Friday, 14 March 2008
Picture this. You're driving around town taking care of your usual Saturday errands and happen to notice a bridge that makes you think, "Wow, they really went above and beyond when they built that." Or perhaps your local water treatment plant just underwent a revitalization that dramatically improved the quality of your community's drinking water. Did you consider nominating these projects for a local Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award?
"What's that you say? I can nominate?" Allow me to back up a minute. Many of you are probably familiar with the national OCEA Award given by ASCE. Each year ASCE recognizes an exemplary civil engineering project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and presents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society. Previous national OCEA winners include the relocation of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the Statue of Liberty restoration and the Washington, D.C. Metrorail transit system.
ASCE encourages Sections and Branches to hold local OCEA competitions along the lines of national OCEA rules. Conducting a local OCEA competition is an excellent way to generate local media coverage for your Section or Branch and the profession. Sure, you may recognize the unique and innovative research and design that was required to construct that awe-inspiring bridge, but do you think every person who drives across it notices that too? When you begin recognizing local projects and grabbing the attention of the local media, you've created a wonderful opportunity to explain civil engineering concepts and increase the public's knowledge of infrastructure. (And the more public interest there is in infrastructure, the more support there will be to improve it!) Previous local OCEA winners include the San Luis Obispo Branch's City of Pismo Beach Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Ohio Council's Perry Street Bridge Replacement, just to name a few.
On top of that, ASCE will contribute $150 toward the purchase of a bronze OCEA plaque for your local OCEA winner. More information about OCEA Award eligibility can be found here.
Check out the 2008 OCEA finalists and stay tuned to find out who wins the 2008 OCEA Award, which will be announced April 30 at ASCE's annual OPAL Awards Gala!