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September 2009 » Departments » COMMENT
Shanon Fauerbach, P.E.

Since I started working at CE News 10 years ago, much has changed with our publication, from how we communicate with you, to the topics we cover. Back then, we were just a magazine with an old-fashioned website. Today, we are a multimedia brand, with a magazine; biweekly e-newsletter; state-of-the-art website (which we just launched last month); webcasts; online channels; and live events.

We deliver content in unique ways to help you address challenges, keep abreast of new industry developments, refresh your technical skills, and learn about new products. For example, our sponsored Professional Development Series (see PDH 1 in this issue), which allows you to earn continuing education credit —€” for free —€” if you pass a quiz after reading a technical article. These popular special supplements to CE News are also available online, if you—€™d like to check for past articles in this series; go to the Continuing Education tab at CENews.com.

Additionally, our sponsored webcasts are free and worth one Professional Development Hour for registered attendees; there—€™s one coming up about transportation on Oct. 14, 2009. To learn more, go to the Stagnito Media Events tab on our website and then click Webcasts.

Further, we—€™re embarking on new initiatives such as hosting our first Engineering Design Technology eConference, an online event with three webcasts, scheduled chats, and a virtual tradeshow, taking place Oct. 8, 2009 (see page 19 to learn more). We—€™ve just launch a new BIM Channel (www.bimchannel.com), an online resource for news, features, and events about building information modeling (BIM) —€” a topic I hadn—€™t heard of back in 1999.

Such initiatives are in response to the new, diverse ways professionals want to be educated. We also have plans for social networking, live video chats, a searchable online products-and-services directory, and more, so stay tuned.

Hot topics such as 3-D modeling, BIM, sustainable design, and collaboration weren—€™t part of my daily conversations back then; But the truth is, our profession today is reliant on these topics, at some level, every day. Only through efficient use of advanced technology and working in collaboration with multidiscipline partners will projects achieve the sustainability goals necessary to protect our environment, improve our infrastructure systems, and use available funding prudently.

As Charlene Harper, P.E., Timmons Group, wrote in her article, —€œCivil engineering design for green building—€ (page 30), —€œFor civil engineers to integrate seamlessly into the green building movement, we must all abandon the idea that each discipline is distinct and independent; we must rethink our design process to build a more comprehensive and collaborative vision.—€

Our industry is doing exciting things to propel us toward these goals. For example, just this week I discovered the Zofnass Program for Infrastructure Sustainability at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (www.gsd.harvard.edu/research/research_centers/Zofnass). According to its website, —€œThe primary goal of the Zofnass Program is to identify the issues and complete an —€˜alpha—€™ version of the recommended guidelines for sustainable large-scale projects. To achieve this goal, the Zofnass Program will study quantitative methods that can be used for measuring sustainability, as well as the integration of sustainability into the design of infrastructure and large-scale projects from the earliest stages of their development.—€

With abundant newsworthy information, exciting industry developments, and the ever-broadening importance of civil engineers, it—€™s great fun to fill the pages of CE News —€” whether they be paper or digital —€” with interesting, progressive, and relevant content. I can—€™t even imagine what the next 10 years will bring!

Shanon Fauerbach, P.E., sfauerbach@stagnitomedia.com


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