Topic Moderators

Collaborate_topicmoderator_badge_DRAFT1_web-01.jpg

Meet the ASCE Collaborate Topic Moderators

Topic Moderators add value to the discussion, increase the body of knowledge, and nurture the ASCE Collaborate Community. Find out a little more about them.

Hala Abdo, E.I.T.

 Hala.jpgHala Abdo, E.I.T., Road and Drainage EIT at FAM Construction, LLC. 

Why do you think it is important to contribute to ASCE Collaborate and the civil engineering profession as a whole?

I do believe that each one of us has some knowledge to share no matter our experience. Also, as a civil engineer, I reflect my curiosity with same and different minded colleagues both on the national and international level on this platform. From being an ASCE student member to becoming a young professional, networking with fellow civil engineers supported me both professionally and personally and there is no better way to give back to others even on a virtual platform

 

Dr. Reza Mokarram Aydenloo, Ph.D, C.ENG, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE


Dr. Reza Mokarram Aydenloo, Ph.D, C.ENG, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE

Professional engineer of structural design and seismic rehabilitation - Author of specialized book in Elsevier

Why do you think it is important to contribute to ASCE Collaborate and the civil engineering profession as a whole?

I believe that due to the existence of specialists in various fields of civil engineering in ASCE collaborate, we can access the best answers in the shortest time by participating in the forums by expressing questions, challenges and experiences.

What advice do you often share with someone early on in their civil engineering career?

Career life is like a road, It is not clear where it will end, if you do not know where you want to be. So set a goal based on your best interests and abilities with all your focus and strength. If you have doubts about identifying that goal, you can get help from the mentors in ASCE Collaborate mentors are here to pave the way for your future career.

Do you agree that by helping people we know, their talents may be seen and their lives changed?

Do you know that many talented people, given that they can not show their abilities, unfortunately deviate from the main path and goal of their creativity and also do not achieve their ideals. Maybe we can develop talent in someone.

Why did you become a civil engineer? 

Ever since I got to know my abilities, I have come to realize that I love high-rise structures. It is a great feeling to see that by constructing a safe structure I can give a sense of peace to a family and society. If I was going to be born again and choose a job, I would still be a civil engineer.

What do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?

From childhood, my family raised me in such a way that I wanted to teach what I was learning to others so that the most enjoyable part of my career is gaining experience in the filed of design and seismic rehabilitation on professional projects and teaching it to others as an author of specialized books. In this regard, today I have been able to write several volumes of specialized books in the field of seismic rehabilitation.

What is the most challenging project you have ever completed?

So far, I have faced three project challenges in my professional career life :

1) Design of the first high-rise structure

A project with specifications, 20 floors on the ground with an area of approximately 25,000 square meters in a special position for a precise employer. I was full of stress whether I could finish my work successfully. I did a lot of hard work several times modeling, optimization and special controls and ...., I was so focused on my work deeply . Even when I slept, I dreamed of structural design and my mind was occupied with it. It's been 11 years since it was designed, people live in it, sometimes I pass in front of the project.I remember those days and I smile. I do not think there is anything more enjoyable for me or any engineer than to see the results of efforts in a project.


2)seismic rehabilitation of special project 

In March 2014, a professional company introduced me to a special project for seismic rehabilitation. The main demand of the employer was to increase the area and general changes in the architecture of plan and facade. Existing structure designed and built several years ago, had 17 floors of concrete structures. In addition to seismic rehabilitation, I had to redesign it. In this regard, I thoroughly studied and evaluated the increasing of 7 new floors on the existing structure, so that I could finally find a best solution to strengthen the existing structure. I demolished two floors of existing concrete structure and added seven floors of new steel structure on it , finally designed and presented its complete details, I tried with all my strength and interest for a year and completed the project. Today I see the result of my efforts, a building with special and beautiful face in 22-floors with an area of 41,000 square meters. Every time I watch this movie, I forget the tiredness of those days. This is a very special feeling, I wish you experience this feeling about your project as well.


