Articles

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 http://www.texasce.org.

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 vptechnical@ascehouston.org 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)

president@ascehouston.org

ascehouston.org

President's Message

Fellow Houston Branch Members,

I can’t express how excited I am to be delivering my first message as the 2017-2018 Branch President. I want to extend a sincere thank you to all of last year’s volunteers but especially to our now Past President, Patrick Beecher. Patrick did a phenomenal job not only during his term as Branch President, but throughout all of his years of service to the Branch. I have had the privilege of working with him many times and he has left very big shoes to fill.  I also want to thank our technical and keynote speakers for all of 2017 and look forward to a continued tradition of excellent technical programs.

Fortunately I have a fantastic Board to do the heavy lifting in making the Branch a success. The Board includes some returning members as well as some new additions including:

President Elect – Luis Gonzalez, P.E.

V.P. Administration – Julia Clarke, P.E

V.P. Technical – Uttam Karmaker, P.E.

V.P. Education – Austin Brauel, P.E.

V.P. Communications – Sarah Alvarez, P.E.

Secretary – Manik Mitra, P.E.

Treasurer – Jason Brock, P.E.

Past President – Patrick Beecher, P.E.

Section Director – Jason Ellison, P.E.

The Board is supported by dozens of active committee chairs and members who develop great ideas and bring the enthusiasm and energy to deliver the fantastic technical, social, and educational program that our Branch provides. While we have one of the strongest programs in all of ASCE with the mindset of continuous improvement, I have developed five goals for the coming year including:

Goal 1: Ongoing Branch support for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts

Goal 2: Recognize the Branch’s 75th Anniversary

Goal 3: Strengthen connections with Branch supported Student Chapters

Goal 4: Strengthen local Technical Institute Chapters

Goal 5: Strengthen Branch’s presence in the community

These goals are ambitious and include aspects of technical excellence, outreach, and education. With your support, I have no doubt that we can meet and exceed all of these. 

If you ever have any suggestions, comments, concerns, or ideas, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the Board members.

Sincerely,

Gareth Young

President – Houston Branch ASCE

President's Message

As I come to the end of my term as Branch President, I am saddened at the destruction Hurricane Harvey has wrought on Houston and the Gulf Coast community. The damage from flooding was so widespread that many months and years will be needed to recover. So many of you have already given your time, sweat, and donations to help your friends, family, neighbors, and strangers start the process of rebuilding. Thank you for stepping up and volunteering!

As the first canon of our Code of Ethics states, “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their professional duties.” With our community hurting, civil engineers are needed more than ever to rebuild, strengthen, and improve the resiliency of our infrastructure. Our knowledge and technical expertise are needed to help educate the public on how to best address the ever present risk of flooding along the Gulf Coast. ASCE leaders from the branch, section, and global levels have already been in conversations about our vital role moving forward.

I am proud of being a civil engineer and a member of the Houston Branch of ASCE. I am humbled to be in the presence of so many active and passionate volunteers and thankful to have had the opportunity to serve with Gareth Young, P.E. (President-Elect), Heather Guillen, P.E. (VP-Administration), Julia Clarke, P.E. (VP-Technical), Luis Gonzalez, P.E. (VP-Education), Brandon Ash (VP-Communications), Sarah Alvarez, P.E. (Secretary), Jason Brock, P.E. (Treasurer), Austin Brauel, P.E. (Branch Director), Brent Baldwin, P.E. (Past President), and Jason Ellison, P.E. (Section Director). They have served the Houston Branch well.

Please join me the evening of Tuesday, September 19th, at HESS Club as we recognize the outstanding work that our current board and committee chairs have done and install our new Branch officers. We will also have Mr. John Tyler, P.E. and Mr. Mike Perez, P.E. with the Harris County Toll Road Authority as our keynote speakers. They will be giving us an update on the new Ship Channel Bridge project.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how ASCE can provide greater benefit to you, please call or email (713-939-6438 or president@ascehouston.org), or feel free to find me at the branch meetings.  As always, thank you for your support of ASCE Houston and thank you for the privilege of serving as your Branch President.

Patrick Beecher, P.E.

President's Message

We have been blessed with a slate of remarkable speakers and topics this past year. Our June meeting was no exception with Fort Bend County Judge Robert E. Hebert as our keynote speaker and Lindsey Tracy, P.E. and Michael Rolen, P.E. of AECOM and Jesus M. Olivas, P.E. of HR Green as our technical speakers. Thank you all for bringing interesting and valuable content to our meeting.

