From ASCE Publications
Around the World
ASCE International Partners
News From ASCE
Managing Director, Strategic & International Initiatives
Director, International Relations
Director, International Alliances
Coordinator, International Relations
Volume 22 Issue 2
Continued Collaboration Between ASCE and Mexican, Canadian Partners
ASCE participated in the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City, March 16-22, with ASCE President and water expert Dennis Martenson taking part in a panel discussion, and members of ASCE’s Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) delivering two technical sessions and four short courses. The participation had been coordinated through ASCE’s partnership with the Federacion de Colegios de Ingenieros Civiles de la Republica Mexicana A.C. (FECIC) and the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE). These three organizations make up the North American Alliance for Civil Engineering (NAACE). The World Water Forum attracted 20,000 attendees and leaders from the all over the world and aimed to raise awareness on water issues worldwide. The specific focus was promoting the idea that water related problems have the greatest impact at the local level. Outcomes of the forum will soon be available at http://www.worldwaterforum4.org.mx.
While attending the World Water Forum, President Dennis Martenson and ASCE Executive Director Pat Natale also had productive meetings with the ASCE Mexican Section -- discussing the section’s needs in such areas as continuing education -- and with civil engineering students and staff at UNITEC (Universidad Tecnológica de México). At UNITEC, the ASCE leaders made presentations on leadership and certification and licensure of civil engineering professionals. The students asked many questions and showed a keen interest in the way these issues are dealt with in the US.
Martenson and Natale also took part in the NAACE meeting, where attention focused on successful collaboration between the NAACE members, licensure and mobility of civil engineers globally, and possible partnerships in ASCE training courses.
Article summaries on engineering in the global environment
(Note: As a new service to our international members, we plan to summarize selected news articles covering engineering in the global context. To help us provide this service, we welcome your suggestions of articles that you see online. While we will need to focus on articles in English, we could, as time permits, accept articles in the following additional languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Afrikaans. Thank you in advance for sharing information with your fellow ASCE members! Please forward Web article links to Julia Kang (email@example.com).
Note: Some links to the original articles remain valid only on a temporary basis, so we cannot guarantee that links will still be valid after delivery of this newsletter.)
“Quality vs. Quantity in Engineering,” by David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, March 3, 2006—The trend of outsourcing engineering and science jobs overseas and stories of huge graduating classes of engineers in China and India has instilled job insecurity in some U.S. students considering an engineering career. However, a study at Duke University says that some of those fears are unjustified, reports Inside Higher Ed. It has often been quoted that China graduates 600,000 engineers per year, India 350,000, and the US only 70,000. At first glance, that raises alarms in the US about the future of American engineering jobs when US companies can hire engineers overseas for less money. Look a little closer, the article says, and the Duke study finds that comparing the numbers can be misleading. For example, China includes motor mechanics and industrial technicians in the engineering category, whereas this is not the case in the U.S. Also, almost half of India’s students graduate with a subbaccalaureate, according to the article. In addition, the US maintains an advantage in `engineers per capita. According to the report “Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate,” the U.S. awarded 758 degrees per million citizens, China 497 per million, and India 199 million, Inside Higher Ed reports. It is not about quantity, the Duke study emphasizes, but about quality. The report classifies engineers two ways: “dynamic” and “transactional.” Transactional engineers generally have less than a bachelor’s degree and perform repetitive tasks. The transactional “engineers” are those in danger of losing their jobs to outsourcing, not the higher-quality graduates of many US engineering schools, reports the Inside Higher Ed article.
“Outsourcing Is Climbing Skills Ladder,” by Steve Lohr, The New York Times, February 16, 2006—According to a study by the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Washington, DC, an increasing amount of corporate research will be done in countries with fast-growing economies and strong education systems, such as China and India, reports The New York Times. The study suggests that the flow of higher-skill labor to foreign countries will grow substantially as these countries increase their capacity for high-level scientific research and the quality of their science and engineering education. According to The Times, the survey found that lower labor costs are a consideration and tax incentives have a negligible effect, but the primary consideration for most companies is the increasing level of science and engineering talent in emerging markets and their proximity to universities and research centers. There is no monopoly on brains or education, the article notes.
