National ASCE President visits Alabama Section Summer Meeting

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The leader of the nation’s oldest engineering society met with members and students of the Alabama Section and several local public officials during a visit to Alabama’s Gulf Coast on July 19 to 22, 2016.

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Mr. Mark Woodson, 2016 President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), made a much‑anticipated visit to the Gulf Coast Region of Alabama to speak at the ASCE and American Public Work Association (APWA) Joint Summer Meeting in July 2016.  The Executive Board of the Alabama Section of ASCE established a robust and interesting itinerary for Mr. Woodson to provide him with the maximum possible exposure to civil engineering successes, opportunities, and challenges in Alabama. On July 20, Mr. Woodson toured the Airbus A320 facility, a $600-million, 53-acre manufacturing plant, at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley Field. Also during his time in Alabama, Mr. Woodson was able to conduct multiple key leader meetings with the City of Mobile, the City of Orange Beach, and Baldwin County local officials.  Mr. Woodson participated in a roundtable discussion

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Mr. Woodson’s Presentation to the Alabama Section on July 21, 2016. (Click on image to view .pdf)

at University of South Alabama that included members from the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Mobile Area Water & Sewer System, the Alabama State Docks (Port of Mobile), the Associated General Contractors of America, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, and the Mobile Chamber of Commerce.

On July 21, Mr. Woodson delivered the keynote address to the Joint Summer Meeting for ASCE and APWA. Mr. Woodson’s speech focused on ASCE’s strategic initiatives, which include Sustainable Infrastructure, Raise the Bar, and the Grand Challenge.  Mr. Woodson also updated the audience on ASCE’s Failure to Act initiatives and the status of the upcoming 2017 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Following his speech, Mr. Woodson participated in multiple events throughout the conference. He presented the 2015-2016 Alabama ASCE Student Civil Engineer of the Year award to Ms. Yasmeen Arafeh of University of Alabama at Birmingham, which included a $4,750 scholarship. Mr. Woodson also assisted in swearing in new ASCE Alabama Section officers for 2017, Mr. Frank Summers, Vice President, and Mr. Alan Parker, President-Elect.

Shelia Montgomery Mills, President of the Alabama Section of ASCE, noted the following about Mr. Woodson’s visit:

“It was a great pleasure to have a sitting ASCE president visit Alabama and attend our Section meeting as many of us were afforded the opportunity to spend more time with Mr. Woodson than what has been possible at any other ASCE event that he has attended.  I enjoyed learning more about how his home branch and section of ASCE operate, what he has learned while visiting many other sections and branches, his insights from those experiences, and how we might use that knowledge within the Alabama Section.  I personally wanted to learn more of what it has been like for Mr. Woodson to serve at the highest levels of ASCE and was thrilled when he freely took time to share his thoughts.  Mr. Woodson made the 2016 Summer Meeting special for many attendees.  He was a great guest to have with us, an inspiring keynote speaker, and thoroughly enjoyable while on his many adventures with Section Leadership.”

The Alabama Section of ASCE is very grateful to Mr. Woodson for setting aside time from his busy schedule to visit with ASCE and APWA during the Summer Meeting and for his open engagement of our students, members, educators, and local officials.  ASCE looks forward to hosting Mr. Woodson and successive ASCE Society Presidents in our great state in the near future. 

The Alabama Section of ASCE represents more than 1,600 members of the civil engineering profession in 67 counties. The recently released 2015 Report Card for Alabama’s Infrastructure was showcased and discussed in-depth during his visit, which covered the assessment of the conditions and performance of the Alabama’s infrastructure, including roads, dams, schools, and transit systems.

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Meeting with Orange Beach officials.

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Meeting at University of South Alabama and local officials.

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Mr. Woodson presenting to the Summer Meeting attendees.

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