President's Message

We live in exciting times where projects such as high-speed rail between Houston and Dallas are becoming real possibilities to address our transportation needs. Thank you to Mr. Brian Raine, P.E. with Arup for coming to our April meeting and give us an update on this unique project that will help shape the future of travel in Texas.    

Thank you also to our Technical Speakers, Mr. Jason Ward, P.E. and Mr. Sam Meisner, P.E. with Freese and Nichols, Inc., Mr. Shane Porter, P.E., PMP with San Jacinto River Authority, and Mr. Greg Olinger, P.E., PMP with the Coastal Water Authority for contributing to our April Branch meeting.

You should have received an email from ASCE regarding elections for various regional and society-wide positions. If you did not receive an email, you can also login to to vote. Please take the time to vote and make your voice heard as to who you want leading ASCE. Turnout for our elections is typically so low that each vote truly matters! If everyone in the Houston Branch voted, we could easily decide who wins our regional and society-wide races. In addition, our own Tim Newton, P.E., M.ASCE is running against Steven P. Johnson, P.E., M.ASCE for Region 6 Governor.

The Houston Branch will be holding elections for officer positions for 2017-2018 in June. If you are interested in serving your Branch as an elected officer or a committee chair for next year, please contact our current President-Elect, Gareth Young, P.E. ( to express your interest.

In my President’s message for April, I mentioned that the ASCE Texas Section is wrapping up the 2017 Texas Infrastructure Report Card update with a release date in May. I recently received notification that the release of this report card will be postponed and will likely be released in conjunction with CECON in September.

We are honored to present Mr. Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Distinguished M.ASCE and Mr. Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Consultant with Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc. Diagnostic Group as our Keynote Speakers for our May meeting at the HESS Club. Their presentation is entitled “Engineering and Construction History of the Astrodome and the Outstanding Career of Richard P. Doss, Harris County Engineer.” For those of us who have fond memories of going to Astros and Oiler games and Rodeo events in the Dome, you will not want to miss this presentation to learn more about this iconic landmark.

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, or feel free to find me at the branch meetings.  As always, thank you for your support of ASCE Houston.

Patrick Beecher, P.E.

May Branch Meeting Main Speakers

Engineering and Construction History of the Astrodome and the Outstanding Career of Richard P. Doss, Harris County Engineer

Dr. Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Distinguished M. ASCE 


Dr. Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E. - Senior Consultant, Diagnostic Group, Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc.

Just about the time Richard Doss had taken over as County Engineer in 1961, the Harris County Domes Stadium's 1/8 scale model was being tested in a wind tunnel in McDonnell Aircraft Corporation facility in St. Louis, Missouri. This was just the start of teh project that was to be known as the Astrodome. Construction documents for this unique project were issued October 1962 and were completed in November 1964, six months ahead of schedule. Conceived as the home of the Houston Colts and the Houston Oilers, it was termed by many as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It was the first time that a stadium was built for both baseball and football that was totally enclosed and fully air-conditioned. Circular in shape, the outer diameter of the Astrodome is 710 feet, and the clear span of the lamella dome roof is 642 feet. The presentation will provide and overview of the differnt structural challenges that faced the design team in the nineteen sixties. This facility served the Houston Oilers until 1996 and the Houston Astros until 1999. As we all know, the Astros now play at the Minute Maid Park and the Houston Texans play at the Reliant Stadium. This magnificent Eighth Wonder of the World whcih was abandoned for several years may now have a new lease on life with Harris County's recent proposal to repurpose and revitalize this iconic structure.

Richard P. Doss, P.E., L.P.L.S., (1922 - 2007) attended Texas A & M, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps (1942-1946), and graduated: BSCE 1948 from the University of Houston. Dick worked in Harris County Engineering (1948-1986) and served as an Outstanding Harris County Engineer from 1961-1986. Dick Doss oversaw the design and construction of the Harris County Domed Stadium (Astrodome), Bear Creek Park, Beltway 8 Bridge over the Houston Ship Channel, Harris County Jail, was involved with the 1983 start of the Harris County Toll Road Authority, and oversaw inspections of roadways, bridges, ferry boats, water and sewer systems, and constructing and renovating county buildings. Doss served as President of the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society (HESS). In 1980, he was named Houston Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. In 1986, Doss was nominated for Top Ten U.S. Public Works Officials. Dick was honored as a "Distinguished Alumni" by U. of Houston in 1987. After E. B. Cape and the City of Houston began E-14 engineering standards in 1962, Dick Doss started Harris County engineering standard. In his honer in 1976, Harris County named the Richard P. Doss Park (33 acres), 2500 Frick Road near Veterans Memorial.

Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Distinguished M. ASCE

1. Retired as Assoc. Professor Emeritus - Civil & Envir. Engr. - U. of Houston (1970-2013)

2. Past ASCE National Vice President - 2001-2003, ASCE National Executive Committee

3. ASCE District Director: 1992-1995; Co-Founder - EWRI

4. Served as President of the Texas Section ASCE and Houston Branch ASCE;

5. Served as National President, Board Member of American Water Resources Assoc.

6. Founding Chair - EWRI History & Heritage Committee, ASCE National History Committee

7. President: Engineers Council of Houston

8. Editor or Co-Editor and Coordinator of 7-8 ASCE or EWRI National History Publications

9. Local Chair: ASCE Water Systems '79- WRPMD Conf. - Houston/Mexico City

10. Chair: ASCE Water Forum '81 - San Francisco

11. Founder, Board Member of American Academy of Water Resources Engineers

12. National Member: Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. - ASCE (2012-2018)

Awards for Dr. Jerry Rogers

1. Houston Engineer of the Year - NSPE/TSPE; Texas and San Jacinto Young Engineer of the Year- NSPE/TSPE.

2. Awards of Honor: ASCE Houston Branch and ASCE Texas Section.

3. ASCE Texas: Professional Service Award, Lifetime Service Award, and John Focht Citizen Engineer Award.

4. ASCE National Awards: William Wisely Anerican Civil Engineer Award, ASCE National Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Award, ASCE National Distinguised Member, EWRI Lifetime Service Award, WRPMD Service to Profession Award.

Dr. Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E.

Narendra Gosain is a Senior Consultant in the Diagnostics Services Group of Walter P Moore. In his 44 year career with Walter P Moore, Dr. Gosain has been involved with several projects throughout the United States, including commercial, industrial, and medical structures.?

As an adjunct professor for 17 years in the College of Civil Engineering at Rice University in Houston from 1981 through 1997, Dr. Gosain shared his expertise with later generations of structural engineers. In spring of 2014, he introduced a new course on Forensic Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Houston.?

He has directed the structural design and restoration work of many of the firm’s prominent projects, including the restoration of the San Jacinto Monument and the historic and award-winning expansion of The Astrodome in Houston.?

A paper authored by Dr. Gosain and Kenneth Zimmerman in 2004 entitled, "Astrodome – An Engineering Marvel of the 1960’s" was selected by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) for the permanent files of the Library of Congress in 2007.?

In 1999, Dr. Gosain started a new service line in Walter P Moore called the Diagnostics Services Group that is dedicated to structural restoration, rehabilitation, forensics and litigation support work. He served as the Executive Director of this group until February 2009. Dr. Gosain’s focus is now on serving as a technical consultant for complex structural rehabilitation challenges and forensics related work.?

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cooling Technology Institute and is serving as the Chairman of the Strategic Repair Research Council of the Strategic Development Council of American Concrete Institute Foundation.?

Narendra Gosain got his Master of Engineering degree in 1965 from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1973 from Rice University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas.



May Technical Speaker 1

Data Driven Approach Towards Concept Development - A Traffic Engineer's Perspective

Mr. Koushik Arunachalam, P.E. - Principal, Arcadis Texas Infrastructure

The focus of this presentation is to provide an overview of the tools and techniques that traffic engineers should consider within the realm of a multi-disciplinary approach towards indentifying, developing, and evaluating transportation concepts to address mobility and safety needs of the travelling public. With the focus on performance measures based planning how can we use the modeling tools to reasonably capture measures of effectiveness as part of alternative evaluation.

Koushik Arunachalam is the Principal for Arcadis Texas Infrastructure Business Line. He has over 14 years of experience in research and consultancy with a broad focus of Traffic and ITS Engineers. Mr. Arunachalam's expertise includes freeway and arterial corridor studies, micro, meso, and macroscopic simulations, predictive saftey analysis, intelligent transportation system (ITS) / advanced transportation management system (ATMS), signal timing and performing benefit to cost analysis for infrastructure investments. He has extensive experience working across multiple DOT's that include TxDOT, Georgia DOT, Florida DOT, Ohio DOT, LADOTD, and North Carolina DOT. He currently is the Arcadis PM for multiple TxDOT projects that include TxDOT Houston Planning, TxDOT Houston Signal Timing, and TxDOT Statewide Traffic and ITS IDIQ contracts.