“Re-engineering Iraq,” by Glenn Zorpette, IEEE Spectrum, February 2006—Sixty billion U.S. dollars have been pledged for Iraqi reconstruction since the war in Iraq began, and $5.7 billion has gone to restoring the country’s electrical system, reports IEEE Spectrum, but Baghdad still only gets six hours of electricity a day. The attacks on the electrical system by the insurgency has been a major cause of slower progress in advancing the power system, and engineers and their teams are risking their lives daily to get the work done. Reconstruction money is being allocated to five main areas: security/justice, electricity, water, oil, and a combined category consisting of everything else. In some areas, only 6-9 hours of electricity is available. In other regions, there is actually more electrical power available now than before the war, says the article. Many argue that electrical scarcity is the major roadblock in the way of economic and social advancement. More power would mean air conditioning on hot summer days, more cooking, and accessibility to news through television, radio and the internet. Iraqis apparently agree. A recent poll among Iraqi citizens found that inadequate electricity was a top concern, the article reports, but there is a long way to go. The country’s 35 power plants with their 173 generating units can reliably produce about 5000 MW at peak periods. That does not come near to meeting peak demand estimated at 8845 MW last summer. According to the article, that demand is expected to be 10 000 MW next summer.
“The Globalization of Engineering,” by Russel C. Jones, William S. Butcher, Jane Chu Prey, ASEE Prism, Summer 2005—At the Third Annual International Colloquium on Engineering Education held in Beijing, about three hundred engineers from around the world shared their ideas in three areas—continuing education and its delivery, international recognition of qualifications, and engineering education reform. Attendees noted that continuing education needs to broaden the knowledge of engineers, providing more than technical education, the article says. The environment, ethics, societal needs, and international issues have to be part of the mix. Access to online degrees, certificates, and credentialing options were cited as important, as well as customized learning experiences that meet current needs. Engineers in developing countries require this up-to-date learning to improve the competitiveness of their nations. Regarding international qualifications to practice, the free mobility of engineers between countries remains a major concern and many aspects have not yet been resolved. Assessing engineering programs in a consistent way would help in establishing mutual recognition of minimum qualifications that are needed to practice in other countries, notes the article. As for education reform, interestingly US and Chinese speakers at the colloquium noted the same issues—globalization, liberal arts, entrepreneurship, and relationships to the world. According to the article, the engineer of the future needs to not only solve the problem directly but also understand the context of the problem. Taking into consideration the social responsibilities involved in the solution will make the practice of engineering much more complex in the future.
From ASCE Publications
When you receive your March 2006 issue of ASCE News, you'll find a message from ASCE president Dennis R. Martenson, P.E., DEE, F.ASCE that provides a summary of the Society’s current international involvement, emphasizing capacity building, partnerships with international engineering organizations, and services to members residing outside the U.S.
Around the World
Sustainable Engineering Development in Africa
The first Sub-Sahara Africa conference has been organized to explore how sustainable engineering projects designed to meet UN Millennium Development Goals will be implemented. The primary focus will be on problems specific to communities in Africa, such as water and sanitation, healthy and shelter. Engineers Without Borders—International is co-hosting this event. More information is available at www.ewb-international.org/ASAP06.htm.
From the Agreements of Cooperation Societies (AOCs)
The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM), presents Brownfield Asia, September 5-7, 2006. Brownfields are abandoned industrial facilities where redevelopment is very difficult due to contamination. These sites have been increasingly common in Asia due to the rapid economic development at the expense of the environment. Learn more at
The Association of Civil Engineers - Spain (AIC) is mourning the loss of their beloved president, Clemente Saenz Ridruejo. Clemente was chosen as an ASCE Honorary International Fellow for his dedication to the profession. The ASCE members and staff who have worked with him shall remember him with great affection.
