March Branch Meeting Main Speaker

Flood Control Projects and Their Benefits

Mr. Russell "Russ" Poppe, P.E. - Executive Director of Harris County Flood Control District

Russell "Russ" Poppe, P.E., is the Executive Director for the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, Texas. Under his direction, the District carries out its mission to devise countywide flood damage reduction plans, implement those plans, and maintain the infrastructure. That mission is executed in the third most populated county in the United States, with a population in excess of 4.5 million, which includes the City of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city. The District has jurisdiction over the primary stormwater facilities in the county, which consist of about 1,500 channels, totaling 2,500 miles in length, as well as more than 60 regional stormwater detention basins and a 2.5-square mile wetlands mitigation bank.

After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1999 with a civil engineering degree, Russ successfully practiced engineering in the private industry before joining the Harris County Architecture and Engineering Department in September 2005. Since then, Russ has held various leadership positions within both Harris County and Harris County Flood Control District, with project responsibilities spanning from roadway, park, and water quality projects, to multi-story buildings and complex flood risk reduction projects in highly urbanized areas. His tenure in the public service sector includes a collective project portfolio that exceeds $1 billion in value on very diverse projects that has allowed him to gain a unique skill set and develop a solid track record focused on producing efficient and effective public projects.

March Technical Speaker 1

Chain Walls, OysterBreaks and Arches... Oh My! We're not in Pipe & Box land anymore!

Ms. Elizabeth "Liza" H. Kirk, P.E. - Forterra Building Products - Technical Resource Engineer

Are you tired of waiting for concrete to cure? Is inclement weather delaying your projects? Concrete Precast products can streamline your projects and expedite construction phases in spite of the weather. Not only can Precast Products help you maintain your construction schedule, but they also provide Quality Assurance by the manufacture in controlled environments, in accordance with ASTM guidlines. Precast products are Rigid, Rugged and Resilient and will stand the test of time...and tornadoes.

In this technical marketing role, Liza shares her knowledge of concrete products, capabilities, standards and regulations with the Engineering Communities of Houston, Beaumont and Bryan/College Station. Liza provides Seminars and Plant Tours promoting various Forterra products at the Jersey Village Plant, and especially enjoys giving tours of her "playground" - the Forterra product showcase area.

Before joining the Forterra Technical Resource Team, Liza worked for several private consulting firms in the Public Works Industry over the course of 15 years, focusing on water and wastewater projects. Many of the projects, especially municipal bonds and wastewater treatment plant permits required significant involvement and communication with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Since joining Forterra, Liza has become actively involved as a member of the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA) and the Texas Concrete Pipe Association (TCPA). Through these organizations, she in partnership with other concrete pipe producers and affiliates, provides and receives continuing education related to concrete pipes. In addition to the ACPA/TCPA, Liza recently joined the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C-13 Committee on Concrete Pipe and the Texas Public Works Association (TPWA) Southeast Branch. The C-13 Committee meets annually to review and discuss proposed changes to the standards for the design, manufacture, and installation of concrete pipe.

For many years, Liza has been actively involved with the Greater Houston Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), the Houston Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the ASCE Texas Section Civil Engineering Conference (CECON) and the Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.). Liza is passionate about underground infrastructure, which was most visibly seen when she organized and participated in "I" (Infrastructure)-Day Houston, where the Engineering Professional Societies in Houston came together to share knowledge of all aspects of Infrastructure with the general public. The event included local politicial candidate debates, presentation and demonstrations including the hands-on activities focused on the K-12 age group. Liza organized the K-12 activities and as a result was able to reach out to children of all ages to teach about the importance of Infrastructure while promoting the future for Engineering and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)!

Liza was honored by her peers with the Houston area Young Engineer of the Year Award through the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. While obtaining her degree from Texas A&M University, she was previously recognized by her peers and professors as an Outstanding Engineering Student. She received her BS in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1996.


March Technical Speaker 2

Urban Applications of Low Impact Development

Mr. Jimmy Galvez

Low impact development techniques are being applied and to differing degrees in projects throughout the country where a sustainable approach is part of the initial vision for the project. In the case of infill development, these projects in their urban setting are no exception to their own set of challenges and opportunities while maintaing the original vision for the project.

This presentation will share a case study with the techniques applied from that initial visioning session to ensuring continuity of that vision through construction for the successful completion of the project. Lessons learned and the impact of those techniques will also be discussed.

Jimmy Galvez has a depth of design experience on projects at the institutional / high-education campus-scale, neighborhood district-scale, and streetscape city-scale for clients in public and private sectors. He has been responsible for the preparation of plans for land development projects, including site design, relevant claculations and project specifications; he has served as project lead in coordination with government agencies, outside consultants, office team members and contractors; and led the preparation of cost and bond estimates for private improvement projects.

At the institutional level, Jimmy has worked on a number of Sherwood Design Engineers' leading-edge sustainable campus projects inluding the UC Berkeley Lower Sproul Recevelopment Project in Berkeley, California and the Moscone Center Expansion in San Francisco, California. In both projects, he complete site grading, relocation of existing utilities, design of new utilities, storm water treatment design, and coordination between civil design and architectural/landscape architectural design through the use of low impact developmenet techniques as part of the project goals and vision.

Younger Member's Report

Happy March Younger Members!

Congrats to everyone who showed their support during E-Week.

On Saturday, Feb. 18th, ASCE members teamed up with other E-week volunteers to help with The Run of Pi at the University of Houston.  Volunteers helped with activities such as setup and cleanup, traffic control, water stations, and directing race participants along the race route.  Thank you to all our volunteers and the race coordinators for making this such a great event!   

Also thank you to those of you who volunteered and ensured a successful Young Engineer of the Year awards banquet, Dream Big viewing party, and Science and Engineering Fair. 

As we move into Spring, you’ll have several more opportunities to learn new things and give back to the community. Sign up for either or both of our upcoming events:

Trash Bash - March 25th 

Saturday, March 25th 2017 is the 24th annual River, Lakes, Bays ‘n Bayous Trash Bash from 8am to 12pm! We will be joining other volunteers from the local chapters of other professional societies across Houston to volunteer for this cleanup event. There will be many groups of adults and children volunteering on this day at 14 sites across the Galveston Bay Watershed. We have selected the Buffalo Bayou (Upper)-Terry Hershey Park cleanup site. 

Check out more information on the ASCE Houston website:

5 Fundamentals of Wealth Management - March 28th

Join ASCE & SAME in learning what every individual needs to know in order to be successful in achieving their financial goals. See the ASCE calendar for more details:

Keep an eye on the ASCE calendar as new opportunities to get involved are always being added.

Two of our social media handles are revived. Twitter, our name is "@ASCEHouston"; and Instagram, our name is "@asce_houston." Tag us on Instagram with an engineering related photo in order to enter our monthly contest. We'll feature the winner each month in the newsletter.  

All the bests, 

Ashley Francis

YM Forum Chair

Treasurer's Report

As of March 1, 2017