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Texas Section News


ASCE Announces Distinguished Members of 2014

Texas Section:

Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, Dist.M.ASCE (G-I, Texas Section)

William H. Espey, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE (EWRI, Texas Section)

Other Sections:

Reidar Bjorhovde, Dr.-Ing., Ph.D., P.Eng., F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE (SEI; Arizona Section);  Jesus de la Garza, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, NAC (CI, Virginia Section);  Dennis M. Kamber, P.E., Dist.M.ASCE (EWRI, National Capital Section); Anne S. Kiremidjian, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE (EMI, San Francisco Section); Michael K. Loose, P.E., USN (Ret.), Dist.M.ASCE (CI, National Capital  Section); Thomas D. O’Rourke, Ph.D., Hon.D.GE, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE (G-I, Ithaca Section); Monte L. Phillips, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE (G-I, Minnesota Section); Jane M. Smith, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, Dist.M.ASCE (COPRI, Mississippi Section); and Kirankumar V. Topudurti, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE (EWRI, Central Illinois Section).

Texas Section Member Professor Jean-Louis BRIAUD Elected President of the Federation of International Geo-engineering Societies (FedIGS)

Professor Briaud was very recently elected President of the Federation of International Geo-engineering Societies (FedIGS) for the 2014-2018 term. FedIGS regroups the following international societies:

1. ISSMGE: Int. Society for Soil Mechnics and Geotechnical Engineering
2. ISRM: Int. Society for Rock Mechanics
3. IAEG: Int. Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment
4. IGS: Int. Geosynthetics Society

Dr. Briaud is a former president of ISSMGE (2009-2013). As President of FedIGS, Briaud plans to foster cooperation and strengthen the links between the four societies while remaining concious of each society’s freedom. Briaud also wishes to strengthen the group by inviting other geo-engineering societies to join FedIGS. Briaud says that this prestigious and humbling position will give him a chance to broaden his horizons and learn more about rock mechanics, engineering geology, geosyntetics, and other aspects of the rich geoworld. Briaud also plans to work on enhancing the image of the geo-profession which he sees as a long term but very important goal.

Dr. Briaud is Professor and Holder of the Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received his Bachelor’s degree in France in 1972 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1978. His expertise is in foundation engineering and more generally geotechnical engineering. He has served as President of the Association of Geotechnical Engineering Professors in the USA, President of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Among other awards, he has received the ASCE Ralph Peck Award, the CGS Geoffrey Meyerhof Foundation Engineering Award, the ASTM Hogentogler Award, the ASCE Huber Research Prize, and the ASCE Martin Kapp Award. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Briaud has conducted about 8.5 million dollars of research mostly on foundations and retaining walls. He has supervised 49 PhD students and 90 Master students. He has been a consultant on many projects in several countries. He is the author of the 1992 book on “the pressuremeter” and the 2013 book on “geotechnical engineering: unsaturated and saturated soils”. He has published about 300 articles and reports in geotechnical engineering and has lectured worldwide.

Proposition 6 Passed!

76.42% of Texans that cast their ballot on November 5, 2013 voted in favor of the constitutional amendment funding the State Water Plan. $2 billion in surplus state money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund will start a water infrastructure loan program. This water fund, overseen by the Texas Water Development Board, represents the first time in decades that the state has put significant money towards water infrastructure. The $2 billion approved this week will act like a down-payment on a mortgage that will allow the state to borrow billions more for hundreds of water projects outlined in its official Water Plan. Those projects aim to provide enough water to meet the state’s needs over the next fifty years.

Stay involved!

"What a landslide victory that nobody predicted. I am certain the ASCE Texas Public Relations and Professional Image Committee’s strong efforts, led by Chair Stephen Crawford, played an important role in this win.

Thanks to Stephen and to the Committee for their hard work.   The coverage of our endorsement of Proposition 6 was widespread from TV interviews in Tyler to Opinions and Editorials published in newspapers statewide.

This is our first step in achieving one of our priority Section goals of getting our members more involved in public policy making. In addition the public is now seeing who we are and what we do to promote better infrastructure and the funding needed for key projects.

Congratulations to the governor, to the members of the Texas legislature and to the voters for recognizing the need for new water projects funding.

I am certain that in a few short years our Report Card for Texas’ Infrastructure will show an improvement in our 2012 D’s and C’s ratings for water related facilities.

