President's Message - March 2020

Jennifer Smith

Dear Dallas Branch Members:

Just as a reminder, although if you are like me you are getting lots of text and mail on the topic.    Primary Elections are coming up on March 3, you can vote in the primary elections and encourage your colleagues to vote.  By doing so you are selecting who will move on to the November ballot.  All of our voices can make a difference and matter.

There were so many things that occurred in February within the Branch.  Thank you to all of the volunteers at E-week at the Perot and the other service opportunities we had.  It was great to celebrate engineers of the past, present, and future.  This year’s theme nationally is “Be a Pioneer of Progress” and encourages all engineers to give every child an engineering experience and an opportunity to meet an engineer.

For the upcoming March 9th meeting we’ll have Michael Rogers, Transportation Director of City of Dallas speaking on IH 30 and IH 345 Improvements.  We will have our two technical presentations scheduled around our main lunch meeting.   Our AM technical session, led by the Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI), will be given by Dhruva Lahon, PE, PTOE, Senior Project Manager at Kimley-Horn & Associates on Mesa Street Corridor Multimodal Analysis.  Our PM technical session, led by the Construction Institute (CI), will be given by Mark J Bloschock, PE, Technical Advisor at VRX on Highway Work Zone Safety: Design and Operation. 

The Dallas Branch of ASCE awarded our annual recipients of Engineer of the Year (EOY) and Young Engineer of the Year (YEOY).  Congratulations to the 2020 EOY Ed Penton, PE and 2019 YEOY Phillip Alcorn, PE.  Below is the video message presented at the banquet... 

“Hello, I’m Julie Jones, President of the Dallas Branch of American Society of Civil Engineers.  Today I will give you an update on the Dallas Branch of ASCE and introduce you to our honorees.  Dallas Branch of ASCE started in 1924.  ASCE Global has taken notice by recognizing our branch above all other similar branches worldwide as the Outstanding Large Branch of the year for the third year in a row.  This well-deserved award stems from countless leaders, our current membership numbering over 1500, and routine draws of over 260 to our monthly meetings as well as great attendance at two institute technical sessions we host every month. Our college scholarship program provided three high school graduates funding for pursuing a degree in civil engineering.   Our members get everyone involved throughout the year in meaningful outreach to support future engineers including two Civil Engineers clubs at DISD high schools, a formal DISD partnership to attend and support STEM programs such as the annual bridge building competition we host, programs with the Girl Scouts, and the SMU and UT-Arlington student chapters.  We also want to thank Diane Combs, one of our DISD CE Club teachers who is on the panel today.  This year we also hosted a Dallas mayoral debate on infrastructure.

This year, we're proud to honor Ed Penton, a Project Manager at Jacobs, as the Dallas Branch Engineer of the Year.  He is currently the Vice-President of the Dallas Branch, and has served continuously in the Branch since 2001.  Most notably he has served as the UTA Practitioner Advisor since 2014, and been instrumental in leading the UTA Student Chapter. He also serves as an Advisor for the Tau Beta Pi – Texas Eta Chapter and was elevated to Honor Member for the UTA Chi Epsilon Chapter. He is a transportation engineer with over 18 years of experience in roadway related design.  Congratulations Ed for this well-deserved award and thank you for all you’ve done for all us.  

We are also excited to highlight our Young Engineer of the Year Phillip Alcorn.  He is also a Transportation Engineer at Jacobs.  Phillip is currently the Texas Section Director and Communications Chair of the Dallas Branch, but has served continuously in the Branch since 2009.  During his tenure as Webmaster, he led the Dallas Branch to win the Outstanding Large Section and Branch Website Award four times.  He is a transportation engineer with over 12 years of experience in roadway related design.  Phillip, congratulations to you for this well-deserved award and thank you for your service to the Dallas Branch.”  

I look forward to seeing everyone at the March meeting!  


Yours in service,

Julie A. Jones, PE, CFM

ASCE Dallas Branch, 2019-2020