November 2018 Print

President's Report

November is here and Thanksgiving is around the corner. This is a month to be grateful for the many good things in this world. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the President of the Utah Section this year. I have met so many amazing people as I have worked with the branches, YMF, Section, and Region. I want to say thank you to all the members of the Utah Section for their hard work and the way they represent our industry. Engineers make a big difference in the quality of life here in Utah.

One of the ways we can improve our communities and advance the mission of ASCE is by serving on the State and Government Relations Committee. The State and Government Relations committee has the opportunity to influence public policy at the local and State level by staying aware of public issues and providing valuable input to elected officials. ASCE provides valuable tools to help Sections and Branches stay aware of pending legislation and provide input to elected officials through the Key Contact program. You can join this program and become a Key Contact at This program alerts you to key issues regarding the Engineering Industry and provides pre-written letters to your State and Federal representatives to make your voice heard. You can use these pre-written letters or write your own. The important thing is that our elected officials are hearing from the Civil Engineering industry. The Section is in need of a new Chair for the State and Government Relations Committee. We also need more members on this committee. I invite you to consider serving on this committee. The networking and career growth opportunities that come with serving on this committee are worth it. Please contact me at if you are interested in this committee or would like to nominate someone.

As I mentioned before we have an amazing community of engineers in the ASCE Utah Section, and we would like to recognize our members for their hard work and dedication. We are now accepting nominations for the following awards.

  • Engineer of the Year
  • Educator of the Year
  • Fresh Face of the Year

The Award Nomination Form can be found at this link:

Please consider your co-workers and college professors for these awards. You can fill out the nomination form and submit it to any member of the Utah Section Board by the end of April 2019. The Section will recognize the winners of these awards at the Annual Utah Section Meeting in June 2019 (more information to come). Please plan to attend the Annual Section Meeting and support these individuals. Have a great November and enjoy Thanksgiving.

Craig Friant, P.E., M. ASCE

ASCE Utah Section President


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Technical Article

Engineer’s Release (Gamers Only)

If any of you are like me, trying to get some “gaming time in” leaves me feeling guilty of neglect for my family and personal development time along with personal responsibility. As an adult, I’ve been told that I can find better use of my time.  This “technical article” is provided for you to combat those pesky significant others, parents or family members that tell you that your gaming time is irresponsible. 

There is a movement in the gaming industry to provide engineers a more productive way to waste their time. We have all seen the World of Warcraft, empire, or city building games that have given us excuses to sit hours upon hours in front of the big glowing box constructing and planning our domination of the digital world.  We have even tried to justify that Tetris and other problem solving games are only “furthering our education” in dominating the engineering world. 

Games like Minecraft allow users to build structures from a variety of cubic blocks, which represent different materials and products, with players interacting together over the internet to design and build environments. If anything, doing this virtually with others in the construction sector is even more fulfilling - not only do you get to create new spaces virtually which cross the borders between reality and virtual existence, you watch the worlds you develop come to life as they are constructed in the real world

My new obsession is INFRA. Developed by Loiste Interactive out of Finland, INFRA is an atmospheric and completely non-violent first-person puzzle adventure that deals with the issues of deteriorating infrastructure. The player controls an ordinary structural analyst through abandoned factories, forgotten tunnels and unsafe buildings in a dangerous, crumbling industrial city and its surrounding rural areas. Along the way, the player will be taking photos of structural weaknesses, solving environmental puzzles and unraveling a thought-provoking story centered on corruption and deception.

INFRA tasks the player with exploring familiar aspects of infrastructure such as metro systems, dams and even modern offices to find technical documents and photograph structural problems such as cracks in walls. Ultimately, the player will expose the corruption and schemes that caused the city’s failing infrastructure. Much in the style of games like Bioshock, your actions will determine how the plot unfolds over the course of the entire game.

INFRA is definitely a first in its category. After all, whoever heard of a civil engineering game?

It holds a lot of potential for the future of this type of work, though. It presents a unique look at the overall impact of the built environment and emphasizes that “lifetime” is something that should be taken into consideration during the design and maintenance stages of building information modeling (BIM).

With a video game like this on the market, could we soon see BIM software upping its game when it comes to visual appeal and even virtual reality?

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Wasatch Front Branch Update

This month our branch had a great presentation on Freight in Utah from David Kuhn, UDOT’s Freight manager. It was extremely intriguing how much moves through our state and how critical the roads in Utah are to the transport of resources throughout the Country. We are grateful to David for his extremely interesting presentation. This month, we will be at Salt Lake Community College on the 16th, to hear about the midvalley connector BRT project. We are looking forward to our annual November luncheon at the community college and hope many of you can join us.

