthetics. The Future City Competition encourages students to design and build futuristic cities that address sustainability issues. Other activities include the Ralph Salvucci Online Bridge Competition, Boston Bridge Tours, and visits to schools and science festivals. To learn more about these and other Public Awareness & Outreach Committee activities, contact committee chair, Olivia Richards of Gill Engineering or visit the BSCES website.
There are several upcoming outreach and volunteer events that BSCES is proud to sponsor. They may not be a typical ‘dinner with a lecture’ event, but in many ways they are more rewarding so I encourage you to learn more and to participate in these activities.
The 2016 New England ASCE Student Conference will be held at Northeastern University and Wentworth Institute of Technology on April 22-24. Perhaps the highlights of the weekend will be the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe Competitions. The following weekend, April 30, the Younger Member Group will be hosting a Middlesex Fells Reservation Cleanup to help restore its hiking paths. This is a great opportunity to spend time outdoors with some new friends and help maintain one of our natural treasures.
On May 10, BSCES, ACEC/MA and MALSCE members will gather for Engineers and Land Surveyors Day at the State House. This event allows our members to discuss their views on topics that affect our profession during meetings with their legislators and/or aides. Each member who registers for this event has the opportunity to meet with his or her state representative and senator. TECET staff organizes materials and briefings to update membership on important infrastructure-related legislation. One of the key briefing documents was developed by the BSCES Government Affairs & Professional Practice Committee. They have spent the past year producing an economic study infographic. The infographic, entitled "Infrastructure: Worth the Investment," highlights the economic benefits of properly investing in Massachusetts' infrastructure and highlights the sizeable funding needs that our roads, bridges, transit, water, and energy infrastructure have. With brief case studies highlighting well-known projects throughout the Commonwealth, the infographic will remind our legislators of the long-lasting positive impacts of smart infrastructure investment. Special thanks to the Government Affairs & Professional Practice Committee and Matthew Bosch-Willett of WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff for leading this effort.
Also on May 10, BSCES will be hosting the Spring Awards Banquet at Framingham State University. ASCE President-Elect, Norma Jean Mattei will be the keynote speaker. ASCE and BSCES Life Members will be honored and awards will be presented to several students.
That following weekend, BSCES will be sponsoring another outreach event, Infrastructure Day. BSCES had previously sponsored events honoring the 100th anniversary of the Cape Cod Canal and the 250th anniversary of Ipswich’s Choate Bridge. On May 14, we will be paying tribute to Holyoke’s Great Stone Dam on the Connecticut River and extensive canal system which powered the late 19th and early 20th century mills. The event will also recognize former BSCES President, Clemens Hershel who developed the Venturi Meter while working for the Holyoke Water Power Company to measure the amount of water used by the individual water mills. David Westerling (Merrimack College), Reed Brockman (AECOM), Sara Campbell (Town of Greenfield) and others are instrumental in making this event possible.
These are just some of our upcoming events. To learn more about these and others, please see our events page.
This newsletter’s featured group, the Younger Member Group of BSCES, which is chaired by Cara Pirkey of HNTB, sponsors a variety of events each month that allow new college graduates (and some not-so-new) to engage with the engineering community. I encourage you to read the three articles YMG members contributed to this newsletter and to become actively involved with the group. To learn more about the Younger Member Group and the other technical areas click here.
In closing, I would like to thank all of our corporate sponsors, particularly this month’s featured sponsor, AECOM. We are grateful for AECOM’s support of BSCES and encourage you to read their featured article entitled "ASCE Corporate Partnership How AECOM and ASCE Work Together", which was written by Reed Brockman.
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Supported by the staff of The Engineering Center Education Trust