by Malek A. Al-Khatib, PE, Vice President, Louis Berger
The engineering community is facing major challenges as consequences of the devastation caused by hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes in North America and the Caribbean. The loss of life, property, and infrastructure is beyond belief in this 21st century. The debilitated infrastructure in many communities compromised their resiliency and exacerbated the conditions and loss of life. Those whose lives have been ravaged by these disasters, please accept our sincere condolences. Our profession will respond with improved, safer, and more resilient infrastructure to minimize damages and fatalities in the future.
Facing these challenges requires each of us to aspire to greater efficiency, stronger partnerships, and more cooperation. Engineers who provide emergency support services to FEMA are stretched to the limits. BSCES gives us an ideal opportunity to provide additional resources. BSCES is collaborating with the Structural Engineers Association of Massachusetts (SEAMASS) and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) in developing an emergency program that supports the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) efforts in our state. Such support could be extended to other states as needed. I challenge each of our members to share your skills and talents with each other and the country. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will assist in making sure your talent and skills are placed in best use to support our community.
In line with sharing resources and talent, I’m pleased that our members will have the opportunity to participate in our new Mentor Program. Companies provide internal mentoring programs and engineers share experience with their colleagues at the workplace. However, this is limited to the collective knowledge available within the office or company. Having a technical and professional mentor outside the workplace eliminates the inherent company barriers and career advancement limitations.
The Mentor Program will make the vast resources at BSCES available to all members. As a member who may be expanding your skills, looking for more opportunities to showcase your expertise, seeking networking opportunities, or seeking to partner with other engineers or firms, BSCES has the resources and opportunities for you to achieve your goals. As presently envisioned, our Mentoring Program will allow engineers to meet, work together, and partner on challenging professional and business opportunities. Based on what members have requested, this will be a benefit for all who participate. Whatever your stage of your career, you can participate actively in either obtaining a mentor or being a mentor. Some engineers may do both. It is personally rewarding, professionally recognized, and most importantly, we enjoy the camaraderie and friendships that are established along the way.
Also, BSCES is rolling out our Members Knowledge Exchange Forum in December on our website. We will be showcasing your successes and experience in a new section called Members Forum. Share with your colleagues a challenging issue of your work, and how you resolved it. Alternatively, if you are at a roadblock, such as ambiguous codes, that you want to have an open discussion about and reach professional consensus, we will support your efforts by providing a Forum. Various internet websites especially those of trade associations such as AISC, NSBA, PCI, etc., also provide valuable forums for information exchange but they lack what BSCES members have, which is knowledge of the local codes and environmental conditions. Sharing experience and knowledge will be beneficial to all and will provide the specific local experience. The engineer can then draw his/her own conclusion.
Members who are interested in or have questions about mentoring, being mentored, or supporting the exchange forum, please email me at email@example.com. Please include your contact information and the type of mentoring discipline you are interested in.
I am pleased to share with you that BSCES Committee on Sustainability, chaired by Melissa Carter from Stantec, is the featured group for this month’s newsletter. Please read her articles on pages 1 and 4.
Also, thank you to all our institute chapter, technical group and committees’ chairs and members. They are doing important work and having a constructive impact on the success of our organization. If you are interested in joining an institute chapter, technical group or committee, please contact one of the group chairs and get involved. Hyperlinks to these groups and their respective chairs contact information can be found on the Technical Areas (http://www.bsces.org/technical-areas) or Committees (http://www.bsces.org/committees) pages of the BSCES website. We welcome all our members to participate.
Finally, I want to thank each member for your support. Our programs and activities are important to the profession and cannot be sustained without your financial support. Please take pride in your membership in this 169th year of BSCES. Take a leadership role and thank your company for supporting the profession through BSCES, or ask them to support BSCES with sponsorship if they are not sponsors. I am available to assist you if you need more information to take this step.