Archive for May, 2014

May Meeting

Tour Exhibit: The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal

Date: Wednesday May 21, 2014

Location: Atterbury Student Success Center Room 237
                5000 Holmes
                Kansas City, MO 64110 
Park at the Linda Hall Library 

Time: 11:30 Social/Registration
          12:00 Meal
          12:30 Tour

 Menu: Boxed Lunch includes, sandwich, chips, a piece of fruit, and dessert       

Cost: $15.00 per person

Exhibit:  The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal

It was an audacious gamble that took more than 40 years and 42,000 workers to blast, dredge and excavate one of the greatest engineering triumphs connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Heralded as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Panama Canal opened in 1914 as a symbol of America’s innovation and emergence as a global superpower.

To celebrate the Panama Canal’s centennial in 2014, the Linda Hall Library – located on the campus of the University of Kansas City- will recount the development of the Panama Canal with its epic triumphs and tragedies.  The Linda Hall Library’s centennial exhibition will highlight the myriad of fascinating technological, social and political facets in the construction of the Panama Canal, including:

  •     History of the Isthmus: Since the 16th century, the small isthmus between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans led explorers to search for a passage between the seas.
  •     Life in the Trenches: Workers in the Canal Zone faced constant hardships: backbreaking work, social inequalities, and the relentless fear of infectious disease.
  •     The French Attempt: The French began construction of a sea-level canal in Panama in the 1880s. Thousands died of malaria and yellow fever. Obstacles became insurmountable, forcing the French to abandon the project in the early 1890s.
  •     The Panama Railroad: The railroad was essential for carrying people and supplies and hauling away the tremendous volume of excavated dirt and rock.
  •     The American Achievement: The U.S. acquired rights to the Canal Zone in 1903, and a year later began building a lock canal 50 miles across the Isthmus. Completed in 1914, the Panama Canal shortened the distance for ocean-going freight and passengers traveling between U.S. east and west coasts by more than 8,000 miles.

RSVP by May 19th RSVP HERE

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2014-2015 ASCE Slate of Officers and Election

ASCE Slate of Officers and Election

The Nominating Committee of the Kansas City Section of ASCE has met in accordance with the Section Bylaws to fulfill its duty in preparing and submitting a slate of Officers and Directors for the 2014-2015 Section year.  This slate of candidates represents the Nominating Committee’s Official Section Nominees. Four nominations for the open positions of 1st Year Director and Associate Member Director were received from the Section membership.  The Section will hold an election at the May 21, 2014 Annual Meeting at the Linda Hall Library at UMKC to confirm the Officers and Directors. We encourage you to attend the meeting and cast your vote in support of the candidates!

The candidates for the leadership positions are as follows:

            Tom Jacobs                 President–Elect
            Adrian Keller              1st Vice President & Treasurer
            John Blancett              2nd Vice President & Secretary
            Mike Schmitz              Continuing Director
            Rachelle Lowe            2nd Year Director
            TBD by election          1st Year Director
            TBD by election          Associate Member Director

According to the by-laws, Jennifer Taylor assumes the Presidency automatically by virtue of being the President-Elect at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 year.

Bios for each of the nominees for the 1st Year Director and Associate Member Director positions are as follows:

Chad Johnson
Chad received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas.  Since 2000, he has worked for Olsson Associates.  Chad was a member of the student chapter of ASCE at Brigham Young University, and he has continued his membership in ASCE. He participated in the recent ASCE lead initiative to complete Infrastructure Report Cards for Missouri and Kansas, authoring the sections on dams and on levees for the State of Missouri.  He is also active in the local Kansas City Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Association, having served on numerous technical committees re-writing local stormwater design standards and currently serving as the chair of the Water Resources Committee for the local Chapter.

Valerie McCaw
Ms. McCaw is the President of VSM Engineering in Kansas City, Missouri.  She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering Oklahoma State University and M.S. in Civil Engineering with concentration in Engineering and Construction Management.  Ms. McCaw is active in numerous professional organizations including: 2013-2014 president of the Kansas City Engineers Club, former president of the OSU ASCE Student Chapter, and chairman of the Awards and Program Committees of the KC Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Association. She also serves or has served on the Platte County Economic Development Council, the Platte County Regional Sewer District – Board of Trustees, and the Northland Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors.

Jim Palmer
Mr. Palmer is a Principal Civil/Structural Engineer with Kansas City Power & Light in Kansas City, Missouri, in the Power Generation Services Group.   In addition to being a Charter Member of SEAKM and SEI, Mr. Palmer is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers and has served on the Structural Testing Committee for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) since 2004.  Since 2008 he has also been a commissioner for the state of Missouri serving on the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission (MSSC) and in 2010 he became the MSSC board representative on the SAVE Coalition. Past SEAKM roles include: Chapter President, Director, SEAKM Treasurer, SEAKM President, Delegate to NCSEA, and current SEAKM representative on the Missouri Structural Engineer Licensing Coalition where he is a Co-Chair of the organization.

Sara Somsky
Ms. Somsky currently serves as the Geotechnical Department Manager in Terracon’s Lenexa, Kansas office.  Ms. Somsky has been a geotechnical engineer for over 11 years, and has a M.S. and B.S. in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University. Ms. Somsky is a member of ASCE and NSPE.  Her involvement in ASCE began at Iowa State University with the Student Chapter.  Upon graduating Ms. Somsky continued her involvement with ASCE through the Kansas City Section’s Younger Members Group (YMG) in Kansas City.  During her 11+ year tenure with the YMG, she was served as treasurer (four years) and  vice-president, and she is the current president of the YMG.

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