The Source Civil Engineering Magazine Civil Engineering magazine takes a fresh approach
President's Note

Civil Engineering magazine takes a fresh approach

By Laurie A. Shuster

After the no-good, very-bad year that 2020 has been, it is highly likely that everyone would like a reset now that 2021 has arrived. Civil Engineering, now in its 91st year of publication, is no exception. In this issue, members will find a number of new departments and refreshed approaches to popular mainstays.

Most notable, perhaps, is that the magazine has done away with its Civil Engineering News section — in print, at least. Does this mean the magazine will no longer deliver the news of the profession — the projects, research, and trends that civil engineers need to know to perform their jobs, boost their careers, plan their businesses, and get the most out of their membership in ASCE? Au contraire.

Civil Engineering’s award-winning staff is now publishing the news in a much more timely fashion on Civil Engineering Source, ASCE’s comprehensive hub for news articles, videos, podcasts, and updates of every variety. The magazine’s news articles can be found sprinkled throughout the site as well as collected at source.asce.org/cemagazine. From the magazine site, you can access content that is updated daily as well as digital versions of past issues. 

In this issue, members will find a number of new departments and refreshed approaches to popular mainstays.

You can also sign up for the Source newsletter, which delivers news from around ASCE and the magazine to your inbox daily or weekly (the choice is yours). The newsletter is powered by an artificial intelligence system that learns which topics interest you most and personalizes your newsletter to your preferences. The more you click, the faster it learns.

In case you haven’t checked in with the Source lately, the print magazine will summarize the most-read and most important online news articles in a new department, From the Source.

Also new with this issue is a one-page infographic, At A Glance, that covers a different topic in brief in each issue, presented in an easy-to-digest format. In this issue, as ASCE prepares its 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, the department enumerates past report cards’ many accomplishments.

Looking for Policy Briefing? That popular department now appears online so that its content can be far more up to date than was possible when it was published in the print magazine. In its place are two new departments focused on career growth: 7 Questions and Wish I’d Known.

Longtime readers may remember 7 Questions from its previous iteration, last published in 2017. This freshly redesigned reboot will cover timely topics of interest to anyone who has a hand in managing the business aspects of a civil engineering practice or department. This issue’s installment focuses on the timely topic of helping teams avoid burnout.

Wish I’d Known is a new mini­profile that asks experienced engineers to ponder one thing that they wish they had known earlier in their careers. It’s a way to allow seasoned engineers to reflect on their careers and offer words of wisdom to the next generation, so it’s located just after Next Step, our advice column for younger engineers, by engineers. This installment of Wish I’d Known examines what one leader wishes he had known before COVID-19 about how effective teams can be when working from home.

Member News highlights recent awards, new fellows, and notable obituaries, which can also be found on the Society News pages of the Source.

And all the magazine’s print content will be available online in a much more user-friendly format than in years past, with an added bonus: You can now easily add your comments on any of our articles.

And of course, there is the biggest change of all: With this issue, Civil Engineering is now being published bimonthly, affording the staff the opportunity to produce both a graphically sophisticated magazine of record for the membership and an up-to-the-minute digital news platform that will reach members wherever they are. Together, the print magazine, digital website, and email newsletter will deliver more fully on Civil Engineering’s mission: to present significant news, events, trends, advice, and innovations of interest to civil engineers of all subdisciplines; showcase the extraordinary, creative, and socially important achievements of civil engineers worldwide; and foster enthusiasm and respect for both the profession and the Society.

This article first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of Civil Engineering as “A Fresh Start.”

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