President's Message


Christopher G. Humphreys, PE

It is an honor to serve as the 2015-2016 President of the Louisiana Section of ASCE and I thank the membership for their trust and confidence that allows me this privilege.

Having served multiple terms as a director and then as an officer on the Section Board for the past nine years, I have had the pleasure to work with many outstanding leaders who have selflessly dedicated their time and talents to making our section truly outstanding. My goal will be to live up to the example set by the distinguished men and women who have served before me and continue to serve our membership and advance the profession. This can best be accomplished by facilitating the outstanding board, committees, branches and institutes that make up our section. I look forward to working with the board, branches and institutes to accomplish this goal.

Specifically our membership committee, led by Matt Redmon, PE, for the past several years has made winning the early renewal award offered by ASCE National practically automatic. Our government relations committee, chaired by Joey Coco, PE, recently led efforts to get constitutional amendments 1 and 2 passed by the voters in the October 24, 2015 election. Amendment 1 will move excess mineral revenues from the budget stabilization fund, better known as the “rainy day fund” into a new account that can be used only for transportation projects. Amendment 2 will allow the state treasurer to invest existing state funds into the Louisiana State Infrastructure Bank which then could offer low interest loans to local governments for transportation projects. Many other states have utilized infrastructure banks as a way to increase investment into projects. For example, Georgia has leveraged more than $50 million to support more than $208 million in infrastructure investments. I congratulate Joey Coco and the Government Relations Committee on their significant contribution to this important win for the people of Louisiana and our membership.

Our Publications Committee continues to publish the award winning Louisiana Civil Engineer journal magazine, thanks to many but in particular to the efforts of Nedra Davis, our editor. For several years now, the journal has won the Outstanding Section and Branch Newsletter Award and is the place to highlight significant projects and technical articles. It is distributed to over 2,000 engineers four times a year. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this great resource to publicize your projects or technical publications as well as advertise your company.

Last year our Website Committee, led by Patrick Furlong, PE, completly updated our website to provide news on the section’s leadership and activities, as well as member services such as employment advertisements. I encourage you to visit the website as well as submit news for posting and take advantage of job listings and other features.

Louisiana is a great state for many reasons and one thing we should all be proud of is the significant civil engineering projects in our state. Many of these projects were highlighted in our Centennial Gala celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Louisiana Section in 2014. Our History and Heritage Committee led by Miles Bingham, PE has worked hard to get several of these projects recognized as National Civil Engineering Landmarks. To date, Miles and his committee have documented the innovative design and construction significance of the McNeil Street Pump Station in Shreveport and the Huey P. Long Bridge and Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the New Orleans area which have all been recognized by ASCE National as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. The Committee is close to getting this recognition for the Bonnet Carre Spillway which we hope to dedicate in 2016. There are many other projects in the state worthy of this designation. I encourage everyone to recommend projects to the History and Heritage Committee to highlight the accomplishments of Louisiana Civil Engineers.

It is clear that the Louisiana Section is considered an outstanding section by ASCE National partly for the work of the committees described above. I will work hard to help these hard working, talented groups to maintain this high level of performance. I would appreciate any feedback on how we can serve our members better. I urge everyone to contact me or the board with suggestions, contributions or constructive feedback.

It is also very clear that our members are outstanding and very highly regarded on a national level. If you haven’t heard, our Norma Jean Mattei, PhD, PE is currently serving as President Elect of ASCE National. Next year she will be the second President of ASCE National from the Louisiana Section in the past 10 years, third overall. Previously, Tom Jackson, PE served as National President in 2005-2006 and Walter Blessey was also the National President many years ago. That alone is a huge accomplishment for our section but in addition, just this year two of our members were recognized as Distinguished Members, the highest honor a Civil Engineer can aspire to other than the title of President. This October I attended the National Convention in New York City where the Society recognized thirteen eminent engineers as Distinguished Members. Two of these were Louisiana Section members. I encourage everyone to attend the National Convention and this Celebration of Leader’s Luncheon. The work and accomplishments of the engineers recognized is truly inspirational and will make you proud to be a civil engineer. Our members recognized for this award were D. Thomas Iseley, PhD, PE, Dist. M. ASCE from Ruston and George Z. Voyiadjis, D. Eng. Sc., F. EMI., Dist. M. ASCE.

I am proud of the Louisiana Section of ASCE and honored to be President this year. My plans are to facilitate the committees, branches, and institutes to maintain their progress and success, to provide some continuing education seminars in underserved regions of our state and to develop a committee to update our Report Card on the Infrastructure of our state in 2017.

I ask for your suggestions, participation and support. I am excited about the important business at hand and opportunity to serve. I will work hard to maintain the success and progress of our section and ask for your suggestions and support.