President's Message

What an exciting month for the City of Houston with the Astros bringing home a World Series title! A big thank you to Ms. Carol Ellinger Haddock, P.E. - Acting Director, City of Houston, Department of Public Works and Engineering who gave a fantastic presentation on PW&E’s response to Hurricane Harvey and their role in recovery efforts (while sporting her Astros gear!).  

October was an exciting month for the Houston Branch as well.  The Texas Section released the 2017 update to the Report Card for Texas' Infrastructure at the Texas Civil Engineering Conference with an overall grade of a C-. In 2004, the Texas Section-ASCE responded to the success of the national report cards by developing the 2004 Texas Infrastructure Report Card and updated the Report Card in 2008 and 2012. The 2017 Report Card for Texas' Infrastructure builds on more than a decade of infrastructure evaluations at both the state and national levels and continues the Society’s mission to bring the declining state of America’s infrastructure to the attention of the public and the nation’s leaders. More information on the Report Card for Texas' Infrastructure can be found at the

Additionally October saw events for the Houston Chapters of the Geo-Institute (GI), Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), and Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers (COPRI). Our Technical Chapters continue to deliver top-notch technical content to their members and we are pleased to announce that the Houston Chapter of T&DI will be kicking off this month.  Please be on the lookout for information on their inaugural meeting and please reach out to Mr. Uttam Karmaker, our VP-Technical, at if you are interested in getting involved.

We hope you join us at the November Branch meeting where we are pleased to welcome Metro Chair Ms. Carrin F. Patman. Please note that the date and time have changed and we be meeting during lunch on Tuesday November 14.

We hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday and are able to spend time with friends and family. Also, don’t forget that Saturday November 11th is Veterans Day.  Please be sure to take a minute to recognize the brave men and women that have served in our country’s armed forces.  Their sacrifices are truly appreciated.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any suggestions, ideas, or would like to help out. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Branch event or meeting. 

Gareth J. Young, P.E. M. ASCE

President - Houston Branch ASCE

832-412-6953 (cell)

November Branch Meeting Main Speaker

Ms. Carrin F. Patman - Houston Metro Chair

Carrin F. Patman serves as chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO). She is the agency’s first woman chair, appointed in 2016 by Mayor Sylvester Turner. She previously served on the board from 2010 to 2013 and chaired the Government & Public Affairs Committee.

In her professional career, Carrin was a partner of Bracewell where for three decades she worked as a trial lawyer representing diverse clients in major litigation involving commercial disputes, securities matters, antitrust and competition issues, and regulatory compliance. She was the first woman elected to the firm’s seven-member Management Committee and is the only woman to have been twice elected to serve on that committee. Carrin retired from Bracewell in December, 2016.

Carrin graduated from Duke University (with honors) and from the University of Texas School of Law (Texas Law Review).

In 2014, Carrin completed a year-long Advanced Leadership Fellowship at Harvard University. One area of focus during Carrin’s Fellowship concerned transportation (including urban transit) and infrastructure. She also spent a year in the American Leadership Forum (ALF) program and is now an ALF Senior Fellow (Class XXIX).

Carrin’s extensive civic involvement reflects her passion for community service. Currently, she serves as a senior trustee on the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board. She is a founding board member of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, which is dedicated to improving the status of women in the legal profession.

Some of her prior activities on behalf of non-profits include, serving as a board or executive committee member of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Legacy Community HealthServices Endowment, Texas Appleseed, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston and Sheltering Arms Senior Services. Carrin was vice chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, and former president of the University of Texas Law Alumni Association and University of Texas Law Review Association.

Carrin has also chaired or co-chaired many fundraising events for worthy causes, including for Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, American Leadership Forum, the Texas Defender Service, the Houston Area Women’s Center, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and the Houston School for Deaf Children (now the Center for Hearing and Speech). She most recently served on the National Finance Committee for the ‘Hillary Clinton for President’ campaign.

Carrin has received several awards that recognize her professional achievements and community service. In 2001, Carrin became the first woman to receive the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, given each year by the Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region to "an outstanding member of the legal community who exhibits a commitment to equality, justice, fairness, and community service." In 2000, she was selected as a Woman on the Move by the Houston Chronicle, Channel 11 and Texas Executive Women. In 2012, she was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame, and in 2013, received the Pacesetter Award from the Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation of Houston.


November Technical Speaker 1

Best Construction Practices

Mr. Matt Cartwright, P.E., NACE Level 1 - Construction Manager, Freese and Nicholes, Inc. (FNI)

The goal of the training is to provide personnel who are responsible for construction inspection and/or contract conformance site visits with some common best practices on how to conduct and prepare for field inspections, and how to identify common construction red flags, which if found, could indicate the presence of defective or non-conforming work on typical public works projects.

The overall training is anchored by providing photographic and video examples of construction operations where “red flags” or non-conforming construction is illustrated, as well as where correct construction activities occurred. The training is designed to be both a presentation and an interactive environment.  Attendees will participate in the identification of potential issues in the photos and videos as they are presented.

In addition, the training will include the general do’s and don’ts of different types of construction work, such as concrete, earthwork, pipelines, well points, formwork and rebar, and roadways. Attendees will also review tips on how to interact and communicate with the Construction Project Delivery Team, including the Contractor, the Engineer/Architect, and the Owner. 

Matthew Cartwright received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina. He has more than 14 years' experience, and currently serves as a Senior Construction Manager for FNI's Southeast Division. Prior to joining FNI, Matt worked in the commercial construction industry in various capacities, including serving as a Superintendent on the $300 million expansion of Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Since joining FNI in 2012, Matt has led projects in planning, design and construction. His construction management experience includes water and sewer lines, water and wastewater treatment plants, pump stations and lift stations, high-performance coatings, elevated and ground storage tanks, and water resource structures, including dams, levees and spillways.

November Technical Speaker 2

Texas Board of Professional Engineers - Professional Practice Update/Ethics

Mr. Rick Valdes, Investigator V - Texas Board of Professional Engineers

Updates on Board rule changes within the last year, general updates on initiatives the Board is working on, information on enforcement statistics, and the engineering Code of Conduct. 

Rick Valdes is an Investigator V with the Compliance & Enforcement Department, Texas Board of Professional Engineers. He has over 25 years of experience as an investigator with the State of Texas; thirteen of those years with the Board. As an investigator, Rick ensures that the TBPE Act and Board Rules are followed and also investigates complaints that are received by the Board regarding violations to the Act and/or Board Rules.

Rick has worked for the Travis County Sheriff’s Department, and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and while there, was the Program Manager of Professional Boxing for the State of Texas. Additionally, Rick was also the Supervising Investigator for the Texas Real Estate Commission before joining our team.

Rick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Southwest Texas State University ’86, San Marcos, Texas.


Treasurer's Report

As of November 7, 2017