September 2018 Print

President's Report

September has arrived, kids are back in school and ASCE is starting up again with monthly branch and YMF meetings. What a wonderful time of year. September is also the time for the ASCE Region 8 Assembly where our Section and Region leaders get together to discuss how to serve our members better. It was my privilege to attend the Region 8 Assembly with John Diamond, our Sections new President-Elect. These assemblies have become one of my favorite ASCE meetings because I get to network with other working ASCE professionals from all over the western United States. I also get to know the Region 8 Director and Governors better, and learn from their experience. This year we had some changes to the Region 8 Leadership. We will miss the outgoing Director and Governors, but are looking forward to working with the new leaders. Dale Nelson from the Alaska Section has served our Region well as the Director and member of the National Board of Directors for the last three years. He will be replaced by Tony Lau from the Hawaii Section. Tony has served as a Region 8 Governor and just finished his term as the Region 8 Treasurer/Historian. His experience will serve our Region well. Greg Kinney from the Alaska Section and Bob Lamoreaux from the Utah Section have finished their terms as Region 8 Governors and will be replaced by Kate Thompson from the Inland Empire Section and Jessica Smith from the Alaska Section. Each section has a Region 8 Governor assigned to them as an advisor, and this year we are privileged to have Jessica Smith as our advisor. We are excited to work with her and are looking for opportunities to invite her to Utah to visit our Section and Branches.  

Lately I have been thinking about the benefits of ASCE membership. I recently received an email from ASCE reminding me to renew my membership, which caused me to think about how ASCE has helped my career. I joined ASCE as a college student at Utah State University, but I mainly joined because my classmates joined. I did not really understand the benefit of membership and after graduation I let my membership lapse. After working for four or five years I decided to renew my membership with ASCE and see what it was all about. I started attending branch lunch meetings to listen to the presenters, but I was shy and didn’t take advantage of the networking very well at first. After attending meetings for a few years I volunteered to serve on the Community Giving Committee in the Wasatch Front Branch. I think this is when I really began to see the benefits of ASCE. I developed friendships with the other committee members, served our community and got to know the Wasatch Front Branch leaders. After serving on the committee for a few years, the Branch President asked me to run for the Branch Secretary/Treasurer position. I decided to give it a shot and ended up winning. I served four years on the Wasatch Front Board, and now have the opportunity to serve at the Section level. At the Region 8 Assembly this last weekend we talked about the benefits of ASCE and asked each of the attendees what they value most about ASCE.  These are a few of the benefits mentioned.

  • Leadership experience
  • Professional development
  • Networking
  • Technical resources and standards
  • Learning
  • ASCE magazines
  • Advocacy for the profession

I have to agree with these benefits. I would not be where I am at in my career without ASCE. I have learned that the benefits we receive from ASCE are directly proportional to what we put in to ASCE. If you are unsure of the benefits of ASCE try volunteering for a committee or service project. You will not be sorry.

In closing, I would like to encourage each of you to be active in your local ASCE branch and participate in monthly meetings and other ASCE activities. Take a colleague to the meetings with you, especially the younger professionals. Help them to have a positive experience in ASCE so they are motivated to stay active and serve where they can. The future of the Civil Engineering Industry is our responsibility, and if we don’t do our part to strengthen it nobody will. I look forward to working with you this year.

Craig Friant, PE

ASCE Utah Section President

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Technical Article

Integrated GIS-based hydrologic and hydraulic analysis – Addressing Uncertainty

BY: Ahmad Salah, PHD, PE, CFM, GISP and , Colton Smith, PE, CFM – J-U-B Engineers – September 2018

In the spring of 2016, there was major wide-spread flooding from record snow pack throughout Cache County.  This caused damages from the flooding that included failed culverts, undercut roadways, and erosion of roadside ditches and channels.  At a site near Newton, Utah along 7000 West all three failures occurred.  The solution needed to include the removal of the existing culverts, channel size design, channel armoring and bank stabilization.  The County required the design of the channel size, armoring and stabilization to pass the 50-year storm event. 

To meet the required design, schedule and budget, an effective approach was used addressing GIS-based hydrologic and hydraulic modeling.


The Watershed Modeling System (WMS), a GIS-based interface for hydrologic and hydraulic models was determined to be the best tool to meet the outlined objective. It was utilized for its ability to run multiple hydrologic models and directly import multiple data sets including available online data.  The model interfaces that were utilized in WMS to calculate the estimated 50-year storm event peak discharges were HEC-1 and National Streamflow Statistics (NSS).  Model-to-model comparison was conducted and compared to the current effective FEMA Flood Insurance Study (FIS) unit area flows.  The soil moisture conditions (low and average) were also evaluated in the HEC-1 model to determine a range of flows for the site.  The model-to-model comparisons and soil moisture conditions analysis reduced the uncertainty in the model results by producing five (5) points of reference for peak runoff at the site.

