November 2018 November 2018 - Page 16

This year’s ASCE convention was held in downtown Denver, Colorado in mid- October and attended by board members Logan Johnson, PE – President and Leland Williams, EIT – Junior Delegate. Located in the Rocky Mountains and steeped in America’s western expansion history; downtown Denver seemed a natural fit to discuss the upcoming changes to The Society, our practice, and our communities. Our 2018 president Kristina Swallow, PE, ENV SP, F.ASCE; called on us as a Society to have the courage to adapt, be open to diversity, and further our opportunities to mentor others. Pres. Swallow reminded us all that we are a “people serving profession”, community involvement is a necessity as our cities densify, projects become larger in scale, and we continue to expand the many networks to move people, freight, and services. Furthermore, as civil engineers we need to adapt to a changing world and its current and future needs. Adaptation to current needs of aging infrastructure, natural disasters, and limited resources; or the need to adapt to the future’s demands, which may include floating, off-world, and smart cities. Looking at the history of Denver’s Union Station, which supported rail legs to Cheyenne, WY and the Transcontinental Railroad; discussing the future of transportation seemed a fitting start to the convention. Keynote speaker Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop TT and responder to the Elon Musk’s 2013 Hyperloop white paper, is an example of transportation innovation and adaptation. The hyperloop system is a high-speed low-pressure capsule that uses passive magnetic