Welcome to The American Society of Civil Engineers Wisconsin Section Northwest Branch
Most people dream about doing great things, Civil Engineers make great things happen.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 130,000 civil engineers worldwide, and is the world’s largest and America’s oldest national engineering society. The ASCE Northwest Branch was started in 1974 and contains the largest area geographically in Wisconsin compared to the other three (3) branches within the Wisconsin Section. The Northwest Branch includes approximately 180 ASCE members.
The Northwest Branch is governed by a Past-president, President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and three directors at-large. The board has monthly meetings to coordinate and plan events for the Branch. The Northwest Branch Board understands that it is often difficult to engage in professional networking within a Branch with such a large geographic area and hosts meeting in the 3 central areas of Wausau, Eau Claire and LaCrosse. Our branch focuses on not only the members themselves but also their families and friends by extending invitations to family members or co-workers of the members.
The Northwest Branch actively engages in outreach activities to promote the value of engineering to our society. The Branch also focuses on trying to include joint meetings with other organizations. Our Branch commonly hosts joint events with the area WSPE chapters. The Northwest Branch has been working with UW-Stout to promote the building construction management majors to pursue membership in ASCE and to get the latest advancements and knowledge of the construction industry and demonstrated the value of ASCE.
The Northwest Branch hosts at a minimum of 5 branch meetings for the members to engage in throughout the year and offer Professional Development Hours (PDH’s) for engineering licensure. The Northwest Branch also informs members of events hosted by the Minnesota Section of ASCE, whom we have partnered with in the past, and Society of Women Engineers. The Minnesota Section of ASCE also provides announcements to their members on Northwest Branch hosted events as well.
If you have an Involvement Opportunity (example – community service event or organization) for Northwest Branch Members that you would like displayed in the Northwest Branch Newsletter, email the Branch Board at moc/liamg//wniwecsawith a detailed description of the opportunity and help needed.
ASCE National Election
Starting in 2015, the election will be conducted electronically and paper ballots will no longer be sent to the membership.
Keep on top of the election news in the ASCE Roundup.
What are the requirements to run for election?
- President-elect candidates must have had prior service on the Board of Direction.
- Geographic Region Director candidates must have an Address of Record within the Region they wish to represent and have served as a Region Governor.
- Technical Region Director candidates must have served as a voting member on an Institute Board of Governors.
- Region Governor candidates must have an Address of Record within the Region they wish to represent and have prior service as a Section or Branch officer, a member of a Section or Branch committee, or as a member of a Society-level committee.
- All candidates must be a member in good standing.
- Individuals wishing to pursue an elected office should review the Society’s governing documents for filing deadlines and required election materials.
How can I participate in the election?
- Members at the grade of Associate or above may vote in the election.
- Members must pay their dues no later than March 15 and have a valid email address on file.
- Election credentials will be sent by email to eligible members on May 1.
- Voting will be open from May 1 to June 1.
2015 Official Nominees
President-Elect – Official Nominees
- Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, M.COPRI, M.ASCE
- Thomas W. Walther, P.E., F.ASCE
Thomas R. Walther, P.E., F.ASCE
President-Elect Official Nominee
- Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Platteville, WI, 1971
- Traffic Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 1979
- Registered Professional Engineer, State of Wisconsin
- Registered Professional Engineer, State of Iowa
- Ayres Associates, Eau Claire, WI; Utilities Coordination Engineer, 2013-2014
- Chippewa County, Chippewa Falls, WI; Staff Engineer, Highway Department, 2012-2013
- TEC Design, Eau Claire, WI; Transportation Advisor, 2008-2009
- Eau Claire County, Altoona, WI; Highway Commissioner, 1980-2008. Managed all operations of the county highway department covering all work on county highways, all maintenance work on State highways and contract work for various local governmental units. Also included managerial oversight of the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport for five (5) years and managerial oversight of the Eau Claire County Landfill for fifteen (15) years.
