ASCE to focus on lessons learned from natural disasters

Oct. 21, 2005
With another hurricane bearing down on Florida, highlights of ASCE Civil Engineering Conference 2005, Oct. 27-29 in Los Angeles, include response to Hurricane Katrina, Asian earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami...

HOUSTON, TX, Oct. 20, 2005 -- With Hurricane Wilma skirting the Yucatan peninsula and its northern edge already cutting across Cuba well past the Florida Keys, the American Society of Civil Engineers announced the program for its upcoming convention highlighting natural disasters, America's infrastructure and emergency preparedness.

Highlights follow:

Lessons Learned -- Hurricane Katrina: How Civil Engineers Must Lead
Thursday, Oct. 27, 5:45 - 7:00 p.m.
Members of ASCE's Hurricane Katrina assessment teams, along with other
industry experts, will present first-hand accounts of the disaster's impact on the Gulf Coast, including the storm surge, coastal damage and levee performance. A panel discussion on the role of civil engineers in the recovery, reconstruction and mitigation, moderated by former ASCE President Thomas L. Jackson, P.E., F.ASCE, a New Orleans resident, will follow. Jackson will provide a personal overview of the situation in New Orleans and then lead the panelists in an open and frank discussion on what form the rebuilding efforts should take and civil engineers role in leading the charge. Panelists will include: Marc L. Levitan, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE, Hurricane Center, Louisiana State University; Peter G. Nicholson, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, Nicholson Geotechnical and Associate Professor, University of Hawaii; and Scott L. Douglass, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, Coastal Transportation Engineering Research and Education Center, University of South Alabama.

Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Symposium
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
At this special pre-conference event, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will release its Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Assessment Report on the damage to lifelines in Thailand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and South India caused by last year's earthquake and tsunami. Sponsored by ASCE, the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE), the Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute (COPRI) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), a distinguished panel of experts will present information on the general
science and impact to lifeline facilities caused by the disaster. Presentations will focus on the report findings as well as additional information on Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan.

Disaster Risk Management Symposium
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Two panels of experts from the public and private sectors will discuss the effects of recent hurricanes, lessons learned from the Asian earthquake and tsunami, and how the Port of Los Angeles addresses major risk assessment issues.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Global Principles for Professional Conduct
ASCE, working in partnership with other engineering organizations, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, The International Federation of Consulting Engineers, Transparency International and the World Bank, has jointly developed principles and guidelines for ethical practice in the procurement and production of engineering work.

Key sessions include:
-- Reactions to the Principles and Guidelines -- ASCE President William P. Henry, P.E., F.ASCE
-- How the New Principles and Guidelines can Mesh with the Efforts Against Corruption--panel discussion moderated by Lt. Gen. Henry J. Hatch, P.E., Hon. M.ASCE, U.S. Army (ret.)
-- Anti-Corruption and ASCE: Are We Ready To Lead?--Ralph Peterson, P.E., M.ASCE, president, CH2M Hill
-- What Now for Meeting the Challenge?--panel discussion moderated by Joe D. Manous, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE
-- Conference Keynote Address: Expanding the Fight Against Corruption--Alan L. Boeckmann, chairman of the board and CEO of Fluor Corporation, and chair of the World Economic Forum's Engineering and Construction Task Force Partnership Against Corruption Initiative

Friday, Oct. 28, 9:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
The Visionary Leaders Forum concentrates on the personal visionary
experiences of leaders in the civil engineering profession. The keynote
luncheon speaker will be Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antewerp, U.S. Corps of

Conference Sessions, Friday, Oct. 28, 2:00 - 5:15 p.m.
Tour, Saturday, Oct. 29, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Southern California's port systems contribute billions to the national economy while enduring substantial infrastructure burdens, including traffic congestion, air pollution, public health impacts and homeland security threats, among others. This forum will address the future of Southern California's infrastructure, which will need to be upgraded and expanded over the next generation to continue to support local and national economic concerns.

Land and Sea Transportation Tour includes: The Port of Los Angeles terminal development, main channel deepening, rail and freeway improvements and waterfront commercial development; the Port of Long Beach Ocean Boulevard interchange; and the Alameda Corridor, approximately 17 miles of railroad express lines.

Conference Sessions, Friday, Oct. 28, 2:00 - 5:15 p.m.
Tour, Saturday, Oct. 29, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Water Forum will explore leading edge water projects that are proposed
to meet Southern California's water needs for the future, including coastal
water protection, watershed planning and treatment, and groundwater

-- Los Angeles County Water Supply and Water Quality Projects Tour includes:
The City of Long Beach Desalination Plant; proposed sites for the Sun Valley
Watershed Management Plan; and the City of Santa Monica's dry weather
urban runoff facilities.

-- Orange County's Water Supply and Water Quality Projects Tour includes: The
Santa Ana River wetland restoration; the City of Irvine's water reuse; Orange
County's reclamation and groundwater replenishment system; and a series of
projects comprising the Southern California Integrated Watershed Program.

Founded in 1852, ASCE ( represents more than 137,000 civil engineers
worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. The Society
celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002.

In other ASCE news:
-- Dam safety coalition calls for support of dam rehabilitation, repair legislation -- RESTON, VA, Oct. 20, 2005 -- While the nation watched nervous officials in Taunton, Massachusetts, monitor several dams nearing failure after the weekend's extreme storm event, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) this week urged support for the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act of 2005 (H.R. 1105), legislation that would create a federal funding program to repair the nation's unsafe public dams. Introduced by Representative Sue Kelly (19th District-NY), the bill would begin to address the thousands of public dams that threaten lives and livelihoods in communities across the country...


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