President’s Message: Transitions
October is the time when our Section Board directors transition
to new roles. Looking back at the list of past presidents of the
Minnesota Section, I see some names that stand out for me: L.G.
Straub, founder of the St. Anthony Falls Hydraulics Lab in the ‘30s;
Ed Silberman, my fathers grad school advisor at SAFL in the early
‘50s; Doug Barr, founder of Barr Engineering Co. in the late ‘60s;
Dennis Martenson, 2006 president of ASCE at the national level;
and many others who have done great things for Minnesota and the
profession of civil engineering.
I joined ASCE relatively late in life, started showing up to EE/WR committee meetings and
Section meetings, and contributed to organizing some activities for the committee and the
Section, which led to being asked to run for a Board position. One of the great opportunities
of being ASCE Section President for one year is that ASCE sent me to the 2017 national
convention in New Orleans. Find something that interests you, start showing up and get
The economy is in transition, as it always seems to be. Where are we in the business cycle?
Hopefully we are in the early stage of a long period of economic expansion. According to
economic historians, we have had a boom-and-bust cycle every 5 to 7 years, approximately,
for at least 150 years. Consulting companies and other businesses grow as the economy heats
up so they hire more people, but when the economy inevitably cools, there will be fewer
projects to work on and management will have to let some people go, which is difcult.
Right now is a great time to be starting a career in civil engineering. The connections we
make through ASCE can help get a career started, and those connections can help us make it
through business cycle transitions that may occur later in a career.
I am the last “Baby Boomer” president of the section, in all likelihood. The Section has
already had several “Gen X” presidents, and there are now a few Millennials on the Board,
along with Gen X, and they are all doing a great job. Our student chapters and Younger
Member Group are strong. I feel good about the future direction of ASCE in Minnesota. We
have ASCE student chapters at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State-Mankato, and a edgling chapter starting at St. Thomas.
I am not even sure what we will call the generation after Millennials, but they are going to be here soon and we want to let them know
what civil engineers do, and what it takes to become a civil engineer.
Bruce Holdhusen, P.E.
Minnesota Section President
Volume 52, No. 1
Fall 2017
n e w s
Upcoming Events
December 7. 67th Annual Concrete Conference. Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center. The $175
conference fee includes conference materials, continental breakfast, luncheon, and breaks. Registration information is available by
contacting or 612-625-2900. Registration and additional information can be found here.
December 8. MN Section Luncheon Meeting. Rock Bottom Brewery. The ASCE MN Transportation Committee invites you to the
December Section Meeting: Super Bowl 52 Events, Activities, and Transportation Planning. Billy Langenstein (US Bank Stadium
Director of Event Services) and Lester Bagley (MN Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs) will be discussing the logistics
behind the Super Bowl, which is expected to attract over 1 million visitors. This event is limited to 55 attendees, so please register
early. PDH certicates will be available.
Minnesota Section ASCE
Board of Directors
Bruce Holdhusen, PE
First Past President
Jim Hall, PE
President Elect
Jason Staebell, PE
Tim Lamkin, PE
Dr. Jia-Liang Le, PE, PhD
Director of Awards
Andrew Nordseth, PE
Director of Communications
Michelle Williams, PE
Director of Events
Jeremy Walgrave, PE
Director of Outreach
Lisa Breu, PE
Bruce Holdhusen
Autonomous technology versus Minnesota Winter: The Superbowl Challenge
The testing of autonomous vehicles has been in the news a lot, and each article makes new claims about what these vehicles
can do. If there’s some skepticism among engineers in northern states such as Minnesota, it makes sense. We all want to
know if this technology can stand up to the trifecta of snow, ice and salt when it comes to navigating our roads.
We are about to nd out.
As part of a demonstration during the Superbowl festivities, an autonomous bus is going to do six days of transporting folks
around downtown Minneapolis. This bus just needs to pass a few tests rst, explains Michael Kronzer, ITS project manager
for the Ofce of Trafc Safety Technology at MnDOT.
These tests will occur at MnROAD, MnDOT’s testing and research
facility in Monticello, MN. A stone’s throw from I-94, MnROAD has
a closed test track where it usually runs a fully-loaded 18-wheeler
about 8 hours a day to see how the different pavements hold up.