- Iowa Department of Transportation, Resident Maintenance Engineer, Denison, Iowa, 1977-1980; Assistant Resident Construction Engineer, Waterloo, Iowa, 1973-1977; construction inspection and training program, Ames, Iowa, 1971-1973
- Fellow since 1996
- Life Member since 2013
- Charter member, University of Wisconsin-Platteville Student Chapter, 1967
- Northwest Branch – Wisconsin Section
- Secretary/Treasurer, 1987-1992
- Wisconsin Section
- Branch Director
- Director at Large, 1989, 1990
- Vice President, 1995
- President Elect, 1996
- President, 1997
- Chair, History and Heritage Committee, 1999-2002
- Section Report Card Committee, 2003
- Section Awards Committee
- Section Nominating Committee
- Spring Technical Conference Planning Committee, 2015
- ASCE National
- District 8 Director, 2004-2006
- Chair, Region 3 Formation Team, 2005
- Region 3 Director, 2007-2009
- Chair, Region 3 Board of Governors, 2006-2009
- At-Large Director Review Subcommittee, 2008
- Audit Committee, 2007-2008, 2011-2012
- Board Contact Member, Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation (CEFI), 2007
- Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC), 2008-2009
- EJCDC Budget and Finance Committee, 2008-2009
- Executive Committee, 2009
- Finance Committee, 2008-2009
- Governing Documents Committee, 2013-2015
- Program Committee, 2004, 2006-2007
- Strategic Planning Committee, 2008
- Task Committee on Elections, 2011
- Technical Activities Committee, 2004-2006
- Web Site Awards Committee, 2004
- Blue Ribbon Panel to Review Updates to Manual 45, 2011
- Legislative Fly-In, 2007, 2009-2014
- Key Contact Member
- Zone III Management Conferences, 2004-2006
- Multi-Region Leadership Conferences, 2007-2009
- Leadership Training in Government Relations, 2009
- Judge, Great Lakes Conference Concrete Canoe Competition, 2005
- Wisconsin Section Engineer in Government Service Award, 1998
- Wisconsin Section Distinguished Service Award, 2008
Other Volunteer Activities
- Eau Claire County Position Evaluation Board, Citizen Member, 2009-2012
- Iowa Jaycees member, 1977-1980
- Iowa Jaycees Region Director, 1980
- St. John’s Lutheran Church Choir
- Daughter: ReNee Hanson and husband Marc Hanson, Anoka, MN
- Son: Brian Walther, Eau Claire, WI
- Grandchildren: Kiersten Clifford, Taylor Walther, Preston Walther, Larissa Walther, Bailey Hanson
ASCE has developed a strong Vision and Mission for the Society and the profession. Civil engineers are expected to be global leaders building a better quality of life for everyone. ASCE as an organization does and will continue to assist its members in attaining that vision by providing value to its members, helping members advance the profession and thus allowing members to maximize their service to the public. As a continuous active member of ASCE for over 45 years, starting as a Charter Member of the UW-Platteville Student Chapter, ASCE has continuously helped me advance my career and knowledge base. I have tried to reciprocate by serving the Society. This service ranges from holding multiple positions at Branch and Section levels up to serving two terms on the national Board of Direction with service on 13 national committees covering a wide spectrum of Society activities. The knowledge acquired through this broad scope of activities helped me form my vision for the Society.
The first step is to guide and lead the Board and the Society in implementing current Board strategies plus developing updated strategies to move the Society forward.
I will strongly support and be a forceful advocate of the ASCE strategy to emphasize infrastructure improvements and where necessary expansions. High quality infrastructure does more than anything to achieve the ASCE vision of building a better quality of life for the citizens of America and the world. The water and wastewater systems civil engineers created have done more to overcome epidemics then many medicines. The transportation systems civil engineers created, from railroads to highways to waterways to pipelines to electrical distribution systems, are the bloodstream that keeps the worldwide economy functioning smoothly and efficiently. We civil engineers must continue to educate the public and politicians about how critical a high quality and when necessary an expanding infrastructure is to the quality of life of everyone on the planet.
ASCE and civil engineers must also continue to emphasize that what we create must be sustainable. A top notch water system is of no value if we don’t have a safe and adequate supply of potable water to push through the pipes. The one sad part of the sustainability strategy is that we should not even need to have this discussion. Civil engineers should have been, and often were, creating sustainable systems as part of our ethical obligation to serve the public over the centuries. Today, with the concept of sustainability having spread across the nation and world in the broadest sense of the word, from sustainable systems which civil engineers create to sustainable agriculture, we civil engineers must advocate for and more importantly must practice the art of creating, building and maintaining sustainable systems necessary for continuation of the human race. As ASCE President I will push the Society and the profession to ensure sustainability is nurtured and practiced.
Next, to ensure future generations of civil engineers are fully capable of developing needed products and systems in a sustainable manner, I will continue to strongly advocate the Raise the Bar strategy. The breadth of skills needed by the civil engineer of today and tomorrow has broadened greatly over time. These issues are outlined in “The Engineer of 2020” by the National Academy of Engineering and by “The Vision of Civil Engineering in 2025” and “Achieving the Vision of Civil Engineering in 2025”, both by ASCE. While the Bachelor degree of today gives civil engineers a sound and basic technical platform the “soft” skills and advanced technical skills needed to perform the work are only learned over time through practice and continuing education. The professional skills of communication, collaboration, management, leadership and creativity are not acquired in a 1 semester class. They are acquired through a combination of post-graduate classes, seminars and similar formalized training interspersed with on-the-job practice. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying recently updated their model law to remove the master’s degree or equivalent to avoid confusion regarding licensure comity between states. The 2012 NCEES Strategic Plan continues to emphasize the need to increase educational requirements for initial licensure. Only by implementing these requirements, plus getting every state to implement post-licensure continuing education, will the public be ensured that the engineer of tomorrow will be fully prepared to practice the profession.
The second step is to guide the Society itself to enhance and maximize service to its members.
The first vision point is enhanced transparency within ASCE itself. While ASCE staff does a very good job of informing and educating membership I will encourage staff to expand information items offered to members. With today’s technology ASCE should be able to better show its members what the Board, Board Committees, Institutes and other organizational entities are doing. I will strive to have summarized minutes of the above entities readily available on a members only sector of the ASCE website. I firmly believe this will allow members to better comprehend what the Society is doing for them and with their dues money. The added information and transparency may even enhance member participation. Members who better understand organizational operations and opportunities are more likely to step forward and volunteer to move the Society in the directions the general membership desires.
Second, I want to ensure ASCE continues to maintain and strengthen its ties to our international members and other international civil engineering organizations. The Society should pursue more members from around the world. Options may include coordination with international societies to offer a single payment joint membership in ASCE and their home organization, expanding upon current multilingual publication activities, and maximizing on-line and face-to-face training opportunities for our international members.
To conclude, while following the vision and strategies set by the Board, my vision seeks to strengthen and expand upon these issues to move ASCE forward and most importantly to enhance the ways the Society serves its members.