February 2020 Print

President's Report

I hope 2020 is off to a great start for everyone professionally and personally. As I mentioned in last months message, the 2020 ASCE elections are only a month away.  I would like to encourage everyone to get involved with ASCE and to run for office this year.  Our Region 8 Governor, Matt Roblez, shared an article with me that he co-authored back in 2016 that I think does a great job of outlining the benefits of volunteering for a leadership position within ASCE.  The title of the article is “Five Reasons to Volunteer for ASCE Leadership Positions” and I wanted to share it with all our members as part of my message this month.  The five points outlined in the article are listed below.

  1. Professional Development

Engaging in ASCE leadership activities promotes the growth of professionals on several levels. While ASCE membership on any level affords members the opportunity to attend meetings, leadership meetings are specifically focused on making decisions which affect the individual chapters, branches, sections, and the region. Necessarily, involvement in those types of meetings puts leaders in contact with other leaders, expanding the professional’s network in a meaningful way. Where large, national meetings might produce contacts of relatively low potential for utility, the contacts made at local leadership meetings are nearby, geographically speaking.

 In addition to expanding the professional network, one’s own professional image is greatly enhanced by involvement in ASCE leadership, setting the professional apart from other members of ASCE who may not be actively involved with the Society. The opportunity to serve and influence the Society on a national scale is easily accessible to competent members who choose to serve in a leadership role, even if they choose to begin serving at the local level.

  1. Improvement of Leadership Skills

The responsibilities of ASCE leadership positions at all levels improve the leadership skills of the member. Members are exposed to a variety of tasks and decision-making opportunities that they might not be afforded in their day-to-day job. The professional’s skill set will be developed in areas such as writing, public speaking, strategic thinking, and organization planning, to name a few. The experience of serving on a board for ASCE is directly translatable to serving on any organization’s board of directors, whether private or public. Members are exposed to the types of information and thinking required to give an organization meaningful, sound direction. Being in contact with other leaders of high caliber also tends to encourage the development of good leadership qualities in the professional.

  1. Opportunity to Directly Influence the Profession

The Society has arguably the most significant effect on the daily operations of the profession of civil engineering and has a substantial presence in steering the future of the industry. Through its future planning documents and initiatives, such as Raise the Bar or Vision 2025, the Society will have a tremendous bearing on the path of our industry going forward.

For individuals with passionate opinions on such issues, ASCE leadership is the best avenue to pursue and affect changes to the profession. It is a metaphorical loudspeaker for the professional’s opinion. A professional seeking to promote his or her opinion will encounter intelligent debate and new information that other members who choose not to be active may not encounter. Such debate and discussion will contribute not only to the industry as a whole, but to the professional’s own stance and critical thinking skills.

  1. May Provide Continuing Education Credits in Some States

It is recognized by the committee that not all states have continuing education requirements but, for those that do, engineers in those states may be able to earn some credit toward the state’s requirements by participating in ASCE leadership activities. Even for engineers in states without this requirement, the experience is valuable.

  1. Personal Fulfillment

The committee noted that the opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment are too great to not be recognized in its analysis. It is our collective opinion that the majority of individuals will find the opportunities afforded by a leadership position satisfying on a personal level. Aside from the satisfaction of knowing that he or she has contributed in a meaningful way to the profession, the professional will find that being actively involved in ASCE leadership presents him or her with opportunities to travel to new places, meet new people, and generally encounter new situations than he or she may not have otherwise.

Woody Allen once said, “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Perhaps many members of the Society will find that going home at the end of the day is easier than being involved in an ASCE leadership position. But for those elite few that choose to serve, the opportunities are truly endless, and the rewards are out there. We are certain that any ASCE leader would agree with us that we are a special kind of folk, driven by the will to improve and achieve, not satisfied with the status quo. If you find yourself in the company of an individual with the necessary internal fire to serve as a leader, reminding them of these benefits may be enough to get them off the fence and on the path to success in the Society.  Thanks for all you do.


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Wasatch Front Branch Update

On January 17, Michael Smith (American Council of Engineering Companies of Utah) presented a legislative update at our monthly luncheon.  Our February meeting will be on Friday, February 21st at the University of Utah, Layton Meldrum Civil Engineering Building, 110 Central Campus Drive, Salt Lake City at 11:30.  Dr. Chris Pantelides, SE, FACI (University of Utah) will talk to us about Mass Timber Buckling-Restrained Brace for Seismic Regions.

Our community giving committee will be visiting Escalante Elementary School (1810 W 900 N, SLC) on Tuesday February 18 from 10:15-11:30 am and Parkview Elementary School (970 Emery St W, SLC) on Friday February 21 from 10-11:30 am.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact our community giving chair, Dimond Zollinger ([email protected]).

Sarah Albano

Wasatch Front Branch President

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Northern Utah Branch Update

Northern Utah Branch – Update



On January 16, 2020 the Northern Utah Branch had our first technical presentation of 2020.  The technical presentation was given by Paul Taylor with J-U-B Engineers.  The presentation was focused on MS4 Storm water regulation and changes to the new permit that is out for public comment.

Our next technical lunch and learn is a joint activity with the USU Student chapter.  The student chapter is providing a lunch and inviting ASCE and industry professionals in for a networking opportunity.

