When the twelve Founders gathered at the Croton Aqueduct on November 5, 1852, and agreed to incorporate the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects, one can only wonder if they dreamed the profound significance and long-lasting impact ASCE would have on the overall development of society. They laid a foundation for what proves to be one of the most prominent engineering societies in the world.
With projects such as the Croton Aqueduct in New York State, civil engineers work to improve the lives of everyone. Simply stated, civil engineers are creative, people-serving and problem-solving leaders who make our lives easier to live from one day to the next.
On June 16, 1981, the ASCE Metropolitan Section unveiled a plaque on the site of ASCE's founding near the southwest corner of Chambers and Centre Streets in City Hall Park. This plaque commemorates 1852 the meeting of this small group of civil engineers that took place in the office of Alfred W. Craven, then the eminent Chief Engineer of the Croton Aqueduct for the City of New York. The Croton Aqueduct Department was located in the Rotunda Building, which no longer exists.
As civil engineering begins a new millennium, the American Society of Civil Engineers not only reflects on the profession's rich heritage, but equipped with this knowledge, ASCE continues to develop flexible, forward-thinking plans for the future of the society and the civil engineering profession.
Today ASCE is a worldwide leader for excellence in civil engineering. With a mission to advance professional knowledge and improve the practice of civil engineering, ASCE is a focal point for the development and transfer of research results, and technical policy and managerial information. Through strategic emphasis in key areas, including infrastructure renewal and development, policy leadership and professional development, ASCE delivers the highest quality publications, programs and services to its worldwide membership, demonstrating a daily commitment to sustaining the profession.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 145,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.
ASCE Mission: ASCE is the preeminent organization representing the civil engineering profession. Its mission is to provide essential value to our members and partners, advance civil engineering, and serve the public good. ASCE facilitates the advancement of technology, encourages and provides the tools for lifelong learning, promotes professionalism and the profession and influences public policy, develops and supports civil engineer leaders, and advocates infrastructure and environmental stewardship
Leadership and Organization: In 2013-2014, the Society’s Board of Direction is led by President Randall S. 'Randy' Over, P.E., F.ASCE, Past President Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S., D.WRE., F.ASCE, and President-elect Robert D. Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE. Executive Director Patrick J. Natale, P.E., F.ASCE, CAE, leads the Society’s 250 staff members. ASCE’s membership is organized into nearly 400 local affiliates, which include 75 Sections, 165 Branches and 147 Younger Member Groups.
Engineering Programs: Each year, more than 6,000 civil engineering professionals contribute volunteer technical expertise that benefits the Society and the profession through participation on ASCE technical committees.
ASCE is an ANSI-accredited standards development organization that produces consensus standards under the direction of its Codes and Standards Committee. The Society established Civil Engineering Certification Inc. (CEC) to support specialty certification academies for various specialties.
The Society has eight Institutes created to serve professionals working within specialized fields of civil engineering, including the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI); the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI); the Construction Institute (CI); the Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI); the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI); the Geo-Institute (G-I); the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI); and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). ASCE’s Technical Activities Committee (TAC) has 10 Divisions and Councils, including Aerospace Engineering, Cold Regions Engineering, Computing in Civil Engineering, Energy, Forensics Engineering, Geomatics, Lifeline Earthquake Engineering, Disaster Risk Management and Pipelines and Sustainability.
The Society’s Committee on Critical Infrastructure (CCI) focuses on areas related to critical infrastructure resilience and established the Building Security Council Inc. to provide a multi-discipline security rating system for buildings and a certification program for building security professionals.
Professional Activities: ASCE is dedicated to helping its members navigate the issues currently affecting the profession, including licensure, ethics, employment, business practices, global principles for professional conduct, career development, community service, leadership and management.
ASCE's Career Connections website benefits both employers and job seekers, and the Society offers a variety of mentoring opportunities through the online eCareer Mentor program and local Section and Branch programs. The annual Engineering Income and Salary Survey tracks trends in compensation, providing salary breakdowns by region, discipline and job level.
In its efforts to transit knowledge to the profession and the public, ASCE publishes the Journal of Management in Engineering, the Leadership and Management in Engineering, the Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction, and the manuals of practice, How to Work Effectively with Consulting Engineers (No. 45) and the Guide to Hiring and Retaining Great Civil Engineers (No. 103).
The Society is also a link in the Order of the Engineer and conducts a Peer Review for Public Agencies program, a Leader Education and Development (LEAD) program and annual community service events. ASCE has a strategic partnership with Engineers Without Borders - USA (EWB), a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works to improve the quality of life in the developing world through the voluntary involvement of engineers and engineering students.
In addition, ASCE strongly supports inclusion of talented civil engineers from diverse backgrounds and values their contributions, skill sets and broad professional experiences. The Society spearheads strategic partnerships with diversity-focused engineering organizations, develops resources for engineers and employers to foster inclusivity in the workplace, and works to maintain active representation of civil engineering in national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) diversity initiatives.
