ASCE History and Heritage Programs

by A. L. Prasuhn, (F.ASCE),
Neal FitzSimons, (F.ASCE),

Part of: Perspectives in Civil Engineering: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Society of Civil Engineers


Concerned that neither the general public nor civil engineers themselves were fully appreciative of the contributions of civil engineers to the development and standard of living of the country, a few dedicated civil engineers persuaded the ASCE Board of Direction to establish a history and heritage committee and a formal program in 1964. The committee has more or less flourished since that date, with an ever-expanding number of programs. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and description of some of these programs, with some consideration of what has worked well, and what has been less successful. It is hoped that this overview will encourage local ASCE units to reenergize their history and heritage efforts. It may also be of use to engineering groups, or perhaps others, contemplating an increased effort in the areas of history, heritage, or preservation. The primary purposes for the program were (1) to create an awareness and pride in civil engineers for the rich history and heritage of their chosen profession; and (2) inform the general public of the role that civil engineering has played in the development of the country and in improving the quality of life. These purposes are accomplished through the following activities: landmark programs, conference sessions and congresses, historic publications, recognition of civil engineers, cooperative efforts, slide shows and videos, tours, historic preservation, and other activities.

Subject Headings: History and Heritage | Historic preservation | Professional societies | Historic sites | Engineering history | Publications | Public opinion and participation


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