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  • 1.  Civil Roles in Report Card Categories

    Posted 02-10-2020 11:57 AM
    The Rhode Island Section is currently working on its ASCE Infrastructure Report Card!

    We often split our profession into 4 disciplines: structural, geotech, traffic, and environmental and we are familiar with the responsibilities of each.  However, ASCE has 16 Infrastructure Categories listed for grading.

    The civil engineer's role is quite visible in some of the categories such as roads, bridges, water, dams and wastewater.  However, the role of a civil engineer is less apparent for the other categories (at least from the prospective of this steel design engineer).

    Does your practice include infrastructure design or maintenance with the following categories?  Or do you know a colleague who does?

    Hazardous Waste
    Inland Waterways
    Public Parks
    Solid Waste

    Please share how your practice plays a role in one or more of these categories.  How does your role impact past, present, and future developments in that category?

    As a design engineer for a steel contractor, my work appears in schools, power plants, treatment plants, rail stations, and even airports.  My part tends to land during the final completion of the initial infrastructure design and construction phase.

    Chad Morrison P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI

  • 2.  RE: Civil Roles in Report Card Categories

    Posted 02-12-2020 01:34 PM
    I was the schools category champion for the most recent infrastructure report card in my state, Pennsylvania. I'm a structural engineer by education/training, and have worked hand and hand with the architect to deliver those types of projects. It's fascinating to understand how the type of space in which you learn directly impacts a students' ability to learn, and we also are seeing more "smart" schools with built-in sustainable technologies that are also used as a teaching tool (like green roofs).

    Additionally, new school facilities in many states can also act as emergency shelters in the event of a natural disaster. Clearly having a structure that can withstand the elements in emergency situations is well within the purview of the civil engineer, and requires specialized engineering expertise.

    PA has 18 infrastructure categories; in addition to the ones listed above, water is split into Drinking Water and Stormwater (in addition to the Wastewater listed above) and rail is split into Freight and Passenger here.  I myself didn't realize that civil engineers worked in all these areas......but now I not only understand that, but have met colleagues in all of them because of working on the report card. (Shout out to the 2018 PA report card co-chairs @Cathy Farrell and @John Caperilla, as well as other PA category champions/co-champions @William Peduzzi, @Chris Smith, @Tania O'Kane, @Trevor Lykens, @Tyler Kreider, @Adreinne Nikolicm, @Christopher Menna, @Angelo Waters, @Ralph Gilbert, @Dave Cooper, @Joseph Natale, @Christopher Gray, @Mike Wagner, @Robert Wright, @Arica Ditullio, @Michael Devuono, @Carol Martsolf, and @Greg Scott

    In talking with other engineers, in some cases networking connections have been made through ASCE volunteering (like on the report card) that allowed them to find jobs in other sectors​​. So, if you're scratching your head about all these categories while at the same time thinking to yourself "that sounds really interesting" or trying to figure out where to go next in your career, I can't recommend getting involved with your state's Infrastructure Report Card efforts enough if you haven't already had exposure to all these different areas.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    Stephanie Slocum P.E., M.ASCE
    Engineers Rising LLC