The estimated peak flows are used to provide a range and address the uncertainty inherent in the modeling process. The range of flows was then used in the hydraulics modeling.


The HEC-RAS interface in WMS was utilized for its ability to pre-process the input files. The survey data was imported in WMS and used to cut cross sections along the stream centerline with the bank lines defined. HEC-RAS was used to determine hydraulic parameters that are further used to determine adequate channel size, armoring, and bank stabilization.


The HEC-RAS hydraulic model output was then used in the determination of the appropriate riprap sizing, armoring layer thickness and extent along the channel and the cross section. Multiple empirical equations for rip-rap sizing were used to generate an “envelope of protection” along the stationing of the channel. The empirical equations used are referenced in HEC-11, HEC-22, ISBASH, USACE, USBR, ASCE, and USGS. 

The following chart shows the estimated riprap D50 at each of the cross sections stations along the modeled channel. The blue line shows the average estimated D50 using the above listed equations, while the orange line shows the estimated maximum value by any of the listed equations. Also noted is the gray line showing the D50 values estimated by equation referenced in HEC-23.

Following these average, maximum and HEC-23 estimated values, the designed riprap protection; i.e. thick green line was proposed.



Using WMS ability to quickly evaluate the sensitivity of the different parameters for the hydrologic and hydraulic modeling was instrumental in delivering a conservative and timely design.  We are presenting these time saving tools at the Utah Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association (UFSMA) in October 2018. See below for details:      

“The early bird gets the worm!”  Please join us a day early at UFSMA-2018!  UFSMA has organized this special pre-conference course to include:

  • Flood Risk Mapping tips in Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling
  • Assistance in predicting impacts from our globally changing intensity and frequency storms
  • Software and Hardware advancements for model input and output
  • GIS-based tools to increase efficiency in Floodplain mapping
  • Time saving pre- and post-processing tools for hydrologic and hydraulic models

This special course will be held on Tuesday Oct 23 at Moab, UT.  Pre-conference course to be presented by two J-U-B Engineers:

  • Ahmad Salah, PHD, PE, CFM, GISP and
  • Colton Smith, PE, CFM

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Northern Utah Branch Update

We have continued our board meetings and have begun planning several activities for this upcoming year. Kade Beck from Franson Engineering has joined our committee as our YMF Chair. We are excited to work with him to see how we can expand our YMF group.

On September 20th we have our first luncheon setup. Representatives from Malcolm Drilling will be joining us to present on their Auger-Cast Piles. Next, on September 21st we have scheduled an opening social which will be held in cooperation with the Utah State University ASCE chapter and other university students. Great food such as brats and corn on the cob will be enjoyed at a local park which provides a place for horseshoe games and sand volleyball.

On October 18th we are planning on having a luncheon at which Dr. McNeill from Utah State University will address us. She is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University. Her specialty is drinking water treatment. She will be talking about the drinking water disaster in Flint, Michigan that began in 2014, in which at least 12 people died from Legionnaires’ Disease and thousands of children were exposed to unsafe levels of lead.

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Wasatch Front Branch Update

This summer has been a busy one. I first wanted to say that I am excited for the opportunity to serve as the Wasatch Front Branch president. I have enjoyed working with all those in leadership and I would encourage anyone thinking of engaging in leadership to do so. There are a lot of great opportunities to serve within ASCE and we could always use more help. As we look forward to the upcoming year, please consider your participation as well as your co-workers. ASCE is built on the strength and activity of our members, and I know our Branch has a lot of strength.

This year our branch officers consist of Darren Burton (past president), myself (president), Sarah Albano (president elect) and Michelle Hackke (Secretary Treasurer). We also have several people on the community giving committee, but we could always use more help there. If you have any ideas for activities or luncheons, please feel free to contact any of us.

I am excited to be kicking off a new year of luncheons with the Wasatch Front Branch. We will be back at WesTech Engineering again starting on September 21st and we are excited for all of our upcoming speakers.

Mark Chandler, PE

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Younger Member Forum

We hope you all had as refreshing of a summer break as we did.

We kicked off the summer with our annual barbecue on July 13 at Sunnyside Park. We welcomed our new officers and got to know some members from the Wasatch Branch and Salt Lake Community College. Events like this are the heart and soul of the YMF. We love to bring engineers together as a community and to help students bridge the gap to professionals through activities that facilitate authentic relationships.

