I write this month’s President’s Report with the grave awareness of the more than 400,000 lives that have been lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. My gratitude goes out to the many frontline workers in fields related to health, construction, infrastructure, transportation, public safety, grocery and food service, mail delivery, and others that have continued to serve in the many essential roles that allowed our community to function throughout the past year. Civil engineers, like the public health professionals that guided us through the pandemic, are ultimately public servants that are an essential part of the social fabric that unites us as a country. I am confident that in the coming year we can emerge from the pandemic with a stronger feeling of our shared communal and societal needs.
Rich Keenan appointed BSCES executive director. I am pleased to announce that the BSCES Board of Government has appointed Rich Keenan to serve in the role of BSCES executive director. Rich has worn several hats with BSCES over the 15 years that we have had the good fortune to have him working for us. Most recently, Rich had been serving as association manager. BSCES Board members felt overwhelmingly that this title did not reflect the many strategic and executive roles that Rich fulfills on a daily basis and were pleased to make this change in title. Shifting his title from associate manager to executive director also makes clear to those outside the organization that Rich speaks on behalf of our organization and not as simply a hired functionary.
Donation received to honor founders of Stone & Webster. Founded as an electrical testing lab and consulting firm by Charles A. Stone and Edwin S. Webster in 1889, Stone & Webster was a renowned member of the Boston engineering community for more than 100 years. Stone & Webster no longer functions as an independent entity; however the trustee of the liquidating trust has presented BSCES with a substantial donation to honor the important contributions of the Stone & Webster founders to the engineering profession.
BSCES partners with The Moles Charitable Fund on GLX Virtual Tour. BSCES has agreed to partner with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and The Moles Charitable Fund in the development of a virtual tour video of the Green Line Extension (GLX). Other partners in this venture include the Underground Construction Association and the Industry Advisory Board of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University. When complete, the film will be shown at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country, including Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University. Partnering with other professional organizations and attracting young people to our profession are key portions of our strategic plan so we were very happy when presented with this opportunity. In addition, we are planning a joint BSCES event with our friends at The Moles Charitable Fund to view the film and hear from the GLX Program Manager John Dalton on this immensely important project. Stay tuned for more information and our thanks to The Moles Charitable Fund for allowing us to share in this great project.
BSCES provides a grant to Merrimack College ASCE Student Chapter to support envision certification. BSCES has approved a grant of $2,400 to the Merrimack College ASCE Student Chapter that will pay the credential and training fees for student chapter members to become Envision Certified. For those of you not familiar with Envision, you might think of it as LEED for infrastructure. From the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure web page, “Fundamentally, Envision is about supporting higher performance through more sustainable choices in infrastructure development. The framework provides a flexible system of criteria and performance objectives to aid decision makers and help project teams identify sustainable approaches during planning, design and construction that will continue throughout the project’s operations and maintenance and end-of-life phases.” I applaud the Merrimack ASCE Student Chapter members for embracing the Envision framework and look forward to working with Merrimack graduates in their future careers.
Please support Kate Biedron Memorial Fund. Kate Biedron of CDM Smith has left us far too early. Please donate to this fund that supports initiatives at our sister-organization, NEWEA. The fund will support environmental education, academic mentorship, and advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the water sector.
In closing, I’d like to recognize and thank EarthSoft, Inc. for their support as a BSCES Society Sponsor and the sponsor of this issue of BSCESNews. Please be sure to read the article entitled “Gain Control and Understanding of Environmental Data with EQuIS Live and EnviroInsite” by Mark Ferrero, services coordinator and acting communications manager for EarthSoft, Inc..
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