2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure grades reveal widening investment gap

ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, released March 3, assessed U.S. infrastructure with an overall C- grade.

And while that marks an improvement over the D+ grade on ASCE’s 2017 Report Card and is the highest overall grade in 20 years for the nation’s infrastructure, the report found that the long-term infrastructure investment gap continues to grow. That gap has risen from $2.2 trillion over 10 years in the last report to $2.59 trillion in the latest study, meaning a funding gap of nearly $260 billion per year.

“We have not made the investments to maintain infrastructure that in

Micro-hydropower project launched in Oregon

The city of Hillsboro, Oregon, has launched a $400,000 micro-hydropower project using a prototype of In-PRV, a new technology that generates clean, carbon-free energy as it reduces excess pressure in drinking water pipelines. The pressure-reducing valve technology was developed by InPipe Energy (inpipeenergy.com), a small Portland startup founded in 2016 by Gregg Semler.

In-PRV is a first-of-its-kind, digitally enabled system that combines smart control software with technologies that reduce water pressure, collect energy, and provide critical operational data. In-PRV can lower the cost of operating water distribution systems because it uses renewable energy gathered from the water system itself

How does ASCE work?

150,000 members in 177 countries, 9 institutes, 10 regions, 93 sections, 160 branches, 397 student chapters, hundreds of committees, over 4,000 journal articles published every year, dozens of conferences, 235 staff members, a $56-million-per-year budget, and one big building near Washington, D.C., all dedicated to civil engineers and the civil engineering profession. This is ASCE; how does this all work? 

My answer would be remarkably well, considering the complexity. The dedication, the energy, and the passion for our profession are so obvious when I talk to any one of our members or staff. It is truly heartwarming. Don’t

How to prepare for – and succeed in- conversations with the media

Maribel Castillo is the vice president and director of corporate communications for global multidisciplinary engineering services firm T.Y. Lin International. She has advice for how engineers can best prepare for — and succeed in — conversations with print and broadcast media.

1. What practical advice would you give engineers on how to respond to a phone or email request from the media for an interview? 
My practical advice is first and foremost to ensure that you are in compliance with your firm’s media relations policy. For example, T.Y. Lin International’s policy is that all media inquiries must be coordinated

There is great value in mentorship and networking

I wish I’d known earlier in my career the importance of mentorship and networking. When I worked at the California Department of Transportation, I would get sent to leadership training classes that I sometimes resisted because they didn’t seem worth it to me and they took up a lot of my time. Looking back, I wish I had seen them more as opportunities. Years later, in some work-related situation, I would express an idea that seemed pretty astute, and I’d wonder where that idea had come from. Eventually, I realized that I was repeating something I’d learned from

Young engineer recovers nicely from a pandemic layoff

Daniel Bressler, EIT, A.M.ASCE, was laid off from his position as a project engineer several months ago due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Bressler — who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from New York University and is now pursuing his master’s degree in structural engineering through The City College of New York — was undaunted. He pursued employment by establishing clear steps he would take each day and week and completed those steps as if they were his job. By the end of just one month, he had a new position that

ASCE 2020 Annual Report executive summary: Strength and resilience in the face of adversity

2020 was a difficult year for ASCE and the world.

Globally, we faced unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need to stay safe and healthy while also ensuring the continuity of our businesses and profession. Many of these challenges also extended into our daily lives. But it was in these vulnerable times that we as a community stayed strong and resilient. In short, despite being forced apart physically, we came together.

Civil engineering thrives on connectivity. Therefore, to maintain the level of service our members rely on, ASCE quickly pivoted its operations to meet the

One highway solved three problems outside Austin, Texas

A toll-road project near Austin, Texas, achieved multiple goals in one journey, preserving a critical aquifer and its surrounding environment while providing commuters with a direct route to a local freeway. The project takes traffic pressure off local roads, shaves time off city commutes, and treats stormwater.

As Austin, Texas, and its surrounding suburbs have continued to grow over the years, the commuters in the area south of the city, near Buda, were in need of a faster way to reach Texas State Highway Loop 1, a 25 mi long freeway that provides access to the west side of

Performance-based seismic design succeeds in Turkey

Engineers are known for the kinds of innovative,“blue-sky” thinking that have resulted in mobile phones and driver-assistance technology, but such creative approaches are not always feasible in the field of structural engineering. It is for the most part a profession that relies heavily on formulas and building codes. But even within the confines of structural engineering, there is room for innovation and outside-the-box thinking. That is what happened with the design of the Başakşehir Pine and Sakura City Hospital in Istanbul. The Arup-led design team established project-specific seismic performance objectives aligned with the owner’s risk tolerance, explored structural system