Topic: Innovation

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The Road to the Future of Transportation

Could you imagine a world without transportation? Probably not. That’s because the built world we live in wouldn’t be possible without it. According to ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, U.S. roads carried people and goods over 3 trillion miles in 2016 alone – or more than 300 round-trips between Earth and Pluto. As our population grows, the need for pioneering solutions does too. Today, we’re amid exciting times...

Tap Into Your Innovative Side

“Engineers need to be the stars of innovative projects and practices, not the politicians.” This was an idea shared at a brainstorming session at the Multi-Region Leadership Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, on how we can advance ASCE’s strategic goals. The quest to make engineers the stars of innovation is something ASCE champions through the Grand Challenge, which looks at improving resilience, innovation, life-cycle costs,...

Does America Need a Pyramid?

ASCE Life Member Daniel L. Dornan, P.E., M.ASCE, is a special assistant to the director of the Prince George’s County (MD) Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement, a department he helped develop and launch in 2013. Prior to joining the public sector in 2012, Dornan served as a management consultant for 36 years with several major consulting firms, including KPMG, AECOM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Booz...

Stanford Professor Named Distinguished Member

Kincho H. Law, Ph.D., Dist.M.ASCE, an exceptional researcher whose work is both theoretically novel and practically useful, has been named to the 2017 class of ASCE Distinguished Members for pioneering innovations in applying computational and information sciences to many civil engineering issues, ranging from wireless sensing for structural monitoring and control, and the management of regulatory information for compliance and analysis, to wind farm...

Reinforced Concrete Construction Innovator Named Distinguished Member

James O. Jirsa, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, NAE, a teacher, researcher, and engineering society leader, has been named to the 2017 class of ASCE Distinguished Members for his contributions to the development of reinforced concrete construction through research, mentoring, and professional activities, and in particular to the fundamental understanding of bond and anchorage in concrete and their impact on seismic design. Jirsa has contributed significant new...

Three Keys to Attracting Investors to Your Innovation

The brilliant minds behind this year’s ASCE Innovation Contest winners are now trying to solve their biggest challenge – how to win over investors. It’s a harsh reality, but having a brilliant breakthrough is only half the process. Maybe not even half. It’s an entirely different challenge to bring that idea to market. Fortunately, the ASCE Innovation Contest can help. The contest serves to showcase promising...

How a Business Accelerator Can Bring Your Idea to Market

For many entrepreneurial engineers, failure is part of the business. Forbes estimates that 90 percent of startups fail, many of them before the business even has the chance to fully launch. While failure before success often comes with the building of oneself as an entrepreneur, smart engineering entrepreneurs have used business accelerators to help get their ideas off the ground. In this edition of ASCE...

10 Tips on Innovation from ASCE’s Innovation Contest Winners

To satisfy the growing demands of evolving societies, civil engineering must innovate. Yet "innovation" defies a clear definition. How do innovations come about? How can they be inspired? From the winners of ASCE’s first Innovation Contest, here are 10 insights: “Innovation doesn’t always have to make sense. It may not make complete sense at first, the idea that you have in your mind, but it can lead to...

Avoid Being Stung by Einstellung

The Einstellung Effect – where the German word means “approach” or “way of doing something” – refers to trying to resolve an issue, problem, or opportunity only by using approaches that have worked in similar situations, rather than looking at each new situation on its own terms. This narrow, habitual, and left-brain dominated tendency, which is illustrated below, inhibits creativity and innovation. Another term for...

Overcoming the Obstacles to Innovation

Issues with the Flint, MI, water crisis and Washington, DC’s metro service show us that now, more than ever, innovation is required to reinvent our approach to sustainable infrastructure. Introducing innovation inherently presents several obstacles for organizations and businesses to overcome. Whether the source of the obstacle is funding, technology, manpower, or operations, DC Water’s CEO and General Manager George Hawkins, Esq. believes innovation is...