March 2017 Newsletter Print

Lunch Meeting

: Thurs. March 23, 2017
11:30 AM - Registration
12:00 PM - Lunch
12:30 PM - Presentation

LOCATION: Villa Milano, 1630 Schrock Road, Columbus, OH 43229

TOPIC: Columbus Water Supply and Capital Improvements Program
The City of Columbus Division of Water operates and maintains an extensive water supply system consisting of watersheds, reservoirs, dams, and water treatment plants. Significant capital investments are required to maintain a safe and reliable water supply and to prepare for future water supply needs. This presentation will provide an overview of the City’s water supply system and its Capital Improvement Plan, and will touch on some of the key factors driving capital improvements and the associated projects that are ongoing or planned to address these drivers.
SPEAKER: David J. Opferman, P.E., BCEE, LEED AP — City of Columbus

David Opferman is a professional engineer with more than twenty years of experience. He is currently employed by the City of Columbus Division of Water as Manager of the Technical Support Section, which oversees capital improvements and provides engineering support for the City’s water supply system. Prior to joining the City, Mr. Opferman worked as a consulting engineer focused on the design and construction of water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure for public and private sector clients. He has a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Dayton. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a LEED AP professional, and a member of the Ohio AWWA Technology Committee.

MENU: House salad, lasagna, chef's selection of seasonal vegetable, rolls, spumoni ice cream. Gluten free or vegetarian option available upon request.

CPD HOURS: A certificate for one (1) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour will be issued at the conclusion of the program.

$20 ASCE Member
$15 ASCE Life Member
$10 ASCE Student
$25 Guest (not an ASCE member)

REGISTRATION: Deadline for registration is March 20, 2017 at 4:00 PM. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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President's Report

Central Ohio Section Members:

I want to take a moment and thank all of the volunteers and sponsors who made the Engineer's Week activities possible.  The E-Week joint meeting luncheon is always a well attended event and a great way to network with other local engineering associations.  In conjunction with E-Week, the ASCE Younger Members organized the annual STEM Expo, which had another great turnout.  We also saw the premier of the ASCE film Dream Big.  All of these events had a student outreach component, which is vitally important to promote and provide education about our profession and the importance of STEM.

ASCE's 2017 Infrastructure Report Card was recently released.  An overall grade of D+ was given.  All the more reason for the need to promote and educate as previously mentioned.  We are also sending representatives from our Section to the Legislative Fly-In on March 14-15 in Washington, D.C. to speak to our representatives about the important engineering issues we are facing.

 April 11th is the date of our annual full-day Technical Seminar.  The topic this year is Alternative Transportation.  The Ohio Valley Student Conference, hosted by OSU in April, is coming up quickly.  Let us know if you are interested in helping out as a judge, if you haven't already. 

Please browse our website for MORE information about upcoming events.

Sincerely,  AJ Smith
President – ASCE Central Ohio Section


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The Central Ohio STEM Expo was held on February 25, 2017 at COSI near downtown Columbus. This free event was the 4th Annual STEM Expo and it was able to be presented free of charge because of the generosity of our monetary sponsors listed below. Greater than 500 students attended, along with parents, and completed a number of science, technology, engineering, and math activities. The activities included making cars from food and racing them, battling robots, drones, floating concrete, spaghetti towers, and many more enriching and intriguing activities. The activities were presented by our nearly 40 volunteer STEM activity sponsors from around the Central Ohio area. The sponsors included professional organizations, universities and university student groups, consulting firms, non-profits, and STEM related companies. A complete listing of STEM activity sponsors can be found below.

We want to extend a special thank you to the COSI for providing the room free of charge, for all of their logistical support to make sure event went smoothly, and promoting the STEM Expo in coordination with the Dream Big movie.

This event was coordinated by the Central Ohio ASCE Younger Member Group (with assistance from some Section members). Without their hard work leading up to the event and then on the day of the Expo, none of this would have been possible.

