Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania

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ASCE Pittsburgh’s Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute Chapter has Launched!

APRIL 2021

“Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Hello UESI Members and Friends,

I am happy to announce that the Pittsburgh Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI) Chapter has officially launched! And what a time to start this endeavor! I am Alma Rettinger and I will be serving as the UESI Pittsburgh Chair in the upcoming year.

We are starting our Chapter at a time when infrastructure initiatives are in the spotlight with last week’s release of President Biden’s proposed national infrastructure spending bill. ASCE Pennsylvania is also gearing up to grade the condition and performance of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure this year, which received a C- grade in 2018 due to the poor conditions of aging drinking water mainlines, deteriorating bridges and roadways, and the severe conditions of the sewer and wastewater systems. The discussion of how to improve our infrastructure remains not just relevant but important. So this is an opportune time for our Chapter to focus not only on the current condition of our infrastructure, but also to highlight the transformation in the way our industry has been addressing infrastructure projects with innovation, and with improved risk and asset management tools.

Members across different organizations and professions have been adapting over the years to deal with the urgency of replacing aging infrastructure, responding to damages from natural disasters, and doing so with limited funding. As a whole, we are working towards improving the way we deliver projects, building towards resilience, and ultimately putting funding to better use.

ASCE’s Civil Engineering magazine Editor in Chief Laurie Shuster said last year that “the future is going to be increasingly integrated, with one field informing and influencing another.” And I believe that these coordinated efforts among multiple disciplines will continue to be a critical aspect of UESI and for the successful planning, positioning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and management of utility infrastructure. With the goal of working together with the diverse group UESI represents and with our founding officers, Vice Chair Kate McKinley, PLS, and Secretary-Treasurer Ashwin Ranna, EIT, I am thrilled to be bringing UESI’s mission to our region!

In the short-term, we have already gained positive momentum. During the recent months, we have been planning our upcoming kick-off event scheduled for May 13, 2021. We are partnering with NUCA-PA and several co-sponsoring organizations to deliver a virtual symposium on “Leading the Way to Smarter Utility Engineering Design & Construction Damage Prevention”. This event will bring together stakeholders to discuss Utility Conflict Management, subsurface utility engineering in accordance with ASCE 38, and the future and direction of the industry. We invite you to Join Us at our upcoming event and be part of the discussion.

We hope to continue the momentum throughout our future Chapter activities! I encourage you to join the Pittsburgh Section (if you are not a current member), follow us on LinkedIn, and check for updates on our website. We will use these platforms to inform our members of upcoming events, activities, and relevant news. I also invite you to share your unique perspective on the industry as we plan for the future of our Chapter.

Whether virtual or in-person, I look forward to seeing you soon! And when we can gather again, we hope we get a chance to meet you all and say hello.

Happy spring and let’s enjoy this fresh outlook!