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The official nominees for 2021 ASCE president-elect are Maria Lehman, P.E., ENV SP, F.ASCE, and Dennis D. Truax, Ph.D., P.E., DEE, D.WRE, F.NSPE, F.ASCE. The successful nominee will serve as president-elect in 2021 and as Society president in 2022.
Both nominees have agreed to answer your questions on this thread. Their answers will not be published until both nominees have responded. This thread will be open from 7am Eastern time, March 16 until 7am Eastern time, March 17. The nominees will reply to all questions by Thursday, March 19.
The Society's election will be conducted May 1 through June 1 via online balloting. You must be eligible to vote by April 1.
I look forward to seeing your questions and the nominees' responses!
Hi, my name is Dani Schroeder from the Philadelphia YMF Section. My question for you both is what has been your most impactful previous ASCE leadership role and why?Thank you for this opportunity and @Tirza Austin for your coordination of this thread!
I think my role as Vice President of the Board in 2001-2003. I was installed on the Board a little over a month after 9/11 and my area of responsibility for ASCE was then Zone I or the northeast. I was Public Works Commissioner and Chief Engineer of Erie County, New York. It was a very stressful time for all, and all 3 sites were in my zone. ASCE mobilized quickly to have structural engineers on the lower Manhattan Site and to help with the Pentagon site. We had many issues, but ASCE volunteers played a key role in rescue and recovery, and then with the testing and analysis of what happened and how we could harden facilities and rethink designs to be more resilient. Then we rallied to get things rebuilt. Everyone had financial challenges including ASCE as well. And there were organizational challenges. But together as a professional community we rallied and did what we do best, solve complex problems. Civil Engineers rose to the occasion and it was an honor to serve at that time.
ASCE brings together practitioners, government and academe to solve the issues at hand. The best contribution was the development and update of the body of knowledge, identifying the tools students need to succeed as professionals.
Being relevant in an ever changing world is a big challenge as business, universities and governments are slow to change in a world that is being drastically disrupted. ASCE rises to that challenge by our codes and standards, Grand Challenge and Future World Vision.
By asking, please join us. If every current active member asks just 1 person to get involved, we would be in a great place.
ASCE should continue their great work with the Journals that gives University level education and research the avenue to share their success. I am also a big fan of EXCEED.
In today's world I think universities need to have partnership with local community colleges to allow technologists a pathway to continue if the are interested. It also makes for a more "hands on" engineering education coupled with a research focus when students do a 2/4 program. Most importantly it allows a path for women and minorities to succeed, and is a more cost effective option.
As we are at the beginning of this Pandemic, there are many unknowns. ASCE continues to be a leader in public policy. The release of the Report Card in 2021 will be a great time to highlight the need for resiliency, which includes our healthcare infrastructure. I am currently on CAI and have served in the past. I see many parallels with where we are today with the post 9/11 period. We were not sure how long that was going to last and what was next, but as a Civil Engineering community we rallied, volunteered, provided guidance and designed solutions, changed codes and public policy. As Civil Engineers, we have made our voices heard and now FEMA cites our standards in their rebuild guidance as of January this year. A Pandemic was the health community's focus, but if you ask a health professional what the biggest contribution in the last 100 years to public health was, the answer is water and wastewater treatment. So we will do our best to get the world thru this terrible time and then learn how to do this better and then take those lessons learned to our governments so public policy can be changed appropriately.
I am a Deming Total Quality Management professional, so I want to get down to basics. Edward Deming said you need to find the root cause and rebuild a process, structure or organization. If you just tweak it bit by bit you end up in a totally unrelated place. I think that applies to ASCE. We need to decided what the organization needs to look like in 5 years both from a staff and member perspective and then draw a map on how to get there. We need to be effective and efficient and nimble. These are all adjectives that would not be in a top 10 descriptor list of ASCE, yet they should be. Our ability to resonate with younger members depends on it. I think we have our purpose, vision and mission right, but execution needs a revamp. I have driven organizational change in both the public and private sectors, so I am excited to be on this journey for ASCE.