Matt Bennett Evan Mickey
Matt Decker Jennifer Rivera
Jordan Gort Michael Romanello
Phillip Hinson Zach Stolarsky
Patrick Karnes (Coordinator) Scott Tourville
Keith Knuppel Carlos Vazquez
Tom Less Justin Wilkinson
Ben Lloyd Kyle Wrentmore



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2017 Infrastructure Report Card

ASCE recently released the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. The final grade across all 16 categories was a "D+", unchanged from 2013, and reinforcing the need for investment in our nation's infrastructrure.

As noted by ASCE 2017 President Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, there are reasons for optimism, "we’ve proposed some very real solutions. So, the grade is bad, but the good news is we’ve got the [Trump] administration and members of Congress that ran on campaign promises [of] fixing infrastructure. It’s a priority.”

While the total grade was unchanged, seven categories saw an improvement since 2013– hazardous waste, inland waterways, levees, ports, rail, schools, and wastewater.. The highest grade, a "B+", went to the rail sector, while transit scored the lowest at "D-". 

The Report Card, compiled by ASCE's Committee on America's Infrastructure, also identified three key steps in raising the grades:

  1. Our infrastructure is underfunded, so increasing investment across federal, state, and local levels is critical.
  2. Leadership and planning will be required to get public buy-in and create and enact legislation.
  3. As engineers, we need to build sustainability and resiliency into these projects.

ASCE estimates that the nation’s infrastructure needs a total of $2 trillion across the 16 categories through 2025. The Report Card estimates “the cost of doing nothing” would cause a $3.9 trillion hit to the gross domestic product by 2025, $7 trillion in lost business sales by 2025, and 2.5 million lost jobs by 2025.

“As engineers, our members realize that we have an obligation to speak out on issues of public health, safety, and welfare. If we’re not, who is?” said ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith, ENV SP, CAE, F.ASCE. “And it’s really making a difference in terms of changing the conversation. I think now we just need to strike while the iron’s hot. There’s a lot of good discussion taking place on infrastructure. We’ve got to make sure we convert that to action with the new administration and Congress.”

For the complete report card and additional information, visit

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Ohio Infrastructure Report Card

ON the heels of the release of the 2017 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, the Ohio Council of ASCE is planning to update the Ohio Infrastructure Report Card, initially published in 2009. This report serves as an important publicity and advocacy tool to inform state and local legislators, as well as the public, on the standing of our infrastructure. Letter grades are established across 11 categories, not only indicating the current status but also summarizing the needs to bring each category to a respectable level. In the 2009 version, Ohio's composite letter grade was a "C-". View the 2009 report HERE.

Ohio Council is seeking volunteers to assist with this update. If you are interested in assisting this effort to bring attention to our state's infrastructure needs, please contact

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Spring Technical Seminar

Alternative Transportation in Central Ohio

This all-day seminar will examine the growing number of bikeways, shared-use trails and pedestrian access projects that are becoming an increasingly larger portion of public works projects in the greater Columbus area. Topics will include integration of bikeways into urban corridors, creation of shared use paths and bikeways, planning for future trail development, coordination with railway authorities, integration of bus and other public transportation, and multiple example projects recently constructed in Central Ohio.

Click HERE to register.

Earn 6.0 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

Speakers include:

  • John Gallagher, Carpenter Marty (2 Stage Queue Boxes)
  • Brian Hagerty, Stantec (Summit Avenue Bike Lane Improvements)
  • Dan Moorhead, City of Columbus (Bike Lane Design)
  • Richard Behrendt, ODOT (Railway Coordination)
  • Amelia Costanzo & Jordan Whisler, MORPC (Planning & Future Considerations)
  • Michael Bradley, COTA (Bus Route Development & Planning)
  • Michael Blau, Burton Planning Services (Grandview Bikeways and Complete Street Design)

Time - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Who should attend?
Engineers, designers, managers, operators, regulatory professionals, construction managers, and others interested in learning more about current practices regarding alternative transportation.

Registration & payment due by 4 pm Friday, April 7, 2017. Click HERE to register.

Members: $115
Non-Members: $165
Students: $30
Late (after April 3, 2017): $200


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Section Awards

In preparation for the upcoming awards, we are seeking nominations for the categories described below.