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Northern Utah Branch Update

In October we enjoyed our luncheon presentation by Dr. McNeill about the Flint, Michigan water crisis. It was very interesting to hear the exact details of the story and how the events occurred. The luncheon was so well attended that every chair in the presentation room was filled. It was great to see such a large interest from local engineers in attending this event.

On November 1, Tom Dickinson (NUB Past-President) gave his presentation on ASCE and Municipal Engineering to the Senior Design class at USU. Twenty minutes of his presentation was used to help the students understand why they should be a part of ASCE. He was able to answer several questions/concerns that the students had about becoming members. Overall, the students finished the class period knowing more about ASCE, how to join, and how it will propel them in their careers.


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Younger Member Forum

This month the YMF will be focusing on student outreach. We will be having a joint volleyball social with the BYU Student Chapter on Thursday, November 15. So come show us your game at 6:00 pm on the east court of the Smith Field House. RSVP so we can coordinate carpooling from Salt Lake City (

We are also looking for volunteers to help us cohost a resume workshop for civil engineering students with the newly re-established University of Utah Student Chapter on November 30, 12:00 -1:00. We would love for you to bring your unique insight to help these students kick-off their careers. Email Ian Hartman to find out more information about helping (

Both of these events are great opportunities to start networking with our future and fledgling engineers and the future of ASCE.


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Central Utah Branch Update


The CUB Luncheon for October was held on Thursday October 18, 2018 at the Eleve Center in Pleasant Grove.  Blake Buehler and Brandon Rogers presented information on work done for the Central Utah Water Conservancy District asset management program.  The Branch luncheon will be held on November 29th and more details will be provided as we get nearer to the meeting date.



Participation with BYU Student Chapter

The ASCE Central Utah Branch would like to encourage members of the ASCE Central Utah Branch to participate in a volleyball activity with students and professors at BYU.  The volleyball social will be held November 15th, at 6:00 pm, at the East Court of the Smith Field House on BYU Campus.  Have you missed those carefree days of playing volleyball?  Maybe you would like to see if you still have what it takes?  Come see if your skill and fitness levels match better with the professors or the students.  Have a great time and build great relationships.


Practicioner Advisors for BYU and UVU

The BYU and UVU student chapters are seeking a Practicioner Advisor for each chapter.  This person would attend functions with the student chapter, provide guidance to students, and give input from a practicing engineer’s perspective.  If any of our members are interested in stepping into this role, please let Ben Willardson, the CUB Branch President know of your interest.  You can contact him by phone at (801) 310-6153, or by email at


Call for Presentation Ideas

CUB is still looking for presentation ideas for the upcoming months.  We are interested in having presentations on projects, research, historical information, and ethics discussions from across the civil engineering spectrum (geotech, transportation, water, structures, etc…).  Please contact Ben Willardson at, or call him at (801) 310-6153 if you are interested in presenting to the group.  We would love to hear from you.

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Southern Utah Branch Update

In October, we held a combined ASCE/APWA/UCLS luncheon where we heard from Congressman Chris Stewart about the Federal status of the Lake Powell Pipeline and the Northern Corridor, two large projects slated for the Southern Utah area. The luncheon was very well attended and provided some interesting information for our group.

Our next event will be held on November 29. We are planning to hear from two local firms about the design, permitting, and construction of the Bluff Street widening project in St. George.

We are also working on organizing an effort to deliver copies of “Dream Big” to several schools here is Southern Utah. We have several volunteers that we will assign to the schools around the area to hand deliver a copy of the film.

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Utah Geo-Institute Chapter

This past month we had the opportunity to do a geotechnical outreach presentation to the next generation of Civil Engineering studies at Salt Lake Community College.  We are working to bring in a guest speaker after the first of the year and will have additional information next month. 

As we move towards the Thanksgiving Holiday and end of the year we wish to thank you for the support this past year in participation with various events, meetings, and presentations.  Specifically, we express our thanks for the support and corroborations with other organization including ASCE, AEG, UGA, EERI, SEI, SEAU, UGS, BYU, USU, the U, and UDOT. 

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Follow the link below to access a copy of the ASCE Utah Section Awards Nomination Form. We are accepting nominations for the follwing awards: Engineer of the Year, Educator of the Year, Fresh Face of the Year.




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