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Pittsburgh's Civil Engineering News Blog

  • 25 Jun 2015 8:28 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    From ASCE-National

    ASCE is proud to host U.S. Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE) at the next Key Contact Call, Finding the Fix for the Highway Trust Fund, on Thursday, June 25 at 3:00 P.M. EDT. Senator Carper, has been an ardent supporter of finding a long-term solution to fixing the Highway Trust Fund and serves on both the Senate Committee on Finance and Committee on Environment and Public Works, two key instruments for shaping policy and securing a long-term transportation bill. ASCE encourages all members in the transportation sector (and anyone who uses the roads!) to call in and hear how Congressional negotiations over America’s federal highway system are going and how you can help #FixtheTrustFund before the clock runs out on July 31st. To participate in this Key Contact Call, please RSVP here-; the dial in for the call will be 1-800-832-0736*2342642#

    For the latest information on America's infrastructure issues, visit

  • 24 Jun 2015 7:33 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Article by Sam Shamsi

    Continuing education and lifelong learning are important parts of a Civil Engineer's career development and licensing requirements. Canon 7 of ASCE's Code of Ethics states that:  

    "Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers, and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision."  

    "Engineers should keep current in their specialty fields by engaging in professional practice, participating in continuing education courses, reading in the technical literature, and attending professional meetings and seminars." 

    The November 2014 issue of ASCE Civil Engineering Magazine published an interview with Hatch Mott MacDonald CEO Nick DeNichilo, P.E., M.ASCE, on the importance of continuing education.  (7 Questions by David Hill).  In this interview, Mr. DeNichilo stated that:

    "With so many technical changes occurring at such an accelerated rate, engineers who don’t keep pace and don’t take continuing education seriously will, quite frankly, become obsolete."

    "Engineers who are committed to continuing education and lifelong learning will be far more successful than those who are not."

    ASCE-Pittsburgh is a strong advocate of continuing education and offers ample continuing education opportunities to its members at a discounted price.  ASCE-Pittsburgh Continuing Education Committee offers 3 continuing education seminars each year for approximately 12 professional development hours (PDH).  Other ASCE-Pittsburgh committees and institutes offer additional continuing education opportunities throughout the year.   All events are advertised via email to Section members and are posted on the “Calendar of Events” on the Pittsburgh Section Website  These events easily exceed the 12-15 PDH per year requirements.  Please make sure we have your correct email address and visit the Pittsburgh Section Web site regularly to benefit from our continuing education opportunities.

    ASCE-Pittsburg Continuing Education Committee Page provides links to various ASCE Webinars.  Use promo code WEBPISEC to get the Pittsburgh Section preferred rate!

    For information on PDH requirements for Pennsylvania professional engineers, visit ASCE-Pittsburg Continuing Education Committee Page at and select the link for “Continuing Education Made Easy Article Series.”

    For additional information or to get involved in ASCE-Pittsburgh Continuing Education, please contact:

    Sam Shamsi, PhD, PE, F.ASCE
    Chair, Continuing Education Committee

  • 18 Jun 2015 9:51 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Article by Djuna Gulliver

    Mayor Fetterman welcomes conference attendeesOn May 5, 2015, the Environmental Water Resource Institute Chapter (EWRI) of ASCE-Pittsburgh and Sustainable Pittsburgh came together for the 7th Annual Sustainability Conference.  The conference was a series of seminars focused on “Practical and Innovative Solutions for Creating Sustainable Communities.”  The theme of the day was how Pittsburgh could revitalize its efforts to promote a sustainable future.

    What better place to hold a conference about city revitalization than the nearby neighborhood of Braddock. Braddock was once a vibrant city of 20,000 residents that has since fallen to 2,500 residents after the collapse of the steel industry. But with the motto “Reinvention is the only option,” Braddock is on a revival, led by public figures, such as Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, and innovative local companies, such as Braddock Farms and Fossil Free Fuel.

    Councilman O'Connor presenting on plans for his districtThe all-day conference was held in Mayor Fetterman’s residence, and had a line-up of engineers, educators, and policy makers presenting forward-thinking initiatives. In the opening seminar, Councilman Corey O’Connor discussed city plans that would benefit his diverse district, from Squirrel Hill to Greenfield to Hazelwood. Plans include an outdoor grocery store, new library, and spray park in Hazelwood. Councilman O’Connor discussed his strong support for linking the Pittsburgh communities, and called the new Bike Share program, “A great way for the public to get around our city.” And, of course, there was mention of the much talked about demolition and rebuilding of the Greenfield Bridge, or as Councilman O’Connor called it, “The bridge that catches the crumbling bridge.”

