ASCE Philadelphia YMF Members,
I’ve recently been reflecting back to the year of 2012 which happened to be a year where things for me changed for the better. In 2012 I participated in my first ASCE YMF event as a young professional which ultimately led to me being appointed to the Board for the 2012-2013 term. As someone who was introverted and shy, taking a position on a board of any kind wasn’t of interest to me, but I just happened to be around people who were like-minded, passionate about civil engineering, had similar undergraduate experiences, and were genuinely nice and welcoming and that was what opened my mind to the idea of joining the YMF Board. I realized that it isn’t just the opportunities to network or acquire PDHs that bring young engineers out to YMF events, it’s also the personal connections and relationships they form. With that, I pledge to make new connections throughout the year, as well as encourage the Board to do the same.
As civil engineers, we need to think about the future of our industry and the next generation of engineers who will need to develop innovative ways to update and maintain our transportation system, progress sustainable designs, and improve our subsurface infrastructure. One effective way to ensure that our industry acquires talented young engineers is through outreach. Growing up in the City of Philadelphia and going through the public school system, I know first-hand that opportunities to learn about technical careers are not always readily available in school and so I believe each of us, as civil engineers, owes it to the youth as well as our industry to donate at least a couple of hours per year to student outreach. In doing so, we can help spark an interest in students who know very little about civil engineering or help guide students who want to be engineers but don’t know where to start. Through the diligence of the YMF’s K-12 Outreach Chairs, Civil Engineering Club Chairs, and volunteers, we have greatly expanded our K-12 outreach efforts and maintained a successful Civil Engineering Club; however, these initiatives rely on volunteer support and so I respectfully ask that when you’re presented with the opportunity to be a volunteer, you think about what a couple of hours a year could do for the future of civil engineering and commit to at least one outreach event.
Thinking back to when I was an undergraduate civil engineering student at Widener University, I know I didn’t take full advantage of the YMF and so throughout my time on the board I have focused a lot of my efforts on the college students and helping them realize the benefits of ASCE and the Philly YMF prior to graduation. My goal has been to educate students on how participating in ASCE on the collegiate level AND locally through the YMF can lead to a more enriching college experience and, for a large number of students, a somewhat seamless transition into the workforce. With ASCE National making strides to ensure student members transition into professional members, I am committed to continue to work with the students alongside the College Contact Chairs so that transition continues to happen.
I am very pleased with the leaders that the 2016-2017 board is comprised of and I’m looking forward to serving the membership with them. I also look forward to seeing you out at our events and meeting some of our new members. Please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or any member of the board with any questions or suggestions you may have or simply email us through the YMF website.
This organization would not be successful without the support and participation of its members and for that I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. Additionally, I’d like to express my gratitude to our past president, Chris Renfro, for your leadership through what seemed to be a year of many changes and upgrades; our mentors, Kazi Hassan, Chris Gray, and Drew Sirianni, who have continued to make themselves available to us; and the Philadelphia Section and ASCE National for their support.
Kevin Brown, EIT
ASCE Philadelphia YMF Members,