Educational Activities: ASCE developed the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century: Preparing the Civil Engineer for the Future, which aims to elevate the educational prerequisites needed before an engineer can take the licensure exam and practice professionally. As a member of ABET, Inc. the accreditation board for engineering and technology programs, ASCE develops specific program criteria used in the civil engineering and civil engineering technology accreditation processes.
ASCE also supports the formal education of civil engineers through initiatives such as the nationally acclaimed ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Teaching Workshops, which help to develop college faculty into effective teachers, and the Practitioner and Faculty Advisor Training Workshop works to improve the leadership skills of advisors to ASCE’s 281 student organizations. Activities such as the ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition and the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition also offer hands-on design and construction planning experience and the excitement of competing and networking with peers from other colleges and universities.
ASCE's Pre-College Outreach Program increases awareness, understanding and interest in civil engineering among students ( from pre-kindergarten through high school) to help develop a large, diverse population of future engineers and knowledgeable citizens. Through career fairs and other informal educational activities with students, ASCE members volunteer their time providing hands-on introductions to civil engineering, educating young people about the many ways civil engineers are making a positive difference in the world, telling them how they can become an engineer. ASCE supports members in this effort by providing educational resources as well as proven strategies and messaging. Check out information for kids, parents and teachers on the ASCE website, or visit ascevillle.org to learn about our suite of resources: ASCEville, Curious George, Zoom Into Engineering, Design Squad, Building Big, West Point Bridge Design Contest, Career Fair-in-a-Box, middle and high school handouts and much more!
Publications: ASCE is the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering information – producing more than 55,000 pages of technical content each year. The ASCE Publications Division produces professional journals (available both in print and online editions), conference proceedings, standards, manuals of practice, committee reports and monographs under the ASCE Press imprint. The 200,000-entry civil engineering database is available at pubs.asce.org, along with many other resources, including a complete publications catalog and the ASCE Online Research Library (ascelibrary.org), which provides access to more than 650,000 pages of journal articles and proceedings. ASCE also publishes the award-winning Civil Engineering magazine as well as ASCE News and Geo-Strata.
Conferences and Continuing Education: Each year, more than 55,000 engineers earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and/or Professional Development Hours (PDHs) by participating in ASCE’s continuing education programs. ASCE hosts more than 15 annual and specialty conferences, more than 275 continuing education seminars, and more than 250 live web seminars. In addition, ASCE offers customized on-site training, hundreds of distance learning programs (including on-demand, online courses and courses on CD/DVD) and live P.E. Exam Review courses on the web. The Society’s 144th Annual Civil Engineering Conference will be held in Panama, Oct. 7-11, 2014. For more information and a complete listing of ASCE conferences, visit asce.org/conferences.
Government Relations: ASCE is a strong advocate for civil engineering and infrastructure-related issues. The Society’s federal priority issues are clean water, drinking water and wastewater, natural hazards mitigation and infrastructure security, qualifications based selection (QBS) for engineering services; STEM education; sustainable development and sustainable energy use, and transportation. State priority issues are licensing, STEM education, QBS engineering services, transportation, sustainability and infrastructure financing. The Society’s Government Relations office is at 101 Constitution Ave., NW, Suite 375 East, Washington, DC 20001. Call 202-789-7850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Relations: ASCE maintains an award-winning program devoted to enhancing public awareness and understanding of civil engineering and its impact on society. Stories featuring ASCE and its members have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Business Week, the Los Angeles Times, Engineering News-Record, and on National Public Radio, NBC’s Today Show and the CBS Evening News, among many others.
Through its Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, ASCE has become widely recognized for its efforts to engage the public as informed advocates for the renewal and development of America’s public works. ASCE maintains active partnerships with WGBH, the primary producer of science-related programming for PBS, The History Channel, the National Building Museum, and a host of other educational organizations whose programs encompass engineering. ASCE was a founding member of the National Engineers Week coalition.
Honors and Awards: ASCE recognizes members through awards for their commitment and accomplishments in public service, leadership and management. ASCE instituted the OPAL Awards program in 2000 to recognize the lifetime, individual achievements of civil engineers, as well as to showcase the exemplary civil engineering projects honored through the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) awards. Information on ASCE’s more than 80 national awards, including the prestigious Distinguished Membership, can be found at asce.org/pressroom/honors.
International Activities: ASCE is committed to sharing and growing the civil engineering body of knowledge worldwide. The Society serves approximately 14,000 international members, has Agreements of Cooperation with 72 engineering organizations in 59 countries, and supports 15 International Sections and 18 International Groups. ASCE also represents the interests of the U.S. civil engineering community as a coalition member, of such groups as the World Federation of Engineering Organizations and the Pan American Federation of Engineering Associations.
Finances: ASCE is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization with assets of more than $66 million and net assets of more than $45 million. The Society earns its revenue from member dues, publication sales, continuing education courses, conferences, royalties, contributions and investments. The fiscal 2011 consolidated budget for ASCE and its affiliates totals $54 million.
ASCE Foundation: To support the civil engineering profession, the ASCE Foundation has raised more than $23 million since its founding in 1994. The Foundation’s programs include major gifts, and planned giving. As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, all gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible.