ASCE Houston Branch Update
Despite COVID restrictions, the ASCE Houston Branch has successfully remained active and engaged with big plans for the next year. Monthly virtual branch meetings have been well attended throughout the last year with some meetings exceeding previous in-person attendance numbers. Houston members have benefitted from the numerous technical sessions available during these virtual times. Two technical sessions have been offered every month in the weeks before and after the branch meeting as well as several institute specific technical sessions. Some topics covered include an Introduction to Envision Sustainable Infrastructure, the San Jacinto River Authority’s Surface Water Treatment Plant, and a Fire Marshall’s Site Design Rules and Regulations.
The Houston Branch Younger Member Group has struggled to maintain its regular attendance numbers for events, but the committee has continued to plan and offer opportunities for young engineers to connect with their peers. Technical sessions hosted by Shibata Fender Team have been offered quarterly and a Fundamentals of Wealth Management Webinar was hosted by IMG Financial Group. A YM Social Virtual Cooking Experience was also hosted by a Professional Chef from Mexico. Several Younger Members gathered on Zoom to learn how to make authentic Mexican street tacos.
We are encouraged by the downward trend in cases in our community over the past quarter and are thankful that our members all have access to the vaccine. As we continue to monitor the situation and heed state and local government recommendations, ASCE Houston is looking forward to offering a combination of virtual and in-person activities and already has several events on the calendar. For those who prefer the comfort and convenience of virtual events, we will continue to offer virtual technical sessions to provide ample opportunities for our members to continue their education. The YM Committee has planned a bayou clean-up volunteer event for the last Saturday in June with Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The first in-person branch meeting will take place in August as a joint meeting with the Houston Contractors Association (HCA). This joint meeting is held annually and is typically a sold-out event. Also in August, the 34th Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition will be held in Galveston, TX. ASCE Houston has participated in this event as a team for years, recently winning awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Led by the YM committee, ASCE Houston is excited to meet in-person, build an awesome sandcastle, and continue the winning streak.