It’s is now time that our Section leaders stay involved in the rule making and project selection processes to ensure the most critical projects are the state’s highest priority."



Tim C. Newton PE

ASCE Texas Section President 2013-2014



The ASCE Region 6 Board of Governors is actively soliciting nominations from the Texas and Oklahoma Sections for two open Region 6 Governor positions
for 2014–2017. The Board needs active, enthusiastic members who want to be involved in ASCE at the regional and society level. The only requirements are that candidates must be from the Texas or Oklahoma Sections and have served as a Section or Branch officer, as a member of a Section or Branch committee, or as a member of a Society Committee. Governors have four in-person Board of Governors meetings per year (January Multi Region Leadership Conference, New Mexico Spring Section meeting, Oklahoma Section meeting, Texas Section meeting), may be asked to serve on at least one Society level committee, and are expected to promote ASCE by speaking to several branches and student chapters in their area each year. Individuals may submit a letter of interest and resume directly to the Region 6 Board of Governors through the Texas Section office. Candidates must declare their interest by December 1, 2013. One candidate from each Section will be nominated for election next summer and terms starting October 1, 2014.


Kirby T. Meyer (1935-2013)

It is with our deepest sympathies we announce the passing of Kirby T. Meyer. Mr. Meyer passed away peacefully on June 22, 2013 with his wife Janis Meyer and family at his bedside. He was 78.

Mr. Meyer founded an Austin engineering company called Snowden & Meyer in 1964 that became MLAW, MLA Labs & GTK. The press release from MLAW Engineers, MLA Geotechnical & GTK is here.

The obituary prepared by his family can be viewed at


Region 6 Director 2013-2016 Nominee: Kenneth B. Morris PE, PTOEKen Morris PE, nominee for Region 6 director

Region 6 Governor Kenneth B. Morris PE, PTOE is a nominee for Region 6 Director 2013-2016. One of the Society’s 10 regional governing boards, Region 6 represents members from Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Morris began his term in October 2011.

In August 2010, Morris retired from The Benham Companies, LLC as a Managing Director to form his own firm, KME, LLC, specializing in traffic and transportation engineering. He has also served in the public sector as Chief Traffic Engineer, Transportation Engineer, Transportation Planner, Project Manager and Design Engineer.

Within ASCE, Morris has served as the president of the Oklahoma Section and Oklahoma City Branch. He has also been involved with Oklahoma’s Infrastructure Report Card efforts. Other volunteer activities include events surrounding Engineer’s Week, Future Cities, Mathcounts and Engineer for a Day.

Morris received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Oklahoma and Washington and is a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma.

Dr. Albert Henry Halff (1915-2013)Dr. Albert Henry Halff (1915 – 2013)

The Texas Section is saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Albert Henry Halff.

The long-standing Texas Section and Dallas Branch member, and founder of Halff Associates, Inc., passed away peacefully at his home on March 25. He was 97.

Read the press release from Halff Associates, Inc. 

Student Concrete Canoe Technical Paper Presentation Results

Here are the results of the Student Concrete Canoe Technical Paper Presentation Competition. Congratulations to our winners!

1st place
Steven M. Hand, Texas A&M College Station

2nd place
Julio C. Villalta, University of Houston

3rd place
Valerie A. Sorge, University of Texas at Austin

Honors Presented at Texas Section 2013 Spring Conference

Several people and projects were honored at the Texas Section 2013 Spring Conference's Honors Luncheon in Corpus Christi on March 22, 2013.

To see the list of awards and awardees, please visit

ASCE Texas Section Branches Celebrate E-Week! 

Several of the Section's Branches celebrated Engineers Week February 17-23, 2013 by participating in outreach events and activities.

here to find out how our members "Celebrated Awesome!"

Proclamations Celebrate ASCE Texas SectionProclamation from Addison, Texas

As part of the Texas Section Centennial Celebration, the Centennial Committee is encouraging all Branches to obtain proclamations from their local city councils as a way to celebrate and support ASCE Texas Section and our 100 years in Texas.

Read the proclamations received from various cities around Texas 

Want to find out more about obtaining proclamations from your community’s city council? Contact Centennial Committee chair Sean P. Merrell PE at

Centennial Membership Drive is On

Help the Texas Section reach its goal of 10,000 members in 2013 and you could put $2013 in your pocket! Find out more about the Centennial Membership Drive here.

 Updated 3/6/2013

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