President 's Message
Have you ever wondered about what happens to your annual
ASCE dues? Have you thought about getting more involved
in ASCE but were not sure how to get started? Have you
looked at our website and still wanted more information? We
recently surveyed local members and learned that many of
you do have questions and also that you read this newsletter.
Part of your annual ASCE dues, about 10 percent, comes back
to the local section and is budgeted to support section meetings,
outreach activities, the Younger Members group, technical committees, and student
chapters. Attending one of the monthly section meetings is an easy way to have some
involvement, and it is very easy to sign up through our website. The cost for us to
host a monthly section dinner meeting is often more than we charge the attendees;
for example, we subsidized the cost to attend the April section meeting held at the
Science Museum and the January section meeting was essentially free for members.
Technical committees can request a budget from the Board and get reimbursed
for some expenses. We want to improve the performance and participation of the
technical committees, some of which may evolve to become effectively a committee
of one person unless new members are recruited. Each technical committee is
entirely a grass-roots effort, which means it is what you make of it, and you are
needed. Right now the Transportation committee and Report Card committee
are very active, and the YMG has activities almost every month. The Structural
committee and Geotechnical committee are also very active. On the other hand,
the History and Heritage committee is in need of a person to take the lead as chair
since Melanie moved out of the state. In my experience what it takes for a successful
technical committee is a chair, a co-chair (those positions look good on a resume),
and a core of a few interested committee members to come up with ideas and organize some activities for yourselves.
Some examples of typical activities are to plan/socialize over a beer or coffee, conduct a technical tour for a small group,
meet for lunch or after work with a technical presentation, or plan a joint event with YMG or a student chapter (we have
student chapters at the U of M, Mankato, and St. Thomas). The committee chair has to be willing to compile a contact
list and invite people to participate. And be willing to keep trying! The section Board can help the committee leader with
occasional email blasts or a phone list for a text blast. If you want to get involved, the current committee chairs are listed
on our web site at or you can contact a Board member if you do not hear back from the committee
If you think you might be interested in participating on the section Board of Directors, talk to any of the current Board
members. The Board is composed of four director positions with a 2-year commitment (Outreach, Awards, Events, and
Communications), and five executive positions starting with two years as secretary or treasurer, then moving to one year
as president-elect, president, and past-president (essentially a 5-year commitment). There is no paid staff. The Board has
monthly business meetings and an annual all-day planning meeting in July where the annual budget is set. Elections take
place in late summer or early fall. There are opportunities for Board members to travel to Society conferences, such as the
ASCE national convention and several ASCE leadership training events. My experience with ASCE has been much richer
because of the great people I have met and worked with on the committees and the Board.
Bruce Holdhusen, P.E.
Minnesota Section President
Volume 52, No. 3
Spring 2018
n e w s
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
Rondo Bridge: Reuniting and Supporting a Community
Completing a bridge creates a sense of satisfaction on a lot of levels, but it 's rare when a bridge structure is actually designed
to heal a community. Sure, bridges connect people and can create opportunities for connections that might not otherwise have
happened. But those are usually side effects of the primary purpose of bridge: to connect roads and facilitate traffic flow.
The Rondo Landbridge - which is the Rondo community's choice of terms - is not about roads and traffic. It 's about healing
a community torn apart decades ago by the construction of I-94. The history of that rift is well-known and easily accessed.
The proposal to build a bridge that reconnects the Rondo community is still in its early stages, but early designs show a
platform five blocks long over the top of I-94. So what are the engineering challenges of such a structure?
Tom Fisher, director of the University of Minnesota Design Center, has been working on this proposed design, and it 's going
to have some elements that make it very different from a typical bridge over a highway. In some ways it 's going to have its
own ecosystem with green space, a public park, buildings and even commercial space. It might even have trees.
In its current iteration, Fisher envisions retaining walls on each embankment being redeveloped to support the structure.
These embankments, owned by MnDOT, will be a place for residential and commercial buildings. If these retaining walls
provide enough support, there might not be any need for a central support system between the lanes of I-94 underneath the
Fisher also envisions the structure being supported by a Vierendeel truss. The advantage to that design, he says, is it "allows
people to inhabit the truss space itself, while also enabling the truss to span a long distance."