OUTSTANDING CENTRAL OHIO SECTION MEMBER - Presented by the Central Ohio Section, this award is presented annually to an outstanding member of the Central Ohio Section. For a list of past winners, click HERE. To nominate an individual, please contact any board member or email General Requirements:

1. Member of Central Ohio Section in good standing.

2. Has made a significant contribution to the Section through participation in the activities of the Section.

3. Promotes a good image of the Section and its members through their participation and example.

OUTSTANDING CIVIL ENGINEER OF CENTRAL OHIO – Presented by the Central Ohio Section, this award is presented annually to an outstanding civil engineer who doesn’t have to be an ASCE member. For a list of past winners, click HERE. To nominate an individual, please contact any board member or email

General Requirements:

1. Practices or teaches civil engineering in Central Ohio.

2. Must have made a significant contribution to civil engineering profession during the last year.

3. One who exemplifies the public image and perception of the civil engineer and its profession.

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The Geo-Institute of the Central Section is planning events to bring geotechnical engineers together for technical sessions and fellowship.

T.H. Wu Distinguished Lecture
Date: Friday, March 24, 2017 - 3:30 PM
Location: The Ohio State University - CBEC Building Room 130, 151 West Woodruff Ave.
Topic: Reinforced Soil Technology: From Experimental to the Farmiliar
Speaker: Dr. Robert B. Holtz is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington. He was awarded the prestigous Terzaghi Lecture Award from ASCE and has authored, co-authored, or editted nearly 300 books, chapters, technical papers, discussions, and reports.
Registration: HERE
The lecture is sponsored by The Ohio State University, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, and co-sponsored by the Central Ohio Geo-Institute Chapter.
Professor T.H. Wu is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University.  The T.H. Wu Fund, endowed on June 24, 2011, promotes excellence in civil engineering by way of lectures by eminent practitioners and academics in the profession.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Korda/Nemeth Engineering, Inc., 1650 Watermark Drive, Columbus, OH 43215
Register Here

Purpose and Background
This webinar provides guidance on the best practices for designing traffic signals. The materials will include guidance on layout of traffic signal indications and structural supports, controller and cabinet setup, intersection safety lighting, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodation. Information will also be offered regarding methods of vehicle detection. A variety of sources will be referenced including the MUTCD, ITE, AASHTO, ADAAG, manuals developed by state highway departments and recent publications on traffic signal design.

Learning Outcomes

You will learn the most important elements to consider in the design of traffic signals, based heavily on the guidance offered by the MUTCD. These elements will include the appropriate placement and arrangement of signal faces, supports, detection, and guidance on the placement of signal equipment and detection for bicycles and pedestrians. Design guidelines will be stated in the context of intersection traffic operations.  You will learn how the controller assembly relates to the traffic signal, and your options for cabinets and equipment.  You also will obtain basic information on controllers, cabinets, and electrical service equipment.

Webinar Benefits
  • Obtain guidance on how to design the layout of a traffic signal under various modes of operation
  • Gain an improved understanding on the placement of traffic-control devices and detection for bicycle and pedestrian traffic
  • Understand the purpose and setup of traffic signal controllers and cabinets
  • Learn the best sources of information on designing traffic signals and signal systems
Webinar Outline
  • Primary signal design references
  • Traffic signals - purpose and warrants
  • Alternatives to traffic signals
  • Traffic control theory - phasing and timing
  • Traffic signal supports
  • Traffic signal heads - placement and arrangement
  • Pedestrian accommodations
  • Bicycle accommodations
  • Controllers and cabinets
  • Signal power and service
  • Signage
  • Intersection safety lighting



Monday, April 17, 2017, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
E.L. Robinson Engineering, 1801 Watermark Drive, Suite 310, Columbus, OH 43215
Register Here

Purpose and Background
Fill soil structures such as embankments and retaining walls are often used to meet requirements of vertical grade separations. Such structure can cause damage to underground utilities and/or adjacent facilities. This webinar discusses the subsurface stresses and deformations due to the fill soil structures of various configurations ranging from trapezoidal embankments to back-to-back walls with or without deep foundations. Particular emphasis is placed on approach embankments for bridge structures. This webinar also discusses the effect the subsurface stresses and deformation on abutments, subsurface utilities, and adjacent structures. The instructor provides suggestions for appropriate geotechnical investigations and mitigation of adverse effects on subsurface utilities and adjacent structures.

