President's Message

March 2021


Dear Members,

I hope everyone is doing well and was able to find a way to celebrate and recognize the amazing accomplishments of our colleagues during Engineer’s Week with me! Spring is on the horizon and brings with it hope of a return to normalcy.  The days have been getting noticeably longer, the weather seems to be improving and the Covid-19 case counts continue to drop.  I am optimistic that the worst may be behind us, but caution against becoming complacent in our habits and planning of events.  ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith provided an update on the Society’s commitment to working and meeting virtually through June 30th.  The Pittsburgh Section is following the Society’s lead and will reevaluate the ability to resume in-person events this summer.  Be patient, be diligent, and be safe!

Section Awards

Typically, we would have celebrated E-Week with our annual banquet and awards ceremony.  However, like most events this past year, we are celebrating the achievements of our honorees virtually. I ask you to join in the unique experience and share in congratulating our 2020 award recipients.  I hope that you all have been able to enjoy the content that has been shared on our social media platforms.  All of this was made possible by the hard work and dedication of the Programs Committee and Communications Committee.  I thank them for another outstanding job to provide a safe and accessible program!

Section Board Nominations

Our organization is able to provide value to its membership because of the help of our amazing volunteers. The Pittsburgh Section is seeking nominations for the positions of President-Elect (Vice President) and three Directors (2021-24 terms).  Nominations are being received by the Nominating Committee through March 15th.  Please give serious consideration to this opportunity to contribute to the future leadership of the Pittsburgh Section and submit your nominations (for yourself or someone else) by March 15th to the Nominations Committee Chair, Sam Shamsi, at

Infrastructure Report Cards

I am looking forward to the release of the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure coming next Wednesday, March 3rd in a virtual press conference that you can attend. The overall GPA grade from among 17 categories always attracts media notice, and this year’s release will come at an opportune time, as the new Biden administration seeks to make infrastructure investment a key to its economic recovery program. It is also time to begin preparing the 2022 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure. The Pittsburgh Section is actively looking for professionals and students interested in preparing the 2022 Report Card. Volunteers will work on teams of engineers from across the state to gather background information for each of the report’s categories from professional societies, non-profit associations, and local, State and Federal agencies. Anyone interested should contact the Section’s Government Relations Committee chair, Greg Scott, at

Diversity & Inclusion

I also want to highlight the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Justice and Systemic Racism Speaker Series that has been presenting research and providing educational programs that align with a couple of the Section’s goals this year.  The Mapping Inequality Project provides publicly accessible versions of redlining maps.  On Thursday, March 4th at 12:00 EST the first part of the five-part series kicks off. These are important issues we need to consider as civil engineers and planners. To register or learn more, please visit: If you are interested in bringing these topics to our region, I encourage you to contact me about participation in the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

In closing, I thank you all for supporting ASCE as an engaged member, and applaud each of the 2020 Society, Region 2, and Pittsburgh Section Award winners.  Please contact me anytime at if you want to become more involved by participating on the board or on a committee. 


Jonathan Shimko


ASCE – Pittsburgh Section

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