3) Writing a specialized book for Elsevier Publications

Finally, in 2018, I managed to sign a contract with Elsevier Publications to publish my book. It is true that I had written three books before and I had enough experience. But publishing the book internationally was a new experience. I had to be more careful, my audience had increased. In this regard, I tried hard for 2 years. I even remember working up to 15 hours a day for the last 6 months. Eventually the hardships ended and the book was published in 2020.

Daniel Bressler, EIT, A.M.ASCE

 Daniel_Bressler.jpg
Daniel Bressler, EIT, A.M.ASCE, Junior Structural Engineer, Stratford Engineering 

Why do you think it is important to contribute to ASCE Collaborate and the civil engineering profession as a whole?

ASCE Collaborate is a great platform to share and exchange ideas and have positive discussions. The sharing of ideas and positive discussions is essential for growth and development. By having open forums, new topics and conversations can be had with people of varying background allowing for some interesting insight. By furthering conversation we are helping to further the civil engineering profession.

What advice do you often share with someone early on in their civil engineering career?

Have confidence in yourself. Always be open to new opportunities to grow. Don’t be afraid or nervous to ask for help, ask questions, email someone or have a conversation.

Why did you become a civil engineer?

I was always handy and trying to figure out how things worked, I liked science as was good at math. So pretty much I was a catalyst to become a civil engineer.

What do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?

I enjoy the creativity, problem solving and people skills that come with a day’s work.

Doug Cantrell, P.E., PMP,

 

Doug.jpg
Doug Cantrell, P.E., PMP, Preservation and Repair Engineer

Why do you think it is important to contribute to ASCE Collaborate and the civil engineering profession as a whole?

 To help share information, to discuss topics that are relevant to the industry, and to bring people together.

What advice do you often share with someone early on in their civil engineering career?

To ask a lot of questions, find potential solutions to problems you encounter, and take on new assignments (even if they may not interest you). 

Why did you become a civil engineer? 

I started out studying architecture in college. But I realized that I was more interested in the engineering aspect of design. After taking my first engineering class I knew this is what I wanted to do professionally. I was initially interested in building design, and started studying structural engineering. I fell in love with it, and have dedicated myself to civil engineering since.

What do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?

Being able to see my designs being built in the real world. It makes me feel accomplished, and that I am part of the solution to some of the challenges of the civil engineering industry. 

What is the most challenging project you have ever completed?

One of the first projects I worked on was designing steel repairs for the William Preston Lane Memorial (Bay) Bridge in Maryland. Having to inspect the areas was a challenge in itself, as there are lane closure restrictions. To design parts of such a huge suspension bridge that is used by thousands of people, when I didn't have a lot of experience at the time, was certainly challenging. But I am proud that I was able to work on such an iconic bridge at such a young age.

 

Ari Daniels, P.E., M.ASCE



Why do you think it is important to contribute to ASCE Collaborate and the civil engineering profession as a whole?


My life and my work share a common theme: continuous improvement. One of the best resources for almost any knowledge‐based process is an experienced/exposed human mind. All the textbooks, manuals, and articles in the world won’t equal the minds that have produced them or consumed them. And no reference manual/tool is flexible enough (yet…) to answer all possible thoughtful questions. People are crucial, and Collaborate is a great hub! And for the civil engineering profession as a whole? See the question below, “what do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?”

What advice do you often share with someone early on in their civil engineering career?

Make sure you study and make moves toward what excites you, since work is such a huge part of life. It may be many incremental steps before you land (or make) your “dream job,” but keep orienting yourself toward that which gives you energy, rather than takes it. And be flexible, broadly and generally. Which is stronger, the oak or the palm?

Why did you become a civil engineer?