One of our main goals this year is to build our student chapter relationships. We are excited to welcome Ian Hartman as our new Student Chapter Liaison; the perfect man for the job. Ian graduated from the University of Utah in 2015 and was heavily involved with the ASCE student chapter during his time there. He was the lead fabricator and an officer for their steel bridge team three years in a row, advancing to compete nationally in 2016. He participated in most ASCE club events during his time at the U, and after graduation he participated as a judge for the regional steel bridge competition when the U of U hosted in 2017. He now works as a traffic modeler and signal designer at J-U-B Engineers and believes the YMF is a really great networking tool for young engineers. He has personally reaped the benefits, including finding his current job through his networking with the YMF.  He’s excited to help other young engineers find the same success.

What is your personal vision and what kind of leader are you? These are just a few of the questions posed at the ASCE Younger Member Leadership Symposium (YMLS) held Aug 10-12 at the ASCE headquarters in Reston, Virginia. This is an annual event put on by ASCE National to help younger members find and build their voices in their careers, communities, and ASCE. Young engineers from all over the country consolidate for 3 days full of hands on leadership training and good company. Our new President, Heather Hamilton, was able to attend this year and feels the overarching messages are invaluable to everyone: you don’t have to be in a formal leadership position to lead, and those that make the best leaders have their own personal vision, understand themselves, listen, and know how to communicate. In other words, they possess emotional intelligence. They also read a lot. Most of us should probably be reading more; if we read for just 20 minutes a day and average 2 minutes per page, we could read about one 300-page book per month. That’s a lot of learning without the hard knocks. 

Speaking of hard knocks, the YMF is once again hosting a bi-annual PE Review Course. The course can help you consolidate your resources and focus your studying on the right areas. The course was kicked off on Aug 28 with some tips for test taking and will run through October 9, covering breadth and depth topics for transportation, structures, geotechnical, construction, environmental, and water resources. Though the class has already started, contact Lingkun Li ( if you are taking the exam this fall and are looking for some studying guidance. The next course will be held about 8 weeks prior to the spring exam. Check out our website for more information (

Interested in playing a more active role in the YMF? We are always looking for new leaders. We’re currently seeking a Social Chair and a Media Chair. If there’s some other role you are interested in, let’s make it a thing. We have an open door policy for all board meetings. Come by anytime to see what we are up to. Contact us by email to get connected:

Watch our website and your inbox for our next social event to be announced soon.

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Central Utah Branch Update

The Central Utah Branch would like to welcome everyone back to our fall activities.  We hope that you have had an enjoyable summer doing fun activities with friends and family!  We look forward to seeing all of our members at luncheon’s and community events.  We would like to welcome Blake Buehler, of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, as the President Elect for the branch.  We look forward to working with him in the coming years.

The first CUB luncheon will be held at noon on September 27th, 2018, at the Eleve Event Center in Pleasant Grove.  Cory Pope and Tim Taylor will be presenting on the development of guidelines and supporting for implementing context-appropriate raised medians. Over the last year, UDOT Traffic and Safety staff have worked with state and local government engineers, planners, leaders, communications professionals and private developers to create these resources.  Cory and Tim will take us through the process, demonstrate the interactive website that was developed, and look for feedback on how they can continue to improve and roll out the information statewide.

As always, we are looking for exciting projects, interesting research, and riveting presentations to have shared at our monthly luncheons.  We would also like input on the types of presentations that would be of most interest to the members.  If you have ideas for these presentations, or would like to present, please feel free to contact Ben Willardson at

We are looking forward to another great year of working with the student branches at BYU and UVU this year.  These interactions provide great experiences for the younger engineers and opportunities for experienced engineers to share lessons learned and mentor up and coming students.  This last year we had successful events with Dream Big and the BYU Capstone Presentations.  Everyone that attended had a great time.  We look forward to these types of interactions again this year.

We look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming meetings!

Ben Willardson


Central Utah Branch

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Southern Utah Branch Update

Our next event is a welcome back social/membership drive that will be held on September 20 at the DXATC Applied Technology College. This will be a free event in which we will be talking about the benefits of ASCE and outlining some of our future presentations. Since we took a break for the summer, this is a good opportunity for members and non-members to get back into the swing of our monthly luncheons and other activities.

We are also working on organizing an effort to deliver copies of “Dream Big” to several schools here is Southern Utah.

For our October luncheon, we are hoping to hear from the local design engineers who worked on the new improvements to Bluff Street in St. George.



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Utah Geo-Institute Chapter

The Utah Geo-Institute is excited for another year with a number of interesting events on the horizon. The purpose of the Geo-Institute chapter is to attract and increase member participation through access to G-I speakers (locally and nationally), coordinate meetings and short courses, work with other groups and organizations (AEG, UGS, EERI, and others), facilitate networking (students, professors, and practitioners), and increase public perception of the importance of geo-professionals. As you work with and participate with peers and colleagues, please keep us posted of any geoprofessional related events or activities that we can share with the chapter. We look forward to the exciting year ahead!

Ryan Cole and Ryan Maw

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