    The keynote speaker, Erin Molchany, Southwest Director for Governor Tom Wolf, presented on the new budget proposal for the Commonwealth. “This budget is bold, this budget is risky,” she stated. “It’s really an exciting proposition.” The budget focuses on community and economic development, aiming to rebuild the middle class by investing in education, decreasing the tax burden of homeowners, and developing jobs that pay. The budget accounts for incoming funds by removing about 35 sales tax exemptions. The budget also calls for a severance tax on the Marcellus Shale industry, as Pennsylvania is the only state that does not currently collect such a tax. “This budget really does invest in the people and the commonwealth,” said Molchany.

    Amy McCrae-Kessler, EVP and Head of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for Turning Earth, LLC, spoke about a novel process that utilizes organic waste to create both methane for energy and compost for agriculture. Organics, which represent around 30% of municipal waste streams, are integrated into a single reactor that first undergoes anaerobic digestion for methane production, followed by aerobic composting. The addition of composting in the same reactor reduces odor issues. Kessler states that implementing this type of technology will result in four sustainable jobs for every one job in a landfill.  “Those are high quality jobs that aren’t going anywhere,” says Kessler. “You can create businesses and opportunities by doing the right thing for the environment.”

    Dr. Walker presenting on the sustainable Eden Hall campusDr. Peter Walker from Chatham University, presented on the new Eden Hall Campus in Richland Township. The self-sustaining campus is powered by geothermal and solar energy, recycles stormwater and utilized water, and plans to provide food that is entirely onsite-farm-to-table. All campus buildings meet LEED-platinum standards, and built below the treeline to ensure a grand view of the 388-acre plot of land atop a bluff. “If you think in a place with big views, you think big ideas,” says Dr. Walker. The campus is currently home to the Falk School of Sustainability. Dr. Walker claims that building the physical campus was the easy part; the tough part will be building a social structure and developing a vibrant campus community. “The first group of students are really going to be pioneers,” he says.

    The 7th Annual Sustainability Conference closed with a panel discussion with Michele Acitelli of PennDOT, Natasha Ozybko of FORTA Corp, Chris Sandvig of Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), and led by Gregory Scott of Buchart Horn.  This diverse panel group discussed a range of infrastructure challenges, such as incorporating equals amounts of design and engineering to ensure optimal benefit for the overall public.

    Sina Arjmand presenting his student posterStudents from Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh had the opportunity to display their research posters during breaks. A total of five posters were displayed ranging in topics from modeling of urban water demands in Los Angeles, California to potential environmental impacts of Shale Gas wastewater treatment. 

    Breakfast and lunch was catered by Kaleidoscope Café, and after the conference, attendees were treated to beer from Brew Gentlemen. Conference attendees were encouraged to bring a donated item for Freestore 15104, a Braddock non-profit that redistributes everyday goods to neighbors in need.  Mayor Fetterman thanked conference-goers for the “Christmas pile” of donations that crowded one side of the room.

  • 15 Jun 2015 6:53 PM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    From ASCE This Week in Washington

    Members from around the country visited ASCE’s Washington, D.C. office this week as part of the official launch of the State Advocacy Captains program. A total of 13 members from 11 states attended a day-long training session to learn in-depth information about the government relations program at ASCE and the efforts on ASCE’s strategic priorities at the state level. Region 9 State Government Relations Committee member Ken Rosenfield and Region 5 State Government Relations Committee Corresponding Member Nedra Davis assisted in the training program. State Advocacy Captains are meant to build a bridge between action at the state capitals and ASCE’s State Government Relations Staff as well as promote Section and Branch advocacy activities at the state level. 

    Pictured left to right: Shane Binder (WA), Ken Rosenfield (CA), Andrew Feranda (NJ), Mojgan Hashemi (CA), Tonya Mellen (FL), Ernesto Longoria (KS), Maria Matthews (ASCE Staff), Patrick Lach (IL), Gabby Briffa (PA), Ravi Shah (CA), Caleb Hing (TX), Seth Spychala (MN), Kat Gurd (GA), Nedra Davis (LA), and Aaron Castelo (ASCE Staff)

  • 11 Jun 2015 8:37 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Article by Leanne McConnell

    This past April, students from the South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM) participated in a Civil Engineering Professional Mentoring session with the Pittsburgh ASCE Section at the SHIM facility in Brentwood, PA.  The session explained and demonstrated fundamentals of civil engineering. ASCE members recommended what students should do to work towards entering the civil engineering field.