I’ll distill this one, since it’s kind of thick. I have always been an engineer in the general sense of the word. I wanted to study physics, but a wise guidance counselor in high school told me to study engineering (I think specifically mechanical, given my interests). I originally studied mechanical engineering in college, but the limited focus areas of that degree at my university at the time (no direct connection to environmental engineering, either energy or water), combined with a “eureka” moment in Probability and Statistics (that an overarching goal of many manufacturers/producers is to maximize profits, not optimize quality/function), caused me to switch to civil/environmental, and I ended up with greater focus on some passions of mine, water resources and environmental engineering. Basically, this is where I thought I could be of most service.

What do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?

The work is always applicable and necessary. I never question whether my work is valuable. The magnitude of the value of my work may be in question – for example is this little bioretention worth the time and money? But civil engineering is truly necessary, and I focus on the need, rather than the want. Fundamental needs of the human organism: food, water, shelter, medicine. Well, I’m connected to all of those to some degree, and I’d give our profession a solid 3 out of 4 on this.

What is the most challenging project you have ever completed?

Hmm. I’ll interpret the question as including “within the realm of engineering.” :‐) My most challenging projects have largely been difficult due to human factors – plan/permit reviewers, over‐involved HOA members, ridiculous legal constraints – rather than technical factors. My single most challenging project was my smallest project, ironically: a tiny wet swale ‐ turned vegetated swale ‐ turned infiltration trench ‐ turned abandoned infiltration trench ‐ turned basic rain garden/conservation landscape ‐ which should have just stayed a wet/vegetated swale. It took over three years to wrap up (with me renting equipment and doing it myself) and helped me coin the phrase “death by checklist.” The most challenging technical projects I’ve faced were the “what were these people thinking?” situations that require re‐engineering. Starting from scratch is almost always much easier than starting from “oops.”

Alexander Granato, A.M.ASCE



Why do you think it is important to contribute to ASCE Collaborate and the civil engineering

profession as a whole?

I believe that because Civil Engineers are mostly recognized for creating the infrastructure that
developed countries use every day, most media do not fully recognize the responsibilities of the
profession. Although fields like Information Technology are rising in popularity right now,
engineering still has difficulty getting the recognition that it deserves.

What advice do you often share with someone early on in their civil engineering career?

I remind people that they are all living a different type of career with a different type of career
focus. Whether we are working on a project as a team or not, we will all face another challenge
and need to discover new skills to get the job done. To that end, everyone needs to be true to
themselves about their place in their careers and reach out to larger organizations to see the
bigger picture.

Why did you become a civil engineer?

When I went to Metro Early College High School, there was a FIRST Robotics Club that offered
to take students to annual competitions after designing and constructing each robot. Having
been able to visualize designs in three dimensions ever since preschool, I joined the mechanical
engineering section and decided to major in that at Ohio State. After more examination of the
engineering majors, however, I realized Civil Engineering covered other interests of mine as
well and shifted to that major.

What do you enjoy most about being a civil engineer?
The major has introduced me to several different topics that are involved with design and
maintenance, like surveying and graphics. The major also allowed me to have Technical
Electives that were about geodetics and the environment, fitting my standard approach of
organizing work and examining the minor details within it.

What is the most challenging project you have ever completed?
In March of 2018, I joined a Make OHI/O thon to complete a challenge: construct and
demonstrate an alpha prototype of an original idea within twenty‐four hours. Achieving that is
taking a design idea, finding resources to build the planned design, and a demonstration to
judges when all the work was done.

To that end, I set up a team with three other students, and we met twice beforehand to figure
out what our prototype would be. We agreed to a “smart” medicine dispenser that would use
Arduino programming to ask random passerby what kind of medicine they needed, identify that
person, and unlock one of those pills. Because I created the team, all four of us had a plan,
documentation, and distributed responsibilities when the twenty‐four‐hour period began. In
turn, our team obtained all the necessary resources and realized all the remaining steps for
completing the alpha prototype. The team won the Top Tier award after presenting the final
results.