by Malek A. Al-Khatib, PE, Vice President, Louis Berger
The Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE (BSCES) embarks on the 169th year of its iconic history as the oldest and best civil engineering society in the United States. The society’s founding engineers established a well-recognized institution for civil engineers that supports and empowers our members, engineers and the profession. For more than one and half centuries, our society’s predecessors grew and strengthened the legacy of BSCES. When integrated with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), BSCES continued to be recognized as one of best sections of the ASCE by winning awards year after year.
It is very important to recognize that BSCES being the best could not have been achieved and will not continue without the hard work and efforts of you members of the BSCES. It is your volunteered efforts, taking time out of your busy work and personal life, to serve the society, your colleagues, and our profession. On behalf of the BSCES, I thank you for your efforts making BSCES the best.
We take great pride in our members’ success and participation. In summary, BSCES has eight technical groups and institute chapters, ten operational committees, ten student chapters, publications, and its own television show. We support a legislative fellow at the state house who serves as an advisor to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation. Each year, BSCES sponsors awards, donations, prizes, scholarships, and grants which exceed $40,000 and host variety outreach activities geared towards educating the public about our profession and engaging young people in programs such as the Future City, Model Bridge and Online Bridge Competitions.
This year I look forward to working with each of you on making BSCES even better. Our profession continues to evolve and young engineers are entering the workplace with new ideas and ambition to advance in their career and the profession. BSCES will continue to evolve to meet the shifting paradigms and realize the needs and aspiration of these young members. When discussing changes with members of the BSCES many ideas came to light as well as the need to enhance some of our existing programs. Some of our initiatives this year include:
We are conducting several membership surveys to develop educational and professional need assessment. We are soliciting event and seminar attendee feedback to maximize the benefits to the members. We will be developing member mentorship program where senior members will be available to provide mentoring assistance to new and younger members in the professional and technical aspects of civil engineering, as well as support their networking opportunities among their peers and contributing to BSCES committees, institute chapters and technical groups.
To improve communication with BSCES officers and leaders, we established BSCES email addresses to make it easier to communicate with officers, technical group, and student chapters leaders. These new email addresses allow you to communicate more readily with these member volunteers. For example, you can always reach me by email at President@BSCES.org. You will find the new BSCES email addresses listed on the board of government and each committee, institute chapter and technical group web page. We will be implementing the student chapters’ emails this year as well.
We will be looking for your input and participation this year because we value your contribution. We ask you to contribute your time and effort to the BSCES regardless whether one hour or one hundred hours. It is the collective effort and collaboration of many member volunteers that advance BSCES.
BSCES is a volunteer organization and your contribution and active participation is what makes BSCES the best for more than 150 years. There are many programs, events, seminars, and educational webinars. We want to hear any suggestions or ideas you may have. Please contact the leader of any group that you are interested in. She/he will be very happy to hear from you and welcome your participation. Please feel free to contact me as well at President@BSCES.org. I will be very interested to hear from you.
Special thanks to last year’s BSCES president, Brian Morgan and the volunteers who worked hard and reduced the operating budget deficit dramatically in comparison to recent years. This year we are planning on having a balanced budget while expanding our activities. As a nonprofit organization, this could not be achieved without the generous donations of you our members and our industry firms. We thank our 2016- 2017 sponsors for their generosity and look to them to help us achieve our sponsorship goals for 2017-2018. Our programs and activities are extensive and cannot be sustained without your financial support. Please ask your company to sponsor BSCES programs.
We thank our Society Sponsors especially Louis Berger, which is the sponsor of this newsletter, and encourage you the read about their projects. These are described in a page one article in this newsletter and presented on the homepage of the BSCES website (www.bsces.org). Please support our Society and Program Sponsors.
The Transportation & Development Institute Boston Chapter, chaired by Bryan Zimolka of Howard Stein Hudson, is the featured group for this month. To learn more about this group, please read the article written by Bryan on page 6 of this issue of BSCESNews.
Volunteers and sponsors are the lifeblood of our organization. I am looking forward to working together this year.