    The discussions were then followed by a hands-on activity called "The Cardboard Beam."  This activity included having the students break into groups and produce a cardboard beam that had to be designed following certain parameters. The beam to be long enough to span across a paint bucket, but students were only allowed a specific amount of material.  Each beam was tested by attaching a water jug with string to the center of the beam and adding water. Once the water jug connected to the beam hit the bottom of the bucket, the beam failed and the amount of water in the jug was recorded.

    The teams worked together to conceptualize a design and then make it a reality. At the end of the activity, the students had an open discussion stating their successes and things they could improve next time.

    The students who attended this session are the first from their families to consider pursuing professions that require a college degree or continued education. The mentoring program aims at offering opportunities to students that their parents and grandparents never had. The students use these sessions as a resource to understand unfamiliar professions and requirements. The mentoring program also gives students the opportunity to ask professionals questions and for advice. Together, ASCE and SHIM were able to provide exposure to civil engineering as a viable career option and offer resources to obtain further professional development in the field of engineering.

  • 08 Jun 2015 8:04 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Article from EWRI-National

    Image from shows hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources and identifies important vulnerabilities to drinking water resources.

     WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing a draft assessment today on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources in the United States. The assessment, done at the request of Congress, shows that while hydraulic fracturing activities  in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water. The assessment follows the water used for hydraulic fracturing from water acquisition, chemical mixing at the well pad site, well injection of fracking fluids, the collection of hydraulic fracturing wastewater (including flowback and produced water), and wastewater treatment and disposal [].

    “EPA’s draft assessment will give state regulators, tribes and local communities and industry around the country a critical resource to identify how best to protect public health and their drinking water resources,” said Dr. Thomas A. Burke, EPA’s Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “It is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date, including over 950 sources of information, published papers, numerous technical reports, information from stakeholders and peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports.”

    EPA’s review of data sources available to the agency found specific instances where well integrity and waste water management related to hydraulic fracturing activities impacted drinking water resources, but they were small compared to the large number of hydraulically fractured wells across the country. The report provides valuable information about potential vulnerabilities, some of which are not unique to hydraulic fracturing, to drinking water resources, but was not designed to be a list of documented impacts. 

    These vulnerabilities to drinking water resources include:

    • Water withdrawals in areas with low water availability;
    • Hydraulic fracturing conducted directly into formations containing drinking water resources;
    • Inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below ground migration of gases and liquids;
    • Inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources;
    • Spills of hydraulic fluids and hydraulic fracturing wastewater, including flowback and produced water.

    Also released today were nine peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports (  These reports were a part of EPA’s overall hydraulic fracturing drinking water study and contributed to the findings outlined in the draft assessment.   Over 20 peer-reviewed articles or reports were published as part of this study []. 

    States play a primary role in regulating most natural gas and oil development. EPA’s authority is limited by statutory or regulatory exemptions under the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Where EPA’s exemptions exist, states may have authority to regulate unconventional oil and gas extraction activities under their own state laws.

    EPA’s draft assessment benefited from extensive stakeholder engagement conducted across the country with states, tribes, industry, non-governmental organizations, the scientific community and the public to ensure that the draft assessment reflects current practices in hydraulic fracturing and utilizes all data and information available to the agency.

    The study will be finalized after review by the Science Advisory Board and public review and comment. The Federal Register Notice with information on the SAB review and how to comment on the draft assessment will be published on Friday June 5, 2015.

     For a copy of the study, visit  

     To submit comments on the report, see

  • 04 Jun 2015 10:14 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Article by Emily Feenstra, ASCE-National

    Now in its 3rd year, Infrastructure Week is a national week of high-profile events, media coverage, focused advocacy, and other efforts around the country to build momentum for revitalization of America’s economic competitiveness through rebuilding American infrastructure. Led by groups representing America’s business, labor, and policy-making leadership, Infrastructure Week convened an unprecedented, broad, non-partisan, coalition united around the message that investing in infrastructure is Investing in America’s Economy.

    Monday kicked off with Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the heads of the AFL-CIO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others addressing business and policy leaders at Bloomberg Government in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Infrastructure Week Steering Committee. The day included discussions on infrastructure financing, and events in Pennsylvania and Ohio. On Tuesday the discussion continued with events on public-private partnerships and regional planning, but the message of Infrastructure Week took on an unexpected urgency after an Amtrak train derailed outside of Philadelphia

    Wednesday morning, scores of advocates, mayors, state legislators, labor and manufacturing leaders gathered in front of the Capitol and held a press conference demanding Congress take action. Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood reminded the crowd that Congress is failing to display vision and courage, and we shouldn’t wait for another bridge to collapse or transportation catastrophe. National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO delivered the perspective of American manufacturing, and LiUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan echoed that messaging from labor’s perspective. Throughout the week, advocates, mayors, state legislators held more than 300 meetings with congressional offices about the need for long-term infrastructure investment. With non-stop coverage of the Amtrak accident, media attention for Infrastructure Week spiked. As Infrastructure Week events across the country continued on Thursday and Friday, the media story became about more than the specific Amtrak derailment. Outlets from CNN and NPR to the Daily News and New Yorker started covering the broader lacking infrastructure investment in the country. 60 Minutes, the number one rated news program in the U.S., even announced that it will re-air its segment “Falling Apart,” which originally ran in 2014.

    The message of Infrastructure Week was always about addressing challenges facing U.S. infrastructure, to demand we move beyond short-term fixes and deferred maintenance. But just a day after the fatal Amtrak derailment, Congress still voted to slash funding for Amtrak. Meanwhile we inch closer to a bankrupt Highway Trust Fund and Congress is poised to pass the 34th short term extension of highway funding in six years. We need to move beyond the “patch and pray” funding that we’ve accepted for far too long. It is time for innovative solutions, technologies, policies and investments that will bring America’s aging infrastructure into the 21st century.

    The core Steering Committee of Infrastructure Week is comprised of the following organizations:

    • AFL-CIO
    • American Society of Civil Engineers
    • Brookings Institution
    • Building America’s Future
    • National Association of Manufacturers
    • U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    Quick Stats and Summary:

    • 92 Affiliate organizations spanning the public and private sectors, manufacturers and financial services firms, labor groups and planning organizations, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. (IW14 had 30)
    • 47 events around America, including 25 events in Washington, D.C., and ~20 events in states and on the web.
    • 27 Mayors flew in to Washington, D.C. to take the issue to Members of Congress – including Mayors Bill De Blasio (New York City), Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City), Ralph Becker (Salt Lake City), Tom Tait (Anaheim), Frank Cownie (Des Moines, IA)
    • 80 mayors participated in district
    • Infrastructure Week hill efforts achieved more than 300 meetings with House/Senate Members/offices
    • Engagement on twitter established 41 million impressions using #RebuildRenew and #InfrastructureWeek
    • Participation from the Vice President of the United States (launch event), U.S. Secretary of Transportation (launch event and multiple events across the country throughout the week), Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez (multiple events), Senate and House leadership, House T&I committee leadership, Senate EPW Committee leadership, and more.

    Cities/States with IWeek events (multiple events in some cities)

    • Phoenix, AZ
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Sacramento, CA
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Chicago, IL
    • Indianapolis, IN

    • New Orleans, LA
    • Boston, MA
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • Las Vegas, NV
    • New York, NY
    • Harrisburg, PA

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • Memphis, TN
    • Arlington, VA
    • Seattle, WA
    • Cleveland, OH

    Social Media Summary

    #RebuildRenew 4,871 Twitter mentions by 2,385 users, leading to 22 million impressions

    #InfrastructureWeek 4,081 Twitter mentions by 2,239 users, leading to 19 million impressions

    Wednesday’s online Rally to Rebuild America reached more than 800,000 impressions on Facebook

    Word cloud of what people were talking about using each hashtag:

    Geographic Engagement

    Map of IWeek Events (multiple events in some states)

    Map of Mayoral Participation Red = 27 Mayors flying into Washington, D.C. Blue = 80 Mayors participating in District 

    Infrastructure Week 2015 Affiliates

    • 1776
    • Airports Council International
    • All Aboard Florida
    • Allegheny Conference on Community Development
    • Alliance for American Manufacturing
    • Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure
    • America’s Natural Gas Alliance
    • American Action Forum
    • American Association of Port Authorities
    • American Association of Retired Persons
    • American Automobile Association
    • American Concrete Pavement Association
    • American Highway Users Alliance
    • American Institute of Architects
    • American Iron and Steel Institute
    • American Planning Association
    • American Public Transit Association
    • American Traffic Safety Services Association
    • American Trucking Associations
    • Association for Commuter Transportation
    • Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure
    • Association of American Railroads
    • Baker McKenzie
    • Bipartisan Policy Center
    • Bloomberg Government
    • Business Forward
    • Carnegie Mellon University
    • Capital Region Water
    • CDOTS
    • Center for American Progress
    • Center for Transportation Excellence

    • City of Philadelphia Water Department
    • Cleveland Water Department
    • Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors
    • Colorado Contractors Association
    • Colorado Municipal League
    • Common Good
    • Competitive Enterprise Institute
    • Council of State Governments
    • Covington and Burling
    • DC Pace
    • Dow Water and Process Solutions
    • Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority
    • ENO Center for Transportation
    • George Mason Center for Transportation P3 Policy
    • Georgia Transportation Alliance
    • The Hamilton Project
    • HNTB Companies
    • Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress
    • Infrastructure USA
    • International Bridge, Tunnel, and Tolling Association
    • Innovation NewsBriefs
    • LiUNA
    • Los Angeles Metro
    • McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute
    • Metropolitan Planning Council
    • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
    • Miller Center at the University of Virginia
    • Minnesota Transportation Alliance
    • National Association of Counties
    • National Association of Railroad Passengers
    • National Association of Regional Councils

    • National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
    • National Center for Public Private Partnerships
    • National Council of State Legislatures
    • National Electrical Contractors Association
    • National Governor’s Association
    • National League of Cities
    • National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association
    • NationSwell
    • New Jersey Future
    • The Northeast Maglev
    • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
    • Nossaman LLP
    • Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
    • Parsons Brinkerhoff
    • Regional Plan Association
    • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
    • Siemens
    • Smart Cities Council
    • Squire Patton Boggs
    • Transportation For America
    • Trucking Moves America Forward
    • Traffic21
    • U.S. Travel Association
    • University of California Luskin School of Public Affairs
    • University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics
    • Urban Ingenuity
    • Value of Water Coalition
    • Vision Long Island
    • West Coast Infrastructure Exchange
    • Young Professionals in Transportation

  • 19 May 2015 7:23 PM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    From SAI Consulting Engineers, Inc.

    SAI Consulting Engineers, Inc. is the recipient of a highway industry award from The American Society of Highway Engineers Mid-Allegheny Section -- the 2014 Outstanding Highway Engineering Award (projects greater than $2,500,000) for the S.R. 0028-164 Slabtown Bridge Replacement and Baum Curve Improvements for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 10-0.  The award will be presented to SAI, the contractor, and the owner at the association’s annual awards presentation on May 14, 2015.

    SAI is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based civil and structural consulting/engineering firm that specializes in the design, inspection, and construction management of transportation projects for state, county, and local governments as well as private clients.

  • 14 May 2015 8:29 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    2015-2018 DIRECTORS

    William Confair, PE

    Bill is a Structural Engineer in AECOM’s Pittsburgh office. Bill has been dedicated to serving the Pittsburgh Section since 2006 when he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown where he served on the ASCE Student Chapter Board for two years. He has been an active member of the Pittsburgh Section Younger Member Forum (YMF) as Treasurerand received National ASCE recognition as the winner of the Practitioner Advisor of the Year Award for 2014. 

    Linda Kaplan, PE

    Linda is a Bridge Engineer in Gannett Fleming’s Pittsburgh office. She has been very active in numerous aspects of the Pittsburgh Section beginning with her student days at Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), where she served on the Student Chapter Board, through her most recent role as President of YMF. She has served as Practitioner Advisor since 2010, and was recognized by Eastern Regional Younger Member Council (ERYMC). She has chaired the Section Communications Committee and most recently volunteered to serve as Section Webmaster, a role that helped move the Section from paper to electronic communications.