The track will be repurposed for a few days in December to test the
autonomous bus.
This bus will be sporting three different kinds of sensors plus a GPS
system, explains Kronzer. It will have cameras, a radar system and
a LiDAR unit. The multiple sensors are to create redundancy in the
whole system to maximize safety. The technology is well established,
but getting the sensors to talk to each other can be tricky. “It’s going
to be more of a challenge to gure out how the multiple parts of the
technology will compensate when one sensor is not able to do its job,”
says Kronzer.
So in this corner we have a high-tech, autonomous bus outtted
with redundant sensors communicating with one another. In the op-
posite corner, we have a Minnesota winter featuring snow, ice, salt
and cold that can intimidate the most courageous traveler. It should
be mentioned at this point that, to Kronzers knowledge, this kind
of testing has never been tried before. Some testing has been done
in cold situations, but not with snow, ice and salt.
Nevertheless, Kronzer is condent. “The industry is aware of the
challenges and they are ready for the winter conditions—snow, ice
and salt,” he says.
Of the three sensors, the LiDAR is the most likely to face the tough-
est time, says Kronzer. The snowakes in the air could confound its
capabilities, as well as the salt on the road.
If it’s true that Minnesota winters are tough, it’s also true that
they are unpredictable, and the MnDOT team had to admit early
on that no one could guarantee the testing conditions necessary. Consequently they contracted with Powder Ridge ski area
in Kimball, MN in case they needed to create their own “conditions.” They will have some snow machines ready when the
testing begins. Kronzer says, however, that ambient snow conditions are ideal.
One other factor in these tests may be the vehicle itself. It’s completely electric, and they are not sure how cold will affect the
longevity of the battery when it faces the chilly ferocity of a Minnesota February.
So if the bus passes the tests, what then? It will become a demon-
stration project of the technology during Superbowl 52 in Minne-
apolis. It will be open to the public and will run on a predetermined
There will be an operator aboard who can interrupt things if safety
becomes a concern. In addition, even though the bus will have
proven it’s mettle against snow, ice and salt, it will only run if the
weather is conducive to safety. That means, says Kronzer, it will
not run if there is ice, slush or snow on the route.
Committee Updates
Construction Committee
Anyone interested in being added to our email list can contact Mark Snyder at
Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Committee
Minnesota will be hosting the 2018 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress in June of 2018 and will feature the
Annual Stormwater Symposium. Don’t miss this opportunity to be involved locally in this global event. More information
can be found at
Anyone interested in being added to our email list can contact Brett Staeden at
Geotechnical Committee (Minnesota Geotechnical Society)
MGS holds monthly meetings from October through May. To nd out
more or get involved, visit or contact Joe
Bentler at
History & Heritage Committee
The current committee chair, Melanie Fiegen, will be moving to South Da-
kota at the end of the year. If anyone is interested in chairing this committee,
please contact her at m
The committee’s mission is to understand and communicate to the section
our civil engineering heritage and history. Past activities have been articles
for the newsletter, preparation of ASCE Historic Landmark designation
applications, and calendars highlighting Minnesota Historic Projects. Here
are links to a couple documents: The Centennial Timeline and Centennial Booklet.
Minnesota Section ASCE October Meeting
Mike Trojan and Rebecca Higgins shared a presentation on “Stormwater Inltration on Contaminated Sites” discussing case
studies, regulatory guidance documents, and design elements for projects involving subsurface contaminants and stormwater
inltration practices. The meeting was held on October 19, 2017.
Attendees of the presentation received 1.0 continuing education credit
toward PE registration.
George Ghareeb, ASCE Region 3 Governor, led the ceremony for
installation of the 2017-18 Minnesota Section Board of Directors.
Bruce Holdhusen, ASCE Mn Section President
2017-18 and George Ghareeb, ASCE Region 3
Mike Trojan and Rebecca Higgins
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Legislative Committee
If you are interested in getting involved in Legislative Committee and/or participating in future ASCE Fly-ins, contact Seth
Spychala ( of the Legislative Committee for more details.
