Topic: History and Preservation

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To Confront a Climate Change Future, Look to the Past, Author Urges

Ten minutes in the company of Jared Diamond, or spent simply reading one of his books, and you’re bound to come away looking at the world a little bit differently than you had before. The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel” doesn’t just take a systems approach to questions of climate change and sustainability. His approach encompasses no less than the entire history...

Celebrating the Civil Engineering Project That Transformed the Country

The Transcontinental Railroad, one of the great infrastructure triumphs in U.S. history, turns 150 years old May 10. The ASCE History and Heritage Committee is celebrating with the Golden Spike 150th Anniversary history symposia, May 5-6, in Sacramento, CA. Among the speakers is renowned civil engineering historian and ASCE Distinguished Member Raymond Paul Giroux, whose previous lectures highlighted such landmark projects as the Golden Gate Bridge,...

A Blockbuster About a Blockbuster: Structural Engineer Flourishes as Filmmaker

Dilip Khatri didn’t tell a soul. Not at first, anyway. It’s not that he wasn’t excited. It’s just that sometimes pursuing your dreams can be a little … “embarrassing,” Khatri says. “Yeah, it’s kind of embarrassing. “Here I was, 44 years old, I have a doctorate, I’d been working in the engineering industry for 26 years. I had a nice career going, and then people look...

Pittsburgh Section Celebrates 100 Years of Civil Engineering

In September, the ASCE Pittsburgh Section marked its 100th anniversary. Since 1918, members have represented engineering and construction interests for communities throughout western Pennsylvania. That’s an achievement worth celebrating. To kick off centennial celebrations, the Section hosted a gala event, a fancy-dress ball gathering ASCE members together from across the region and region’s civil engineering history. The 100th Celebration Subcommittee also held a centerpiece design competition for...

ASCE’s Oldest Active Member Dies at 104

Robert B. Rhode, ASCE’s oldest active member, has died at 104 in his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. Rhode, P.E., L.S., F.ASCE, leaves a legacy of civil engineering accomplishments both in Duluth and with ASCE. He served as the Duluth Section president in 1953-54 and on ASCE’s Board of Direction as the District 7 director in 1980-82. Age didn’t keep him from remaining active with ASCE,...

Summer Fun: Society Members #VisitASCELandmarks

Many ASCE members are making civil engineering history and heritage part of their vacation plans this summer. In celebration of the Visit ASCE Landmarks campaign, Society members have been posting and tagging photos of their travels to various ASCE Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. There are more than 200 to choose from. Members have repped ASCE from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, with a lot of trips...

Remembering ‘Father of Civil Engineering’

June celebrates the birth of Englishman John Smeaton, the first self-proclaimed civil engineer, often regarded as the “father of civil engineering.” Smeaton was born in Austhorpe, Leeds, England on June 8, 1724. After studying at Leeds Grammar School he was initially trained in law and joined his father's law firm, but left to become a maker of scientific instruments. He was elected a Fellow of the...

Engineer’s Vision for Concrete Canoe Now 30 Years Strong

It’s all how he envisioned it would be. ASCE student teams from across the country – from across the world – will travel to the Colorado School of Mines this weekend. They’ll come in caravans with colorful concrete canoes in tow. They’ll chant and cheer and bang drums. They’ll talk shop and trade ideas and share presentations about concrete mixes so innovative they defy logic. And they’ll take...

Concrete Canoe: By the Numbers

The 2017 ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition celebrates its 30th year when teams convene on the Colorado School of Mines this weekend in Golden, CO. Take a look back on three decades of history, fierce competition, and mind-boggling records. Most All-Time Wins: • UC Berkeley (5) • University of Wisconsin–Madison (5) • University of Alabama in Huntsville (5) Number of Teams to Win National Championship: 11 Number of Official Competitions: 30 Total...

85 Years Strong, George Washington Bridge Still Adds Grace to NYC Skyline

October marks the anniversary of the George Washington Bridge, which was officially opened to the public Oct. 25, 1931. At its opening, the bridge surpassed the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit for the title of longest main span in the world. Spanning the river to link New York City and New Jersey had challenged planners and engineers for decades. In 1888, Gustav Lindenthal proposed a suspension...