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President’s Message (October 2020)

President’s Message (October 2020)

A message from ASCE Texas Section President Sean P. Merrell PE, PTOE, RAS, F.ASCE (2020-2021)

Wow!!! What happened to 2020?  Between COVID-19, social justice movements, crazy presidential debates, MURDER HORNETS, what else will 2020 give us in its last 2 months!?!?  A year ago, no one thought we would be where we currently are today. Fortunately, the forecasted economic turndown has not hit the Civil Engineering industry yet. But no one knows what to expect over the next year. This is why it is more important than ever to engage in your ASCE Texas community and continue to be an active member of the largest Civil Engineering organization in the world – there is strength in numbers.

This brings me to my focused goals for the next year as your ASCE Texas Section President: Adapt, Achieve, & Advance. We purposefully modeled the symbol for these goals after the logo for the long running television show, Survivor. As an organization, we must help our members Adapt to this new and changing world, whether it is working from home, conducting virtual meetings, or safely adapting to the new norms 2020 has brought to our industry. ASCE Texas Section is developing ways to help our current and future members Achieve success in their careers. This includes the resume bank and job listings in our Career Center, providing technical content and opportunities to present your projects through our technical institutes, or participating in our Legislative Drive-In to advocate for engineering and infrastructure issues with our elected officials. ASCE also provides excellent benefits for members to help Advance their careers. Did you know these benefits include high quality technical webinars, opportunities to network and learn about exciting projects and cutting edge technologies at CECON (our flagship conference for Civil Engineers in Texas), and the outstanding member benefit programs ASCE Global has to offer? To keep you informed, we will highlight all these benefits throughout the next year.

Some of the benefits I enjoyed as an active ASCE Texas Section member is fellowship, networking, and fun I experienced over the past 22 years and look forward too many more years of memories to come. I recall all the fun and exciting trips I made as a student, younger member, and leader in ASCE. After reminiscing with some photos and a map, I discovered I’ve visited two countries, 17 states, and our Nation’s capital. I have received ten-fold back from ASCE compared to what I have put into ASCE. Good luck finding that return on investment in anything else you invest your time in.  In every President’s Message this year I will include a fun photo I took during my ASCE adventures. Below you see me “lifting” the St. Louis Arch during the 2014 ASCE Multi-Region Leadership Conference.

The Texas Section’s Mission Statement is very important to me and I hope it is important to you as a civil engineer and an ASCE community member.

ASCE Texas Section advances our communities through the development of civil engineers as leaders who create a legacy of service through technical proficiency, educational opportunities, and professional advocacy.

Supporting that mission, here’s a sneak preview of what is in store for Texas Section members over the next 12 months:

  • CECON 2020 Virtual: November 4 – 6.  Sign-up now to attend or become a supporter. This is a great opportunity to learn about civil engineering in Texas and beyond, while earning your required PDH’s.
  • The 2021 Texas Infrastructure Report Card (IRC) is on track to be released early next year.
  • The ASCE Texas Legislative Drive-In will be held in the Spring of 2021, concurrent with the Texas Legislative Session. 
  • 2021 will bring about a fresh look to our revised Strategic Plan.
  • Our 7th Annual ASCE Texas–Mexico Student Symposium is scheduled for April 14 – 17, 2021. The Student Symposium has grown in attendance and excitement every year. And, the Symposium Career Fair has become a can’t miss event for employers.

I would not be here today without the support of many important people. Thank you to our volunteers and leaders who serve and give their time to make ASCE Texas the best ASCE Section in the World. And a very special thank you to Past President Susan K. Roth PE, PMP for leading us through a crazy 2020 and for being a bright, guiding light for our organization. I also want to thank the Texas Section staff (Lindsay, Mike, and Jenni) for their hard work and dedication to our profession. Thanks to my gracious employer, BGE, Inc. who has supported me and ASCE for many decades. And last by not least, to my wife Elizabeth and two kids (Sasha and Declan) for supporting me all these years when I spent my weekends and off-hours attending ASCE functions and tending to ASCE related matters. It has been and will continue to be fun because I have your support.

To encourage that support, I invite you to contact me anytime at [email protected]. I look forward to visiting with our members this coming year and learning about the ASCE benefits that mean the most to you.

Remember to have FUN in all you do, 

Sean P. Merrell PE, PTOE, RAS, F.ASCE
ASCE Texas Section President, 2020-2021