Plugging into Community Service

Community Engineering Corps


Building a Community

I recently joined a group of five students from the Engineering Without Borders student chapter at the University of Colorado Boulder for a service engineering trip to Puerto Rico to work with the community of Mulas.

During this week-long trip, the students and I gathered important data to design a new water distribution system for the community. During our assessment, we were able to generate a map by gathering GPS data of different points of interest and tracking our steps while exploring every corner of the community.


Gaining Management Experience Through Pre-College Outreach

Learn valuable management skills while volunteering to promote civil engineering to the next generation.


Get involved with your local library

Project BUILD helps engineers become more confident in their outreach efforts.


Inspire the Next Generation

Learn how to set up and run a civil engineering club, identify school partners and inspire local high school students.

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Community Service

  • 1.  Community Service

    Posted 09-13-2019 04:44 PM
    Giving back to your community is also a great way to improve yourself personally and professionally. Please use this space to share how giving back has impacted your life/career.

    Tirza Austin
    Senior Coordinator, Online Community
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA 20191

  • 2.  RE: Community Service

    Posted 09-14-2019 10:28 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 09-14-2019 10:27 AM
    Would highly recommend giving back. I have Bachelor's and MS degrees in environmental engineering, but after graduation I joined a faith-based service corps to be a full-time volunteer instead of going directly into industry. It was an amazing experience, and I recently decided to stay on at my nonprofit job for one more year, now as a paid staff member.

    This form of intentional community service has definitely broadened my perspective and influenced my priorities. I do not think it has diminished my prospects of working in engineering down the road, as I got a few offers in my field of study this summer before deciding to defer working in engineering for one more year. I have made some great professional connections through my job and gained many soft skills that I think will make me a better engineer when the time comes.

    Katie Little

  • 3.  RE: Community Service

    Posted 09-16-2019 10:10 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 09-16-2019 10:10 AM
    Giving back has been a great way for me to develop leadership skills. Initially I would get involved with volunteer events as a doer only. As time progressed I was asked if I could get involved with various other planning and leadership positions. Especially in ASCE, once you get into leadership pos​itions, you get invited to the many different leadership meetings where you can receive additional leadership training. In addition, when leading a group of volunteers, you learn that at any point a volunteer can walk away from a leader if they do not agree with that groups leadership and it is hard to get volunteers to start a new initiative with a poor leader.

    As you learn how to lead a group of volunteers and possibly receive additional training from volunteer activities, you can apply those skills to your career to help grow your career.

    Kenneth Mika, PE M.ASCE
    Green Bay, WI

  • 4.  RE: Community Service

    Posted 09-20-2019 06:30 PM

    Being just an engineer was all I wanted to be until I discovered volunteering in my community. Being part of a planning advisory board has opened a lot of doors. It helped me with speaking skills, writing skills, learned policy and the process for projects to become reality, and took the progress we made in the area of sustainability to many conferences. Receiving awards and recognitions over the years from outside organizations for volunteer work is just the icing on the cake.


    These efforts also made me become a better leader and able to train others, skills that I apply in my current paid job. Giving back definitely pays off.


    Rene Vidales Ing., P.E., M.ASCE
    Program Coordinator
    San Diego CA

  • 5.  RE: Community Service

    Posted 09-23-2019 09:31 AM
    I believe this should be one of the most important things we do in our professional career. Giving back all the knowledge in one way or another has been one of my biggest priorities in my short professional career. I have been involved with Engineers Without Borders for over five years now and have work on projects in Bolivia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Colorado. They have all been challenging but talking to the community and getting to know them has been the most wonderful experience I have had.

    Other great ways to volunteer is by being involved in the local ASCE chapter and be part of all the great work ASCE does at the local level.

    Luis Duque EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO