Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute

  Pittsburgh Chapter

Message from the Chair


“Imagining something may be the first step in making it happen, but it takes the real time and real efforts of real people to learn things, make things, turn thoughts into deeds or visions into inventions.” Mr. Fred Rogers

Dear UESI Members and Friends:

Happy Engineers Week!

This week brings a flurry of activities dedicated to raising public awareness of the positive contributions that engineers bring to the community. Last weekend, the Pittsburgh Section kicked off EWeek by celebrating the Region’s notable future engineers, people, projects, and employers at the annual Engineers Awards Banquet. The lighthearted and festive atmosphere seemed to boost the sense of pride and ownership among the teams and individuals that were being recognized for their dedication and hard work. The evening not only celebrated achievements of the award recipients, but it also emphasized what I believe we do every day in our profession: strive for excellence, innovation, and solutions to everyday problems. 

When it comes to infrastructure, a civil engineer’s 'everyday problems' can quickly escalate to ‘prime time’ when they shift to center stage - just as they did with the tragic news of the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse last month. Talks of our infrastructure’s condition and performance elevated to deep discussions of urgency and public importance. Leaders continue to be tasked to provide answers on what caused the failure, as well as how can we prioritize and fund other projects to prevent another incident. These questions are often at the root of what motivates our civil engineering community, and this is a time where we can show the significance and relevance of our profession.  It is an opportunity to demonstrate how we can tackle everyday problems with engineering principles, creativity, and innovation.

UESI Pittsburgh strives to nurture the interests of our members, particularly as it relates to the main UESI divisions (risk management, asset management, geomatics, pipelines). However, UESI is not a standalone institute in the areas it serves. Utility engineering and surveying are fundamental to many civil engineering projects and often overlap with multiple infrastructure sectors. So, we continue to collaborate with partner organizations to reflect the interdependency with other disciplines. This year we are partnering with the Professional Society of Land Surveyors for a geomatics field trip in March, and with ASCE Pittsburgh Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) for our asset management seminar in May. The asset management seminar is proving to be timely and will touch on many of the infrastructure topics that are currently under discussion at a local level.

UESI event opportunities include:

    • February 24-25: UESI is joining the Pittsburgh Section technical institutes for  the Carnegie Science Center’s Engineer the Future event to demonstrate principles of structural, geotechnical, water resources, and utility engineering for elementary and middle school students. They are still seeking volunteers to participate in fun 2-hour shifts from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
    • March 8, 3:30 pm: UESI and PSLS are hosting a Joint Field Trip to KAARTA with a social mixer at Emiliano’s. We invite you to join us for a pre-celebratory Global Surveyor's Day excursion to see how robotics technology has evolved to "capture the world outside, bridging the physical world with its 3D digital twin for applications across architectural, geospatial and autonomous robotics applications. 
    • May 12, 9am to 1pm: Save the Date! UESI and Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI) are planning a 4-hour seminar on Asset Management: The Opportunity to Think Differently about Infrastructure. The seminar will feature speakers that will share their insight and strategies to 1) Start and Optimize an asset management program 2) Bridge the gap between data collection & decision making and 3) Improve budget and capital funding with strategic asset management. This will be a hybrid event. Registration and event details will be released by end of March.

We hope to see you soon!

In the spirit of Engineers Week and the upcoming Global Surveyor's Day, I encourage you to showcase your technical prowess and share the passion that drives you to solve your everyday problems.

As always, contact me for input, questions, or feedback.

Alma Rettinger

Chair, UESI Pittsburgh Chapter

P.S. Want a good read recommendation? Check out Building for the American Age: The Pentagon This story was featured in the September 2021 Civil Engineering Journal as a remembrance to September 11. It is, at the core, a historical account of the design and construction of the Pentagon. The author adds texture to the story with details of the decision-making process as well as the intensity of the social-political-economic environment at that time.


The Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI) offers professionals working within the utility, pipeline engineering, and surveying/geomatics communities the opportunity to network with others and shape the future of the industry by participating in technical activities, conferences, and the development of internationally recognized standards. 

Utility Engineering is a branch of Civil Engineering that focuses on the planning, position, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and asset management of any and all utility systems, as well as the interaction between utility infrastructure and other civil infrastructure.

UESI formed in 2015 in response to a growing need to address new and existing utilities through the project development process as an engineering task discipline. Their mission - to deliver value to members and advance utility engineering and surveying professionals.

UESI was established to provide ASCE members with various activities to support their professional and technical growth including technical conferences, involvement in technical committees and UESI Chapters, Development of standards continuing education and Organizational membership.

UESI Pittsburgh Chapter Objective

The Pittsburgh Section UESI Chapter will represent and advance the state of knowledge and practice of utility engineering and surveying by

  • Engaging our local professionals and partners
  • Developing and disseminating technical information to our members in a manner consistent with the purpose and goals of UESI


  1. To be the catalyst in driving development and collaboration of best practice, innovation and emergent technologies
  2. To be the leader for creating, establishing, publishing, supporting and maintaining the professional standards for utility engineers and surveyors
  3. To make the UESI the valuable and useful professional home for every utility engineering and surveying practitioner.

Chapter Officers


Alma Rettinger, PE

McKim & Creed, Inc.


Vice Chair:

Kate McKinley, PG

THG Geophysics Ltd



Ashwin Ranna, PE

Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.


UESI Vision

To become the worldwide leader in generating products and services that promote and reward excellence in the engineering, planning, design, construction, operations, and asset management, for utility infrastructure and engineering surveying.

    UESI Divisions

      • Surveying & Geomatics
      • Utility Risk Management
      • Asset Management
      • Pipelines
      • Standards


    Add Pittsburgh Section to your UESI Membership categories:

    • ASCE/UESI Individual Membership, select UESI as your primary Institute.
    • Institute-only Membership
    • Student Membership
    • UESI Partner or Organizational Membership
    Sign up here.

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