May Technical Speaker 2

Stability Analysis of the USS Salem Wharf Under Gravity Loads

Dr. Mina Dawood, Ph.D., P.Eng. - Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston

The USS Salem Wharf Structure is located in Quincy, MA and was built in 1959 to expand a regional ship building yard. It has been since re-purposed and currently serves to moor the USS Salem, a decommissioned US Navy havey cruiser and floating museum. In its current use, the wharf is subjected to substantially smaller gravity loads than it was initially designed to support. Recent inspections of the over 700 ft. long structure revealed significant but highly localized corrosion in many of the supporting steel piles. In the most severe cases the corrosion approached nearly complete loss of the pile cross section. The lack of specific guidelines for calculating the capacity of such severely corroded piles made the reliable assessment of the remaining capacity of the structure challenging. Preliminary (overly conservative) calculations suggested that the structure could not support its own self-weight, although it was still standing. This was believed to be due to several factors that are not considered in the simplified preliminary calculations including: the relatively high post-buckling capacity of the steel piles and the high stiffness of the superstructure which permitted load redistribution from buckling piles to adjacent piles. To more fully understand the response of the wharf to gravity loads, a detailed finite element analysis was conducted. The finite element model was also used to conduct a parametric study of the wharf to investigate the influence of key parameters on the stability of the structure. This detailed analysis was made possible due to the availability detailed information regarding the geometry of the corroded piles which was obtained from an extensive underwater investigation. The analysis results suggest that in addition to its self-weight, the structure could support a uniformly distributed load of up to 185 psf, even if the superstructure was assumed to be heavily cracked. The findings highlight the importance and value of detaild structural inspections and advanced analysis techniques in characterizing the performance of existing structures.

Mina Dawood, Ph.D., P.Eng. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston (UH). He joined UH after completing his MS and Ph.D. degrees and a post-doctoral fellowship at North Carolina State University. Dr. Dawood's research focuses on evaluating the behavior of metallic and composite structures and structural systems. His research if focued on two primary areas:

(i) evaluating the remaining capacity or service life of existing deteriorated infrastructure, and 

(ii) developing new approaches to repairing deteriorated infrastructure using advanced materials, including fiber reinforced polymers (FRP), structural adhesives, and shape  memory alloys (SMA), with an emphasis on the repair and rehabilitation of steel structures.  

Dr. Dawood  has authored or co-authored 25 journal papers, 31 conference papers, and 3 book chapters.   



Younger Member's Report

Greetings Younger Members,

Last Month our members attended and volunteered at several exciting events including a joint happy hour with the Young Professionals in Transportation group, a joint volleyball tournament with American Public Works Association (APWA), The Houston Children’s Festival, Hobby Fest 2017, and the Spring BBQ at Rice University.

Thanks to all who have shown your support, we hope to continue seeing you and others out there. We have two events in the coming months and we could use your help.

The first is CANstruction.

Canstruction® is a unique charity art exhibition and event featuring structures made by teams of volunteers, youth groups and/or Canstruction contractors. The structures are made entirely out of full cans of food. At the end of the exhibition or event all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations. ASCE is seeking volunteers to participate and lead a team for this wonderful annual event. If you’re interested in finding out how you can help email Manik Mitra or Ashley Francis.

The second is CECON.

Resiliency in Engineering: A Proactive Collaboration is the theme of the 2017 Conference.  As engineers and industry professionals, we are entrusted to design and build infrastructure meeting society needs now and into the future. Texas' population growth, aging infrastructure, flooding, and drought are all challenges to our existing infrastructure systems. We also have new opportunities to address our infrastructure needs due to national and state legislation and funding.  We, the civil engineering professionals, must be prepared for these challenges with sound technical competence and knowledge of opportunities, so that we can lead infrastructure solutions.  CECON is the place to prepare us to lead in our profession.

CECON is the event to network with civil engineers and professionals aiding in designing and building infrastructure solutions. At CECON, you can earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs), participate in industry panels, meet industry suppliers and strengthen relationships with engineers in many different disciplines.

Join us at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa & Conference Center in San Marcos, Texas September 20-22, 2017. Come for all three days of the conference to earn up to 19 PDHs, or stop by for just one day. CECON 2017 is THE conference to attend if you are a civil engineer in Texas.

Find details and register here:

As always keep an eye on the ASCE calendar as new events and opportunities are added throughout the month!