Although summer is typically a quiet time in our calendar year, our volunteers have been busy bringing continuing education and networking opportunities to you. The Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI) and Land/Water Sustainability Forum (LWSF) has teamed to provide the “Storm Water Management Seminar Series.”   The first seminar was held on July 25th and focused on storm water quality regulations as they apply to the various stages of site development. The second seminar will be held on August 8th and concentrate on storm water detention requirements.

On August 10th, our Houston Branch Younger Member (YM) Group is joining with the Younger Member Group of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) to provide a lunchtime seminar that will cover wetland regulations, mitigation techniques and strategies, and pitfalls to avoid. Our YM Group will also host a tour of the Buffalo Bayou Cistern on August 24th. If you haven’t had a chance to get out to see the Cistern, I recommend you join our YM Group at this event. It is a unique and historical structural in Houston’s often cluttered and busy landscape that has been successfully preserved and repurposed. You will be amazed!

CECON 2017 is getting closer every day. This year’s theme is “Resiliency in Engineering: A Proactive Collaboration.” CECON will be held at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel on September 20 through 22nd. Mr. Stephen Costello, P.E., City of Houston’s Chief Resilience Officer, and Mr. Pete G. Perez, P.E., SES, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Southwest Division Director of Regional Business, are confirmed keynote speakers. I encourage each of you to go to TexasCECON.org to register. You won’t want to miss out on such an outstanding conference.

We will again join our friends with the Houston Contractors Association (HCA) for our joint meeting in August. The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 24th from 11:00a to 1:00p at the Junior League Ballroom (1811 Briar Oaks Lane). Details regarding the keynote speaker are being finalized and should be announced soon. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Please check out our website (ascehouston.org) for more details regarding these and our many other upcoming events.

We are here for the benefit of our members. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how ASCE can provide greater benefit to you, please call or email (713-939-6438 or president@ascehouston.org), or feel free to find me at the branch meetings.  As always, thank you for your support of ASCE Houston.

Patrick Beecher, P.E.

President's Message

Thank you to Drs. Jerry Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D. WRE and Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E. for such an interesting and detailed presentation on the Astrodome and on the outstanding career of Richard P. Doss, Harris County Engineer. This was a great opportunity to remind ourselves of Houston’s rich civil engineering history and build excitement for how we will repurpose the Astrodome into a relevant part of Houston’s future. In addition, thank you to Mr. Koushik Arunachalam and Dr. Mina Dawood, Ph.D., P.Eng. for being our Technical Speakers.

If you haven’t already heard the great news, our very own Mr. Tim Newton, P.E. was recently elected to be our Region 6 Governor for 2017- 2020! Congratulations Tim! The Houston Branch’s reach is far and wide with so many leaders at the Section and National levels. It is a testament to the efforts of our members over the years to make this a place where we encourage and support the development of our engineers to become leaders.    

Although it seems like CECON 2017 in September is a long way off, it will be here before we know it. This year’s theme is “Resiliency in Engineering: A Proactive Collaboration.” CECON will be held at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel on September 20 through 22nd. Mr. Stephen Costello, P.E., City of Houston’s Chief Resilience Officer, and Mr. Pete G. Perez, P.E., SES, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Southwest Division Director of Regional Business, are confirmed keynote speakers. I encourage each of you to go to TexasCECON.org to register. You won’t want to miss out on such an outstanding conference.

Congratulations also to our ASCE Sandcastle Team that recently participated in the AIA’s Annual Sandcastle Competition in Galveston, Texas! ASCE won the Public Recognition Award. Thank you to Alik McCoy and Maegan Nunley for leading us onto our first prize in 16 years of competition!

At our June Branch meeting, we are honored to have Fort Bend County Judge Robert E. Hebert give us an update on Fort Bend County’s infrastructure efforts. We will also have Ms. Lindsey Tracy, P.E. and Mr. Michael Rolen, P.E. of AECOM talk to us about “Challenges to Development of Asset Management Plans for Small Water Districts” and Mr. Jesus M. Olivas with HR Green present the “Ship Channel Bridge Asphalt Overlay and Toll Plaza Demolition” for our technical sessions. Check our website for more details.

We are here for the benefit of our members. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how ASCE can provide greater benefit to you, please call or email (713-939-6438 or president@ascehouston.org), or feel free to find me at the branch meetings.  As always, thank you for your support of ASCE Houston.

Patrick Beecher, P.E.

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