A message from ASCE Texas Section President Travis N. Attanasio PE, CFM
I find myself a little more than a month into my year as Texas Section President, and I must say that I thought the Texas Section was the best before I became President, but now I can say with absolute assurance that the Texas Section is the best! In this brief time, I have had the privilege of installing the Branch Officers for the Southeast Texas and the Fort Worth Branch and I plan on attending the San Antonio Branch November meeting. In both Officer Installations, I was pleasantly surprised that most of the individual Branch leaders I had never met before, which tells me the Section is going strong with recruiting new members and convincing those new members that serving in a Branch or Section Leadership role is a very rewarding journey.
Speaking of journey, I wanted to give you a small history of my ASCE journey. I was in ASCE in college but neither my first-year student or senior design involved anything Civil Engineering related, so I really did not get the full ASCE student experience of competing in concrete canoe or steel bridge. It was not until three years after college that I was re-introduced to ASCE and began an extremely rewarding experience. At my first Section meeting in Beaumont, I was impressed that the city had gone through a major hurricane mere months before but was able to pull off hosting the meeting. At that meeting was my first experience seeing how the Board Members, especially the Texas Section President, were revered, trusted, listened to, and most of all seemed to know everyone. Being a young impressionable EIT, I set myself a goal to someday be President of the Texas Section, and except for a few hiccups along the way, I accomplished that goal 16 years later.
I am looking forward to this year as it is a Texas Legislative year and the ASCE Texas Section always has a good showing at the Legislative Drive-In, which will occur in or around February. One of the most important things we can do as Engineers is an advocate for infrastructure. The message has finally reached the masses that our infrastructure is in danger of catastrophic failures via some very unfortunate events, and the political leaders are finally listening, but our work is not done. We as Engineers need to stress to our Legislators (both State and Federal) to consider not only investing in replacing our infrastructure now but in including operation and maintenance costs in that funding. If the funding to keep the infrastructure running as designed is not included now, the State will find itself in the exact same position as it is now, just another 50-70 years later, and as we all know, nothing gets cheaper over time.
I encourage everyone to plan to attend the 2023 ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium, scheduled for April 12-15 in Amarillo, TX. This will be the 20th anniversary of the Civil Engineering Program at West Texas A&M! If you have never attended an ASCE Symposium, you have missed an incredible event. From Student competitions of concrete canoe, steel bridge, and others, to being able to host a career fair booth, and even attend professional development activities. I have volunteered as a judge for this event in the past and was utterly amazed at the talent of Students that will soon be entering our industry.
Coming off a remarkably successful CECON in Frisco, planning for the next CECON is already in the works. The theme for the 2023 event is “The Future Is Now” and will be held back in San Marcos on September 20-22. This year’s CECON featured a full lineup of professional development sessions, partnerships with two ASCE Texas Institute Chapters, a motivational keynote by a former NFL player, playing catch and hitting baseballs on a minor league baseball field, a casino night, and a tour of the Dallas Cowboys training facility. If you missed any of these events, than you should definitely attend the next CECON, because I personally cannot wait to see what the committee comes up with next year.
Finally, I want to thank each one of the Members for entrusting me with the guidance of the ASCE Texas Section over the next year, I will do my best to represent the Section in leading the way as being the foremost technical experts in Civil Engineering. Special thanks goes to Past President Patrick Beecher who was a great mentor as I came through the President Elect process. I only hope I can be as much of a great mentor to our current President Elect, Kimberly Cornett.
Travis N. Attanasio PE, CFM, M.ASCE
2023 ASCE Texas Section President
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