From the ASCE International Groups and Sections
The India International Section, in association with the ICE (UK) Eastern India Chapter, brought together a large gathering of experts who participated in a panel discussion on “How Far Kolkata is Prepared for Highrise Buildings.” It was pointed out that Kolkata, like the rest of India, is experiencing a rise in real estate investments. Increased presence of high rises may lead to problems, such as fire safety, ground water lowering, sewage and power supply issues, and soil conditions. Others argued that Kolkata could handle high rises if they were designed and built properly. For additional information, contact C.R. Dutta at
Establish an ASCE International Group—International Groups are formed to provide civil engineers in other countries with opportunities to organize activities related to the profession. The main purposes of a Group are to promote technical and professional development of ASCE members residing or visiting a country through meetings and other forms of communication, through study of local engineering practice, and through contact with ASCE World Headquarters; to achieve closer personal acquaintance and spirit of cooperation among engineers; to cooperate with other local engineering societies in matters of common interest; and to assist in attaining the objectives of ASCE.
The Society currently has Groups in 14 countries: Brazil, India, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the UK. ASCE International Sections (Groups can evolve into sections) are found in Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Mexico. If you are interested in forming an International Group in your country, please contact Julia Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
ASCE International Partners
Transparency International, in conjunction with other organizations leading efforts against corruption in international business, recently held a discussion on U.S. Ratification of the United Nations Against Corruption. The importance of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in the Bush Administration’s global anti-corruption agenda and its key provisions were discussed. More information can be found at
Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC)
The next ACCEC Executive Committee (ECM) will be hosted by the Mongolian Association of Civil Engineers (MACE) in June of 2006. Information about ACECC can be found at www.acecc.net and detailed meeting information can be obtained by emailing the ACECC Secretariat at email@example.com
Institution of Civil Engineers, UK (ICE)
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE) and ASCE are hosting the Triennial Conference in London July 3-4, 2006. Among the ASCE speakers: ASCE Past-President, William (Bill) Henry, who will speak on “Ethics and Anti-Corruption Initiatives”; Henry James Hatch, ASCE International Activities Committee Chair, who will speak on “Civil Engineering Issues in the Millennium Development Goals – US Viewpoint”; Dr. Russell C. Jones, Chair of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations Committee on Capacity Building, who will speak on “WFEO: Capacity Building Initiatives”; Professor Erick VanMarcke, Princeton University and Chair of the ASCE Council on Disaster Risk Management (CDRM), who will address “Natural Disaster”; and ASCE President Dennis Martenson, who will serve as a Session Chair. Further information on the conference can be found at
News From ASCE
Win Great Prizes by Recruiting Members for ASCE
The United Arab Emirates Section was named the Top Section in the international zone for its recruiting efforts in the 2005 Member-Get-A-Member Drive.
You or your Section could be next. Start recruiting members today! Remember, each person you sponsor that joins ASCE earns you an entry into quarterly prize drawings. Help your colleagues discover the professional benefits of ASCE membership and how it can contribute to their success. For more information or to start recruiting, visit www.ascedrive.org
It’s Not too Late to Renew Your ASCE Membership
Membership dues were due January 1. Members who have not renewed by paying their 2006 dues will be placed in arrears at the end of March and will lose the valuable benefits that come with their ASCE membership.
If you have not renewed, you can do so online at www.asce.org/renwal
or by calling (703) 295-6300.
Message from the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute (SEI)
Due to the high cost of mailing Structure magazine to our many international members, ASCE’s SEI cannot send hard copies, but as a service to our international members, the Structural Engineering Institute is pleased to provide archived and current issues of Structure magazine online at
www.structuremag.org/archives.htm If you wish to access older archived issues dated to Nov./Dec. of 2002, go to www.seinstitute.org click on the Members-Only button in the blue banner, select "Structure Magazine Online", then enter your ASCE member number and last name in lower case letters.