Learning Outcomes

  • Become familiar with the subsurface stress distribution theories
  • Understand differences between rigid and flexible loaded masses
  • Learn how to quantify vertical and lateral stresses and deformations
  • Discuss and understand the effects of subsurface stresses and deformations on existing structures

Webinar Benefits
  • Be able to discuss the effects of fill structure on adjacent structures
  • Understand the zone of subsurface zone of interest for evaluation of effect on utilities
  • Be able to identify potential mitigation measures
  • Gain knowledge on how to evaluate subsurface stresses and deformations
Primary Discussion Points
  • Configuration of approach embankments to bridges
  • Stress distribution theories
  • Interaction at the interface of fill and foundation geomaterial
  • Effect of width of loaded area
  • Concept of lateral squeeze
  • Effect of subsurface stresses and deformations on bridge abutments
  • Effect of subsurface stress and deformations on underground utilities
  • Examples of estimated subsurface stresses and strains
  • Suggestions for geotechnical investigations and mitigation measures


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Ohio Valley Student Competition

The Ohio State University ASCE Student Chapter is hosting the Ohio Valley Student Competition (OVSC) April 6 – 8, 2017.  The chapter is in need of volunteers to judge the events.  Students from all schools in the Ohio Valley Region will be in attendance.  If you can volunteer to assist with any of the following events, please contact Paul Meier (  No prior experience is necessary. More information can be found at

Thursday, April 6:
Concrete canoe presentations (2:00 pm-4:30 pm)- 4 judges*

Friday, April 7:
Concrete canoe (8:00 am- 10:30 am)- 4 judges*
Concrete horseshoe and bat (10:00 am-12:00 pm)- 2 judges

Saturday, April 8:
Steel bridge (8:00 am-4:00 pm)-12 judges
Technical paper (10:00 am-12:00 pm)- 2 judges
Environmental (8:30 am- 12:00 pm)- 2 judges

* preferable if available both days

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CAD Class

For the past several years, the ASCE Younger Members Group has been providing volunteer CADD classes for OSU students during the spring semester. Since OSU does not offer much in the way of CADD training, this "class" fills a major gap as an essential skill for the entry-level engineer.

Classes are scheduled every Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 from the end of January through April. This year, OSU has reserved a computer lab to benefit the class.

We are seeking volunteers to offer their CADD expertise to the students to assist the student's in learning this critical skill. This year we are able to offer both AutoCAD and Microstation, so volunteers familiar with both, or either, software is desirable. Volunteers may come to as many or few sessions as they like, but more volunteers allows us to provide more individual attention to the students. Whether you are an expert or a novice, we encourage you to volunteer since everyone can learn some new tips and tricks.

A planning meeting will be held Thursday, January 19 from 5:00-6:30 PM at Platform Brewing, 408 North 6th Street in Columbus. To RSVP, or if you are interested in volunteering and can't attend the meeting, please contact Tom Less at 614-827-6136, or

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The Central Ohio Section of ASCE is in the process of establishing a local chapter of ASCE’s Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI). Our mission is to create an environment to enhance communication among utility and surveying professionals; thereby, improving knowledge among the ASCE members as well as other local professionals of the industry. Our goal is to provide an active database for the members on the state-of-the-art subjects pertinent to utility engineering and surveying via chapter meetings, technical presentations, and workshops. We are currently looking  for members that are willing to take a role in the leadership of this newly forming chapter. Interested members are encouraged to contact Central Ohio Section Treasurer, Firat Sever at 614-901-2235 or

For more information on the UESI, please visit:

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Engineers Without Borders Fundraiser

Charities often search for meaningful – and memorable – ways to show appreciation and build loyalty among their donors.

The same challenge faced a Columbus group whose members are helping a struggling community in Guatemala. Their answer: coffee beans!

The nonprofit in question is the Central Ohio Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA). The chapter is currently partnering with a tiny Mayan village – Las Victorias – that needs a new school for its children.

