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Advocacy and Civil Engineering

  • 1.  Advocacy and Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-23-2019 07:55

    I would like to start a discussion regarding advocacy and civil engineering. My personal involvement in government relations began in December 2017 when I served as a category contributor for the 2018 PA Report Card. Although it involved a great deal of work reviewing articles, reports, and many iterations of drafts to get to the final publication and grade, I found this role extremely beneficial in learning more about what metrics are vital to include when summarizing the current state of our state's infrastructure. It is also great to know that this report card is being used by ASCE members when they meet with elected officials. I am also an ASCE Key Contact which I highly recommend that every ASCE member join. You can learn more about the program here: https://www.asce.org/keycontacts/

    I would like to hear from you all. How do you combine advocacy with your civil engineering work?



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    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 2.  RE: Advocacy and Civil Engineering

    Posted 11-08-2019 08:53
    The RI Section has jumped into the process of publishing a report card.  Our challenge is to offset infrastructure in poor condition by highlighting some of the great things our state can be proud of.  I have also participated in the fly-in and was able to advocate for NAFTA reform over 5 years before it became reality.  It is difficult to navigate the political realm, as many of our clients and work serve a public role.  ASCE does a great job of providing that framework in a way does not conflict with professional practice.   I have also become involved with updating ASCE safety polices, which serve as our public stance on important issues.


    As a profession we need to do a better job conveying to k-12 students that our primary objective is public service, as a self-regulated, government licensed profession.  With every public disaster that makes headlines, people ask "why didn't the government prevent this?" not understanding that that responsibility is given to licensed individuals who may or may not be government employees.

    Education?  Healthcare? Justice? Clean Water?  Energy?  Recreation?   Big political issues, right?  I am just an engineer who may have just designed some stairs that go in schools, hospitals, courthouses, water plants, power plants, and even arenas.  At the risk of sounding lofty, the argument could be made that the nature of our work is advocacy.  We make the ideas of advocates behind these issues a reality.  We do so in a way that is safe, cost effective (value engineering), and long lasting.  We mostly think of advocacy as an activity at the beginning of a fight and not the work that is done to complete the objective.  Civil engineers should position themselves as advocates who help others get to the finish line.

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    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
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  • 3.  RE: Advocacy and Civil Engineering

    Posted 12-29-2019 10:08
      |   view attached
    In the spirit of part of Chad's notes above:
    "We do so in a way that is safe, cost effective (value engineering), and long lasting.  We mostly think of advocacy as an activity at the beginning of a fight and not the work that is done to complete the objective," the attached doc "Fundamentals of Infrastructure Management" is offered.

    Authored by Coffelt and Hendrickson, 3rd ed., 2019.

    Q. Might there be other useful docs. . .and perhaps a paper or more. . . that can add to the Infrastructure engineer's project references?

    Cheers,
    Bill

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    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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