Cyrus Knutson is the director of the Center for Community Connections for MnDOT and spokesperson for the project. The
agency has done projects like this - essentially caps over highways - in other places around the state*. He says that the
structure as it is currently proposed is just like other interstate overpasses with maybe a few different support requirements.
What makes it really different from other bridges, he says, is the services that will need to be provided out to the platform.
Water, sewer, electricity, and irrigation for the parks will make this structure different from a typical bridge.
The buildings proposed for both the retaining walls and the platform will be mixed use. In addition to housing and
commercial space, says Fisher, there will be educational spaces, production facilities to provide jobs and even makers '
spaces. "It a great civil engineering project and I 'd love to have the civil engineering community involved in it," he adds.
*There are four caps in Duluth, one over the Hiawatha Line in Minneapolis and a proposed platform over Hwy 100 in Edina.
ASCE Minnesota 2018 Awards Banquet
The annual awards banquet was held at the Science Museum in Saint Paul on April 19.
The keynote speaker was ASCE President-elect Robin Kemper who spoke about
"Engineering your Career."
As in the past, this event celebrates members of the ASCE Minnesota Section and
students at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University Mankato. New
this year were students from the University of Saint Thomas who are in their first year of
a new Civil Engineering program.
2018 ASCE Distinguished Engineer:
Prof. Catherine French with section
President Bruce Holdhusen and Society
President-elect Robin Kemper
A few of the new life members with section
President Bruce Holhusen and Society President-
elect Robin Kemper
Outstanding Engineer of the year Todd
Clarkowski with section President Bruce
Holdhusen and Society President-elect
Robin Kemper
SEI chapter structural scholarship award
recipient with section President Bruce
Holdhusen, SEI chapter chair Daniel Baxter
and Society President-elect Robin Kemper
University of Saint Thomas award recipients
with section President Bruce Holdhusen and
Society President-elect Robin Kemper
University of Minnesota award recipients
with section President Bruce Holdhusen and
Society President-elect Robin Kemper
Minnesota State University Mankato award
recipients with section President Bruce
Holdhusen and Society President-elect
Robin Kemper
Committee Updates
Construction Committee
This committee coordinates construction tours throughout the year, typically in September. Anyone interested in being
added to our email list and/or helping to coordinate future construction tours can contact Mark Snyder at Mark.Snyder@
Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Committee
2018 EWRI World Congress in Minneapolis
The Minnesota Chapter hosted the 2018 Environmental and Water Resources Institute World Congress at the Hyatt Regency
in Minneapolis, June 3-7, 2018. The General Chair was Dr. Rebecca Teasley of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the
Local Organizing Committee Chair was Brett Staeden of Terracon.
The Congress was attended by approximately 2500 people, and featured
13 concurrent technical sessions tracks covering 20 unique technical
areas, 13 technical workshops, a reception, a key social, and 5 technical
tours. The technical tours included the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, the
St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, CHS Field, Hall 's Island reconstruction
project, and a Sustainability Tour in the Village of St. Anthony.
EWRI World Congress - History and Heritage Track - June 4, 2018
Jeremy Walgrave, PE, ENV SP, A.M.ASCE
Minnesota has a rich history of engineering and distinguished engineers.
The late afternoon session of the History and Heritage track on June 4 was titled History of St. Anthony Falls Laboratory and
Minnesota Civil Engineering History.
Dr. Rebecca Teasley, A.M.ASCE, from the University of Minnesota-Duluth gave a presentation on the ASCE Student
Chapter history in Minnesota. I had the opportunity to present highlights from the ASCE Minnesota Section 's Centennial
Celebration from 2014, which included the 100-year Celebration Gala and several historical papers that were developed by
local engineers.
The remainder of the session included presentations on the St.
Anthony Falls Laboratory. Dr. Roger Arndt provided a historical
summary of the St. Anthony Fall Laboratory. Dr. Heinz Stefan
presented on several cutting-edge environmental research projects
that are ongoing or recently completed. Dr. Lian Shen wrapped up
the session with a presentation on recent developments and future
outlook of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
It was great to see a mix of local and non-local engineers attending
the session to learn more about the ASCE Minnesota Chapter
and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. If the success of Minnesota 's
engineers over the last 100 years is any indication of things to
come, we all have a bright future ahead of us.