EWB members give their time and engineering expertise. And the villagers have pledged to provide manual labor for the project. The first phase of construction launches in April.

However, the chapter must raise funds for building materials and on-site construction management.

The group recently concluded a “Friends & Family” fundraising effort, reaching out to acquaintances, relatives, and others. And the campaign team wanted a way to say thanks to generous supporters.

What’s coffee got to do with it?

This is a story that starts with the villagers and brings together coffee producer, importer and roaster.

Las Victorias lies within Guatemala’s renowned Coban coffee-growing region. Village residents often find seasonal work harvesting the beans at nearby farms, includingFinca Santa Isabel, owned by the Valdes family. During a trip in October 2016, the EWB project team met with the estate’s agricultural manager, Luis “Wicho” Valdes.

“After we told him our story, Wicho contacted his primary customer, specialty coffee importer Mercanta,” said Victoria Person, chapter president. “Within weeks, Mercanta generously offered to donate and ship us a 152-pound bag of Finca Santa Isabel green coffee beans.”

The EWB chapter then reached out to Stauf’s, a Columbus-based micro-roaster serving wholesale, retail, and mail-order customers throughout the country.

“Stauf’s has been absolutely fantastic,” said Amanda Engle, the chapter’s Las Victorias project leader. “They are donating their services – storing the green coffee, then roasting and bagging it, with labels, as we need it.”

The custom roast is named Café para la Escuela—Spanish for “Coffee for the School.”

“Another great supporter, Meyer Bennett Creative, gave their time and talents to design a ‘thank you’ note and the label for our coffee,” Engle added. “The Mayan motif they created truly complements the story behind the beans.”

Beans for Bucks

“During our ‘Friends & Family’ campaign, the chapter offered an 8-ounce bag of Café para la Escuela to anyone contributing at least $50,” Person said. “Eighty-five percent of those who responded to the campaign gave that amount, and many donated much more, which was really gratifying.”

However, the chapter needs more donations to reach its Las Victorias fundraising goal of $30,000. And they still have coffee waiting to be roasted and distributed to supporters.

“We are exploring additional ways we can use Café para la Escuela to encourage and reward more donations – including through social media and at events,” said Engle. “The hardworking families of Las Victorias need this school to help lift their children and future generations out of poverty. We want to give them our very best efforts.”


EWB-USAis a nonprofit humanitarian organization building a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equipping leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. EWB-USA members work with local communities and non-governmental organizations in more than 42 developing countries around the world on projects such as water, renewable energy, sanitation and more. EWB-USA has grown from a handful of members in 2002 to more than 16,800 members and more than 668 projects worldwide. TheCentral Ohio Professional Chapter was formed in 2007.

# # #

For more background, or to reach companies and individuals identified above, Contact     Robert “Kelly” Kramer, Phone 614-741-4286, Mobile 678-357-4411,

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Reference Books

The Central Ohio Section bought a number of civil engineering reference books and donated them to the Columbus Main Library for public use. The titles are as follows:
-    Minimum Design Loads (7-10)
-    Design of Marine Facilities for Berthing, Mooring
-    FRP Composite Connections
-    Foundation Engineering Handbook
-    Trenchless Technology Piping
-    Civil Engineer's Handbook of Professional Practice
-    Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures (5-11 & 6-11)
-    Urban Stormwater Controls
-    Municipal Wastewater Plants
-    Structural Steel Designer's Handbook
The books are for reference and can’t be checked out. They are located on the 3rd floor in a special collection area of the main library (north side of building in the half-height stacks).

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Meeting Schedule

Date Topic Group Location Coordinator
 March 23, 2017
Capital Improvements Drivers for the CIty of Columbus Division of Water  ASCE Villa Milano  Michael Navabi
April 20, 2017
UAV (Drone) Applications in Civil Engineering ASCE TBD Bob Kolling, Peter Narsavage
May 18, 2017
ASCE President Elect/Awards ASCE Schmidt's Sausage Haus AJ Smith, Chris Nye
June, 2017
Planning Meeting All Tommys Pizza Firat Sever
June 23, 2017
Day Event
21st Annual Golf Outing ASCE Darby Creek Golf Course Jim Pajk


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