Structural Committee/SEI Chapter
The ASCE Structures Committee meets for breakfast once a month to help plan technical seminars in the winter and spring,
as well as the September ASCE section meeting. The technical seminars also raise money for the Structures Scholarship
awarded by the section each spring. We typically take the summers off, but have kicked off the “season” with two breakfast
meetings so far this fall. Planning is underway for our technical seminars, and we’d love to have additional participation,
ideas, and help on our committee. Upcoming seminars include:
December 8 9:05am in CivE 205 - Structures Seminar by Ben Schafer entitled “ Advancing Earthquake Engineering for
Cold-Formed Steel Framed Buildings”
December 8 3:30pm in CivE 210 - Dexter Lecture by Ben Schafer entitled “Birth of the Steel Skyscraper”
Please contact committee chair Daniel Baxter at to be added to our mailing list. Students are wel-
come to join our committee as well.
Report Card Committee
The Report Card committee is hard at work collecting data from various agencies in Minnesota. This fall the committee
members have meet with leadership at MnDOT, Mn Department of Health, MnPCA, MnDNR, and Metro Transit to name
a few. These meetings have been very positive and each of these agencies have been supportive of our goal to publish a
Minnesota Report Card in 2018. Over the next few months, the Report Card Committee will be using the gathered data to
draft initial grades for each category. The draft grades and basis for grades will then be sent to ASCE nationals for their
review and concurrence with our analysis. Once we have the ASCE nationals approval, we will be able to release the Report
Card to the public. Developing and releasing the report card is only part of the process. Prior to the release we will share how
you as an ASCE Minnesota member can help spread the word. If you have any questions feel free to contact Jason Staebell at
Transportation Committee
The Transportation Committee meets for lunch on the second Friday of every other month (through the winter). Future topics
include Dakota County’s Pedestrian Trails planning work and the Edina Bike Trail Study. We look forward to seeing you
there. If you would like to be added to the email list for Transportation Committee events, please contact Kevin Peterson at You can also check out the calendar on our website (
Committee.html) for upcoming events.
Outreach Committee
Dream Big
The Science Museum of Minnesota will be showing Dream Big, an IMAX lm following several civil engineers making a
difference in their world, showcasing engineering marvels, and chronicling the journey of students in STEM challenges. The
lm is inspiring to students and heartwarming for seasoned engineers. You can see Dream Big in the Omnitheater beginning
March 2. The Science Museum will also be celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Engineer. Events will include special science
and engineering days presented by companies and societies and the following special exhibits:
• Omnitheater Film: Living in the Age of Airplanes • Youth Science Day
• Play. Tinker. Make. Engineers Days event • Towers of Tomorrow
Featured Exhibit: Keva Planks • Featured Exhibit: Cardboard Gallery
Featured Exhibit: The Machine Inside - Biomechanics • and more
For more information on Dream Big, visit www.dreambig
ASCE outreach will be featuring Dream Big inspired educational activities at our
yearly events but can also make classroom and student group visits. To schedule a visit
and activity, contact
If you are interested in becoming more involved in the Year of the Engineer with
ASCE contact
If you or your company would like more information about specic Year of the
Engineer opportunities, sponsorship, or to have an event at the Science Museum,
contact Teri Vogt, Manager of Corporate Partnerships, or
Younger Member Group
The ASCE MN Younger Member Group (YMG) is open to ASCE members age
35 and under. Our goals are to provide opportunities to make connections in the
civil engineering profession, grow your careers, and develop leaders in the com-
munities where we live and work through events tailored to young professionals.
Whether you’re new to the area or have been practicing in the Twin Cities for
years, all are welcome at our events.
We hope to see you, your coworkers, signicant others, friends, etc. at all of
our upcoming YMG Events! If you’ve never been to a YMG event and you are
looking for more motivation to attend, mention this article and your registration
for the next event is on us! (Please email to redeem your free
This fall our big event was “Engineer Your
Career” where YMG members provided
a practice environment for University of
Minnesota students prior to their career fair.
Following a presentation on the job search
process, attendees could get feedback on their
resumes from volunteers as well as practice
their elevator pitches and interview skills
at mock career fair booths and in mock
interviews. Good luck to the 25 attendees
in their upcoming career search!
