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American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): a better world by design
Website name: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) a better world by design
URL : http://www.asce.org/asce.cfm

This section focuses on a unique overseas Web site related to civil engineering IT. This issue features "American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)", America's oldest national engineering society.

With its History of over 150 Years, ASCE Represents More than 140,000 Members Worldwide

"Civil engineers build the world's infrastructure. In doing so, they quietly shape the history of nations around the world. Most people can not imagine life without the many contributions of civil engineers to the public's health, safety and standard of living. Civil engineering's contributions to daily life, including transportation, clean water and power generation, are magnificent in scope and functionality."

Above is the opening paragraph of the page entitled "150 Years of Civil Engineering" in "History & Heritage" of the Web site. It seems to imply the underlying purpose in "a better world by design", a phrase put on the home page.

In 1852, the twelve Founders met at the Croton Aqueduct and agreed to incorporate the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects. ASCE celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002, and has grown by now to represent more than 140,000 civil engineers. Its mission is described as "To provide essential value to our members, their careers, our partners and the public by advancing technology, advocating lifelong learning, promoting the profession, developing leadership and advocating infrastructure and environmental stewardship."

Activities of ASCE and Organization to Support Them

ASCE's World Headquarters is located at Reston, Va, and its Government Relations office at Washington D.C. ASCE consists of a national board of direction, over 600 local affiliates, many Student Chapters and International Student Groups, and others.

ASCE's activities range widely from hosting annual and specialty conferences to providing various seminars and educational programs and other educational activities (including continuing education for practitioners and educators, and design experience for middle and high school students); research, study, and dissemination through technical committees and institutes that cover a wide range of areas; support for state and local governmental activities; developing international activities and organizing a network; and other professional as well as diversified activities. In addition, ASCE offers services to support its members through public relations and publications, such magazines.

In 1994, ASCE Foundation was established with mission to generate resources for the civil engineering profession. The Foundation has raised more than $20 million for ASCE and its affiliates so far. In January 2006, the Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation (CEFI) was established. Engaging senior leaders from industry, academia and government, strategic efforts have been made to strengthen the industry productivity, performance and quality to advance ASCE's mission.

From Choosing Monuments of the Millennium to a Vision of the Future

ASCE Web site carries the latest news on natural disasters, infrastructure development, politics and education that are related with civil engineering. The contents arranged on the home page provide access to ASCE's services and activity schedules, 15 sites by practices, menu for education and training, "members' only" page and so on.

For example, ASCE devotes its energies to educational activities in order to help professional engineers achieve mandatory continuing professional competency requirements in their states, by providing seminars distance learning programs. They can be accessed through "Continuing Education" via "Products & Services".

In "Report Card FOR AMERICA'S INFRASTRUCTURE", conditions of deterioration or danger of infrastructure such as bridges and dams are reported by states and categories to inform necessity of maintenance or improvement, for which the section also calls attention to raise fund.

The page specially arranged for "Diversity" presents efforts to promote diversity programs to support talented civil engineers from diverse backgrounds including ethnicity and gender etc. For interactive communication, a message is put to invite comments on "the challenges stay-at-home mothers face when returning to the engineering workforce".

Not only responding to the challenges faced with at present, ASCE also plans in long terms. In "Vision 2025" in "Professional Issues", the publication entitled "The Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025" can be downloaded. It took almost five years to complete, representing the collective wisdom of more than 60 experts the world over. It is provided for civil engineers who play various roles to serve as a guide for the future development of policies, plans, or progress within the civil engineering community and beyond.

On the other hand, great achievements in the past are focused on, too. In "History & Heritage" mentioned at the beginning of this article, ASCE features "Monuments of the Millennium", 10 greatest civil engineering achievements (categories) that had the greatest positive impact on life in the 20th century, with the most outstanding project for each one of the categories. Kansai International Airport in Japan is selected in the category of Airport Design And Development; other categories and monuments include Dams (Hoover Dam), The Interstate Highway System, Long-Span Bridges (Golden Gate Bridge), Rail Transportation (Eurotunnel Rail System), Sanitary Landfills/Solid Waste Disposal, Skyscrapers (The Empire State Building), Wastewater Treatment (Chicago Wastewater System), Water Supply and Distribution (The California Water Project), and Water Transportation (The Panama Canal).

This program, along with other programs like "Seven Wonders of Modern World" and "Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Program", tells that one of ASCE's aims is to increase appreciation by the public widely of significant civil engineering projects.

Home page:
American Society of Civil engineering (ASCE)
(Links to Regions Websites)
(Images provided by ASCE)

This article is written based on the above Web site with permission from ASCE.