    Matthew Castiglia, PE

    Matt is a Project Engineer at Buchart Horn’s Pittsburgh office. He served the Pittsburgh Section as Chair of the 2010 YMF Fundraising Committee and is currently serving as the University of Pittsburgh Student Practitioner Advisor, a position that he has held for the past four years. Under his leadership the Student Chapter selected a new faculty advisor and together they led the Chapter back to prominence, winning the 2013 ASCE Outstanding Student Chapter award

    DIRECTOR FOR 2015-2017 (to fill Patrick Sullivan’s position)        

    Sam Shamsi, PhD, PE

    Sam is a Wet Weather Practice Leader with Jacobs Engineering in the Pittsburgh area. He has chaired the Continuing Education Committee for the past two years, revitalizing that group and organizing several informative and well-attended seminars. He is currently exploring a partnership with Red Vector to offer even greater CEU opportunities to section members. He was recognized as the Distinguished Civil Engineer of the Pittsburgh Section in 2012 and conducted a web-based seminar on Green Infrastructure Mapping and Modeling Tools for CSO and Stormwater in 2013. He was Civil Engineer of the Year, ASCE, Pittsburgh, 2007, and became an ASCE Fellow in 2005.

    2015-16 OFFICERS

    PRESIDENT ELECT – Patrick Sullivan, PE

    Pat is a Principle at Civil and Environmental Consultants in Pittsburgh. He has served the Pittsburgh Section as Chair of the Program Committee for the past two years. In that role he organized and coordinated the program for the Fall Kick-off Banquet in 2014, and the programs, speakers and awards for the 2014 and 2015 Engineers Week Banquets. As Master of Ceremonies for these events, Pat kept the programs lively and on schedule, engaging the audience throughout. Pat has shown the level of commitment to the Pittsburgh Section that makes him an ideal candidate for President Elect.

    PRESIDENT – Cathy Bazan-Arias, PhD, PE

    Cathy is a Senior Engineer at DiGioia, Gray & Associates in Monroeville, PA. She has served the Pittsburgh Section as Section Newsletter Editor, Geotechnical Institute Chair, the Education Committee Chair, and was liaison to Engineers Without Borders mentoring a project in Mali. She has also served on the ASCE National Board of Directors, served as Geo-Strata Lead Editor and is completing her term as President Elect of the Pittsburgh Section.  She is a past ASCE National Diversity Champion and Pittsburgh Section Young Civil Engineer of the Year Awardee.

    SECRETARY – Coreen M. Casadei, PE

    Coreen is a Principal with Collective Efforts, Civil and Environmental Engineers, in Pittsburgh. She has served as Section Executive Secretary since 2011 and has accepted the nomination to continue to serve in this crucial recording and correspondence position for another term.

    TREASURER – Robert W. Dengler, II, PE

    Bob is a Project Manager in Gannett Fleming’s Municipal Services Group in Pittsburgh. He has served as Section Treasurer since 2011 and has accepted the nomination to continue to serve in this position for another term.  Among his duties he continues to maintain and disburse the Section’s funds.

  • 07 May 2015 7:43 AM | ASCE Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Article by ASCE-PGH Awards Committee

    Robert J. Christian, P.E., BCEE is the 2014 ASCE-Pittsburgh Government Civil Engineer of the Year. Mr. Christian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a Master’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) as recognized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers specializing in Water Supply and Wastewater.

    Agua Fria River DistrictMr. Christian was previously employed by USFilter/Veolia Water performing industrial wastewater treatment service. He later joined Arizona American Water as an Engineering Project Manager, where he was responsible for capital projects for Arizona’s Agua Fria Water District. In 2008, he was promoted to the position of the Operations Support Manager.

    Mr. Christian joined the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) in 2013, where he is currently the Director of Engineering and Construction. He has twenty years of experience in the water/wastewater industry, both in consulting and utility management. His most notable accomplishments include:

    • “UNSUNG HERO” Award recipient for outstanding performance as project engineer while with USFilter, for a project involving chemical recovery and industrial wastewater treatment.
    • Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) implementation while with Arizona American Water. Arizona was the first State within the American Water Family to complete the implementation of the CMMS program for all water/wastewater districts.
    • Finalist for the Arizona Furnace Accelerator Program pitching for venture capital to establish the company “Ultratrace.” Ultratrace was a startup concept licensing technology from the Arizona State University to commercialize a product that provides in-situ continuous groundwater sampling.
    • Member of Senior Management Team implementing change at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

    Mr. Christian resides in Squirrel Hill with his wife Paula and their children Amber, Lauren, Grace, and little Bob. He also is an active member of the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society, which he originally joined as a teenager. Returning to Western Pennsylvania, Mr. Christian once again enjoys rooting for the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, plus the great local fishing, boating, and hunting.

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