Congratulations to all of our YMG
members who took the PE exam this
October! We look forward to congratulating
you in person at our upcoming events this
Upcoming Events
Bowling @ Bryant-Lake Bowl: December 5 (5:00pm-8:00pm)
810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Join your fellow ASCE YMs and the ACEC Emerging Leaders group at Bryant-Lake Bowl for an evening of fun! Cost for all
attendees is $10 and includes bowling and food. Please email with any questions.
PE Exam Information Meeting: Tuesday, December 12 (5:00pm-8:00pm)
Summit Brewing Company, 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul, MN 55102
Join us for an informal session to learn about the Civil PE Exam from YMs who have recently taken the exam. Helpful hints
about registration, preparation, and test taking will be provided. There will be a presentation followed by an open forum,
so please bring any and all questions you have. The event is free for all ASCE members, with a $5 entrance fee for non-
members. Food will be provided. Contact with questions.
Future City Competition: Saturday January 20
Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th St E, Rosemount, MN 55068
ASCE YMG is looking for volunteers to help judge the 2018 Future City Competition – a “project-based learning program
where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine research, design, and build cities of the future.” Please contact ymg@ if you are interested in volunteering.
YMG Board
Alysa Johnson
Ariel Christenson
Vice President
Neil Ramdhan
Jacob Mitzel
Katie Zadrozny
Media Chair
Robert Lee & Peyton Gibson
Neil Ramdhan
Networking Chairs
Prateek Sangal & Matthew Hardegger
Education & Outreach Chair
Marie DesHarnais
Engineering Award Nominations
The Minnesota Section of ASCE has established the ASCE-MN Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award to recognize the
outstanding contribution of local engineers to the civil engineering profession, in addition to the Young Engineer of the Year
and Distinguished Engineer of the Year awards that are given in conjunction with MFESTS each year. The Board of Directors
is soliciting nominations for this award, to be presented at our annual awards banquet in April 2018.
The selection criteria for this award includes:
Outstanding technical contributions to the civil engineering profession
Outstanding professional and leadership contributions to the civil engineering profession
Signicant contributions to the local community representing the civil engineering profession
Outstanding contributions in the area of civil engineering education
The recipient must be both a member of ASCE and the Minnesota Section.
Members wishing to nominate a fellow member for this award must submit a letter of recommendation identifying their
nominee and addressing the contributions of the nominee relative to the criteria above. Letters of recommendation must be
sent to the Director of Awards at by December 1, 2017.
The Board will select the recipient at the December board meeting.
Student Chapters
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
The 2017-2018 school year is off to a strong start for the University of Minnesota’s ASCE Student Chapter. Per tradition, they
hosted the ASCE Career Fair, with 46 companies and 200 students in attendance. It is growing every year. For the rst time,
they partnered with the Earth Sciences department, accounting for six new companies. To prepare students for the career
fair, ASCE also partnered with the Young Members Group (YMG) to host their “Engineer Your Career” event, where YMG
reviewed resumes and led mock interviews. Beyond the career fair, ASCE offers ongoing opportunities for students to learn
from professionals, including lunch-and-learns from organizations like MN2050 and companies like New Hudson Facades.
The competitive Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe teams are well underway with
their projects. Steel Bridge will nalize their design by Thanksgiving, putting
them ahead of last years schedule and giving them several months to weld in
the college’s new Innovation Lab
before competition in March.
Meanwhile, Concrete Canoe
is on track to hold Pour Day in
January, with the competition in
April; they also partnered with
the Minnesota Canoe Association
to practice paddling and canoed
the heavily-ooded Mississippi
River in October.
If you have any questions or would like to support ASCE or its projects in any way, please feel free to connect with the ASCE
president, Josh Pierce (, or the president-elect, Mike DeMars (
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas ASCE Student Chapter is excited to announce
its formation! This semester the chapter has been focused on becoming an
ofcially registered student organization with the university and establishing its
status as a student chapter with ASCE National. They have also been reaching
out to companies and other civil engineering organizations to set up brown
bag seminars and events. The focus for the rest of this year is to hold monthly
meetings and increase visibility on campus.