We are pleased to welcome Kamilla Schultz to our board.  Kamilla will be working with Nate Wright in planning our monthly luncheons for the rest of this year and then take over that position for next year.  Kamilla is a PE and has recently joined Logan City as a staff engineer.      

 As part of our outreach efforts our members were invited to participate in the AEX Robotics Competition by one of the valleys STEM directors.  Marcus Simons volunteered to be a judge at the competition held at Ridgeline High School on January 25, 2020.  This was a competition of 18 teams but VEX has more than 11,500 teams from 45 countries playing in over 900 tournaments which all lead to world competitions.  In the VEX Robotics Competition teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamworkleadershipcommunications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April.   

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Younger Member Forum

Recap of Recent Events

The biggest event in January was the WRYMC in San Francisco. YMF sent 4 representatives to the event and we had a great time there, like always.

“Hell ya, of course we have tech tours in Utah”, our President-elect, Faramarz, did a fantastic presentation during the YMC Business Meeting. I want to express my sincere thanks to Faramarz, all my Board Members, YMF previous Board Members, and Region 8, Section, Branch leaders for supporting us on MRLC/WRYMC 2022, with all your help we successfully brought the conference to Utah in 2022!!! Please visit our website for the promotion video.

For the first time ever, we provided a great social opportunity to everyone from Southern Idaho to Utah, including all leaders, Student members, and their families!! We used to do a small group dinner during the WRYMC but this time, with the help of Region 8 Governor, Matt Roblez, we made it a huge social event for everyone. After all positive comments, we decided to do it every year. With great honor, current ASCE National President, Guna, and President-elect, Jean-Louis, joined our dinner. And most importantly, big, big thanks to McNeil Engineering for the sponsorship.

Our representatives attended the Banquet as well, great food, great people, we really enjoy this, looking forward to hosting it in Salt Lake.

Earlier this month, we went to the University of Utah and attended the resume workshop. We are so glad that we can help Civil Engineering students on their resumes. Special thanks to Matt Moriarty and Katherine Colburn from ASCE Utah Section. And we appreciate University of Utah Student Chapter to put together this event.

In the end of January, we did a social event at Quarters Arcade Games Bar. Thanks for joining us!!

In January, we also had the 2020 Spring PE Review Course hosting location set up, which will be in UDOT Region 2 Hurley Conference Room. Our registration is open, and the completed class schedule will be available soon. Register our Spring 2020 PE Review Course before Feb. 15th and get early-bird special rate!! Here is the link: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07egv9t2xpe6a3f906&oseq=&c=&ch=

February Events:

The PE Review Course Kickoff meeting is scheduled on Feb. 20th and the first class starts from Tuesday, Feb. 25th. We are looking forward to helping you prepare the April PE Exam!!

The National Engineering Week will be in the week of Feb. 16th. YMF will join Wasatch Front Branch to do two volunteering events in Escalante Elementary School on Tuesday, February 18th from 10:15 to 11:30, and Parkview Elementary School on Friday, February 21st from 10 to 11:30. Contact WFB or email us for the registration. WFB: Dimond Zollinger, [email protected]. YMF: [email protected].

YMF is also planning a night skiing event in February as our social. The detailed information will be out soon. Please visit our website: asceutahymf.com for future events!


Lingkun Li

ASCE Utah YMF, President

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Central Utah Branch Update


On February 20th the CUB met on BYU Campus with the BYU Student Chapter. Dr. Greg Macfarlane, a BYU Civil Engineering Professor, spoke on “Using Mobile Data to Improve Transportation Sustainability”.

On March 19th at noon, Ellie Merrill (AECOM) will be presenting at Central Utah Water HQ in Orem. She and her co-worker Alex will be presenting on a project that includes a new 56 MGD water reclamation facility for the Salt Lake Department of Public Utilities.  

CUB President-Elect

The CUB is looking for nominations to fill the role of CUB President-Elect beginning in June of 2020. Please contact Blake Buehler at [email protected], or call him at (385) 312-4064, if you are interested in being nominated for this position. Nomination forms must be submitted by March 31st.

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Southern Utah Branch Update

We were pleased to hear from Corey Cram from the Washington County Water Conservancy District last month on local water resource projects in the works and the Lake Powell pipeline.  This month we will be having our combined engineering conference with APWA.  Next month we will be announcing the awards for 2019 at the conference.

Todd Gardner

President ASCE Southern Utah Branch

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Utah Geo-Institute Chapter

Utah Geo-Institute (G-I) Chapter By Ryan Maw, PE and Brian Peterson, PE

As we move towards the Spring, we wanted to share the following updates:

  • The Utah G-I has worked with cooperating organizations to finalize a white paper from the Recent Revisions to Seismic Ground Motions Provisions of IBC 2018 and ASCE 7 workshop. This white paper represents a significant contribution from our membership, who have served as authors, and a unique collaboration in endorsement from ASCE, SEAU, EERI, and SEI. We wanted to specifically recognize Travis Gerber, Phd, PE and Kevin Franke, Phd, PE for their time, efforts, and contributions as authors (as well as other panel members). Thank-you!
  • Geo-Congress 2020 will be in February 2020 in Minneapolis Minnesota. Details on vents and registration can be found here: https://www.geocongress.org/registration
  • The Utah G-I is partnering with SEAU on another technical article and workshop in May of 2020; more information to come later this month.

We would like to ask our members to let us know of topics or upcoming events of interest as we plan for 2020.  Thanks again for your continued support.  

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