Geotechnical Committee (Minnesota Geotechnical Society)
MGS holds monthly meetings from October through May. To find out more or get involved, visit www. or contact Joe Bentler at
History & Heritage Committee
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.
If anyone is interested in chairing this committee, please contact Lisa Breu at
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 committee holds monthly breakfast meetings and schedules technical seminars throughout the year, as always,
practitioners as well as students are welcome to attend. Please contact Daniel Baxter ( for more
information or to be added to the Structure Committee 's mailing list.
EWRI Congress Social Gathering at St. Anthony Falls
Tour of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Report Card Committee
The past few months, the Report Card Committee has been using the data gathered to draft initial grades for each report card
category researched. The draft grades and basis for grades will be sent to ASCE nationals in the next couple weeks 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). If you would
like to be added to the email list for Transportation Committee events, please contact You can
also check out the calendar on our website ( for upcoming events.
Outreach Committee
Civil Engineering Day at The Science Museum of Minnesota
Tunnels, drones, wind turbines, oh my! Civil Engineering Day at the Science of Museum
of Minnesota was a smashing success! Even with fierce competition from the beautiful
weather, museum attendance was good as visitors came to see what civil engineering is
all about. Civil engineering firms and societies also
came out in force to show off our fascinating industry.
ASCE student chapter members showed off their steel
bridge and their cross section and floating concrete
from the concrete canoe. ASCE YMG members
hosted a measurement and communication
activity where participants drew tunnel openings
on opposite sides of a plexiglass divider that
could reveal how well their tunnels met up.
Collins Engineers brought their drone cage and harnessed volunteers to a gantry for
a bridge inspection rope access demo. The
Friendly Hills Middle School Future City
Team came with their city model to share
their vision of the world of tomorrow.
Inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge and the book "Twenty-One Elephants and Still
Standing," SEH brought materials for visitors to build a bridge to hold 21 elephant
figurines. MnDOT taught the science
of giant Jenga and showed LRRB 's
careers in civil engineering video from NCITE led a
crash barrier exercise and had signs and a traffic signal game. MNSEA and ACEC
hosted a constructions site selfie photo booth and gave out awesome safety glasses.
APWA taught us how to stop stormwater
pollution with stormwater plinko. MNSPE
challenged visitors to build strong, yet
cost-effective spaghetti bridges. SRF
challenged visitors in infrastructure mini golf. HDR
helped participants build a spinning wind turbine.
WTS hosted a lunch and viewing of Dream Big.
Thanks to all who came out to volunteer, everyone
who took part in planning, and special thanks to
our sponsors for the day, SEH, HDR,
APWA, ASCE, Bolton &
Menk, MSES, and SRF! The Science
Museum was a fantastic host and has a
great team of organizers to partner with.
The award winning giant
screen film, Dream Big,
will continue showing
in the Omnitheater until
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 communities 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, significant 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 registration.)
This spring the Younger Members
Group had several events: Build 'em
and Bust 'em, a Student Social event
with the ASCE UMN Chapter, and
a Twins game. At Build 'em and
Bust 'em we had around 200 middle
school students compete in a bridge
competition on February 23 and
March 2. The YMG judged which
bridge could hold the most weight
and which was the most efficient.
At the Student Social on March 6,
students from the UMN networked
with the YMG, learned more
about the industry and potential
internship/job opportunities. The weather for the Twins game on May 22 could
not have been better. We had around 40 engineers gather at the 508 Bar for
appetizers and socializing at the game. The only way the night could have been
better is if the Twins pulled out the comeback win.
Upcoming Events
- Friday After College: Friday, July 13 (4:00 PM - 10:00 PM)
Starting at the Court International Building, 2550 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55114
Join your fellow ASCE young engineers, UMN, and UST students for a social event at different bars and breweries
(tentatively Stub and Herbs Bar, Hopcat, and Inbound) throughout the night. Food and appetizers will be provided. An
e-mail and flier will be sent out next week with more details. Please email with any questions.
- BBQ Picnic: Mid August (5-8 PM) Boom Island, Shelter B, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Join the YMG for a picnic after the workday in August. Food and beverages will be provided. The date is yet to be
determined and will be e-mailed out once decided.
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
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
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