Minnesota State University - Mankato
On November 16, the ASCE MN Mankato Student Chapter hosted the
November section meeting. Tim Olson and Bill Douglass of Bolton and
Menk gave a presentation on Using Innovative Iron-Enhanced BMPs to
Maximize Phosphorus Removal. Chuck Brandel and Mark Origer of ISG gave
a presentation on Bioreactors and Saturated Buffer - Making an Impact on
Drainage and Water Quality.
The Steel Bridge team visited LeJeune Steel.
The Concrete Canoe team spent a day at Forterra.
From left: UST-ASCE President Tom Negaard,
Vice President Lauren Bearrood, and student
member Amanda Birnbaum recruiting new
students to ASCE and the civil engineering
major at the School of Engineering Open House.
The Minnesota Section ASCEnews is published four times a year by the Minnesota
Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Michelle Williams, Editor Teresa Kes, Assistant Editor
Membership Renewal
We don't want you to miss out on the many benets and services that you've received all year long, that is why we are
providing you with three easy ways to renew; by mail, by phone or online.
Continue to be a part of the 150,000+ members who benet from access to:
Technical resources, industry news and events
Continuing education and career development services
5 free PDHs per year for successfully completing on-demand webinars
Networking, leadership and volunteering opportunities
Programs that save you money on insurance, nancing, rental cars, computers and more
Everyone that renews by December 12, 2017 will be eligible for the society’s grand prize drawing for a $1,000
Gift Card.*
Renew Online
If you'd prefer to renew by phone, ASCE's Customer Service is available at 800.548.ASCE (2723) between 9:00 a.m.–6:00
p.m., E.T., Monday–Friday to assist you through the process. Or you can simply mail your completed renewal package back
to us at Membership Department, P.O. Box 79084, Baltimore, MD 21279.
Thank you in advance for renewing your 2018 membership, we look forward to another great year.
*Read the contest information and rules.
ASCE Congress on Technical Advancement
By: Joel D. Ulring, PE, M.ASCE
The ASCE Congress on Technical Advancement (CTA) was held in Duluth, MN on September 10 -13, 2017. About 200
participants attended over 130 presentations in the three days of the conference. The conference website is still active and is
located at: The conference was a multidisciplined gathering of leaders from several ASCE divisions
including the Aerospace Division, the Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate, the Cold Regions Engineering
Division, the Construction Institute, the Energy Division, the Forensic Engineering Division, and the Infrastructure Resilience
Division. Presentation tracks and inter-divisional discussions were designed and held to foster communications between the
divisions to evaluate standards, cross-educate best practices, and encourage collaboration among the various components of
the engineering profession.
Presentations ranged from the MnDOT Highway 53 Realignment in Virginia, MN to Designing Community Networks to
Support Resilient, Sustainable Buildings in Regions of Risk to Supporting Science on the 7
Continent: the Past, Present
and Future of McMurdo Station, Antarctica and constructing a new compacted snow runway for landing C17 wheeled-cargo
planes to several presentations on resilient and sustainable infrastructure in a changing climatic environment.
In addition to two walking-tour presentations of the famous Duluth Ariel Lift Bridge and newer Amsoil Arena, three technical
tours were organized. These included Cirrus Aircraft Factory, Minnesota Powers Thomson Hydro Station, and University of
Minnesota Duluth Civil Engineering Facility (Swenson Civil Engineering Building). Monday evening also included a tour of
the Duluth harbor on the Vista Queen as part of the Duluth Section 100
year anniversary celebration.
Three notable events took place during the conference. The Duluth Section of ASCE celebrated their 100
year anniversary
which also involved recognition of Robert B. Rhode as the section’s oldest active member at 103 years of age, and dedication
of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Bob, a lifelong resident of Duluth and
retired railroad engineer was presented a plaque by ASCE President-Elect Kristina Swallow. He joined the Duluth Section of
ASCE in 1937 and still regularly attends their monthly meetings.
The Congress was a very successful event bringing together several technical divisions within ASCE to share and learn from
each other. Financial and attendance support from the Minnesota Section of ASCE was greatly appreciated. The next ASCE
Cold Regions Engineering Conference is being proposed as a joint meeting with the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers
(CSCE) in 2019 in Quebec City, Quebec Canada.
Special thanks to our section sponsors
Sponsor companies can now submit one feature article per sponsor year.
Please contact the Treasurer ( for more details.
become a sponsor by going to the following site