We hope you will enjoy easy access to your professional magazine online!
Inspirational Stories of Women Engineers
The field of engineering has traditionally been associated with men. Slowly, this perspective is changing. A look back in history will show the important contributions made by women. The Extraordinary Women Engineers Project Coalition (EWEP) recently released the book Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers by Sybil Hatch. To purchase a copy or to learn more, please go to
ASCE Annual Conference in Chicago
The ASCE 2006 Civil Engineering Conference & Exposition, “Surviving the Future,” will take place in Chicago, Illinois, at the Westin Chicago River North Hotel. The international activities are scheduled for October 18-19 and the main program will occur from October 20-21. The ASCE Annual is a special occasion for the civil engineering community to celebrate its accomplishments and honor its members. ASCE is proud to host the Executive Council meeting of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). For more information and letters of invitation for visas, please contact Julia Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPADI - Pan American Convention of Engineers
ASCE and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), who represent the United States in the Pan American Union of Engineering Organizations (UPADI), have joined together with the Georgia Institute of Technology to present XXX Pan American Convention of Engineers, UPADI 2006 (September 19–22). The convention is still welcoming proposals from speakers on various topics, including economic development, global ethics, education, free trade and sustainability. If you are interested in being a presenter, please contact Mike Sanio at email@example.com Additional information can be found at
XXX UPADI 2006 is featuring a paper contest for undergraduate students. Papers must focus on an engineering design problem or topic similar to that in a senior capstone design class. Up to 25 papers will be selected for a 15-minute oral presentation and a poster presentation. Papers will be selected by a panel of professionals from UPADI and Georgia Tech. For complete information on the contest, please go to
The 2006 Global Construction Summit (April 25-27) will be held in Beijing, China. The event will draw senior executives from leading real estate developers, contractors, design firms, financiers, and government agencies around the world. They will share best practices and brainstorm solutions to problems in the increasingly global $4.2-trillion construction marketplace. ASCE is a supporting organization for the conference. Go to
2006 India Conference
An International Perspective on Environmental and Water Resources, a conference organized and sponsored by ASCE’s Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, will be held in New Delhi, India, December 18-20, 2006. This conference will cover a wide variety of topics related to water resources and the environment. While technical sessions will include topics on both developed and developing countries, much of the focus will be on water resources and the environment in developing countries, especially in Asia. Participants, including paper presenters and attendees, will include engineers, scientists, and planners from all over the globe. The two and a half day conference will include a plenary session; concurrent technical tracks; followed by closing roundtable discussions. The conference will also include social and networking events as well as tours of Delhi. Post conference tours to Agra and Jaipur will also be made available for participants.
For a complete listing of conference topics, visit the conference website at
The deadline for abstract submissions was January 6, 2006.
Attention Student Members: ASCE Membership Dues Available at a Discount!
Upon graduation, you are eligible for discounted dues from ASCE for 5 years to help you make the transition to the workforce and advance in your career (see
https://www.asce.org/membership/memdues.cfm). You may be eligible to receive an additional discount depending on which country you reside in, based upon World Bank World Development Indicators. Check here to see if you qualify for the extra discount https://www.asce.org/membership/intlmemdues.cfm
Mondialogo Engineering Award
Mondialogo is continuously looking for students to apply their engineering knowledge to improving living conditions in developing countries. Students from the fields of engineering and technology are invited to form international project teams and to jointly develop and submit ideas and solutions that:
- Help advance the technological infrastructures of developing countries
More information about the contest can be found at
SUBMIT ARTICLES for the June issue!
Please send us current news and events from your institution and be sure to include a URL, email address or links to articles on engineering in the global environment. Articles should be sent to Julia Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 28, 2006.
Learn More About ASCE Internationally and Our Partners