President’s Message
Who is ready for spring? I know I am. This
winter has been a busy one for the Minnesota
Section. The section continues to provide many
professional development opportunities for its
members. An example of this was our December
meeting. The presentation was about the
Rethinking I-94. Please check out www.ascemn.
org for upcoming events. We are always looking for presentation
ideas and better yet people willing to present. You can contact us at if you have thoughts on either.
It is only a few weeks into 2019 and the Legislative committee has
been busy getting the report card in front of our elected ocials at
the State Level. See newsletter article for additional details about the
legislative eorts.
As I mentioned in the fall Newsletter, we have a great group
volunteers that help make the Minnesota section a great organization.
We are always looking for more volunteers. If you are looking for
ways to get involved, please feel free to contact me.
Jason Staebell, P.E.
Minnesota Section President
olume 53, No. 2
Winter 2018/2019
n e w s
Upcoming Events
Thursday, February 14, 2019. ASCE is partnering with ACEC’s Day on the Hill at the Capitol. This is your
chance to help us continue educating legislators about the Report Card, its ndings and suggestions to “Raise the
Grade.” Register here:
Thursday, February 21, 2019. Section Meeting. Joint Meeting with Minnesota Geotechnical Society. “Boston
Central Artery & Tunnel”. Register on the section website
Friday, March 1, 2019. The Younger Member Group & St. Thomas student chapter host Build ‘Em & Bust ‘Em.
Contact for more info.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Section Meeting. Joint meeting with Society of American Military Engineers.
Register on the section website
Minnesota Section ASCE
Board of Directors
Jason Staebell, PE
First Past President
Bruce Holdhusen, PE
President Elect
Dr. Jia-Liang Le, PE, PhD
Tim Lamkin, PE
Andrew Nordseth, PE
Director of Awards
Hannah Albertus Benham, PE
Director of Communications
Ariel Christenson, PE
Director of Events
Jeremy Walgrave, PE
Director of Outreach
Lisa Breu, PE
Jason Staebell
Recap of Recent ASCE Minnesota Section Meetings
October Section Meeting: PFAS Issues in Minnesota
The Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Committee sponsored the October ASCE Minnesota Section meeting at
the Crooked Pint Event Center in Maplewood.
The annual installation of ocers to the Minnesota Section of ASCE – Board of Directors takes place in October of each
year. Carl Sutter, ASCE Region 3 Director was present to swear in the new ocers.
Following the installation of the new board of directors, speakers
presented on a variety of topics related to PFAS (Peruoroalkyl
Substances) including where PFAS exists in Minnesota, potential
solutions for treating PFAS, recent work being done in Minnesota
to mitigate PFAS contamination, and PFAS issues related to
landlls. Speakers were Virginia Yingling, Minnesota Department
of Health; Brian Bachmeier, City of Oakdale; Steve Nelson,
Bolton & Menk; and Eric Hesse, Terracon.
November Section Meeting: MnDOT Connected and Automated Vehicle Initiative and
Innovations in Pavement Engineering
The ASCE MN Mankato Student Chapter hosted the November Section meeting at the Taylor Center at Minnesota State
University - Mankato.
Michael Kronzer presented on MnDOT Connected and Automated Vehicles Initiatives.
Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) technology is rapidly advancing and has the
potential to revolutionize the transportation industry. The presentation touched on how
the State of Minnesota is moving forward to address
CAV policy and planning challenges. Michael also
discussed the MnDOT Autonomous Shuttle Pilot
project and the issue of automated vehicle winter
weather testing.
Michael Vrtis, a research engineer with MNDOT, presented on current pavement
engineering innovations at MnDOT and gave an overview of the MnROAD facility.
Click here to view the powerpoint presentations from the November Section Meeting.
December Section Meeting: Re-thinking I-94
The Transportation Committee of the ASCE Minnesota Section sponsored the December Section Meeting at Rock Bottom
Brewery in Minneapolis. Gloria Je, Project Director for Rethinking I-94 at MnDOT, presented on MnDOT’s current eorts
for I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
When I-94 was constructed in the 1960s, neighborhoods were destroyed,
businesses and homes were lost, and communities were disconnected.
Rethinking I-94 is developing a new approach to building partnerships and
reframing how a state transportation agency can think outside the highway.
The rst phase of Rethinking I-94 was initiated in 2016 as a two-year eort
to develop a vision for I-94 through St. Paul and Minneapolis and understand
both its
community and
transportation context. The vision is intended to connect issues
identied through a comprehensive public engagement process
relevant to today and beyond.
Asset Management: Wiser long-term decisions about our infrastructure
By: Bob Filipczak
Forcing engineers to use terms, and tools, gleaned from the nancial world seems, at rst, like a bad idea. Engineers’ minds
are their tools and they have developed them in specialized ways that give them a unique perspective on problems. Why force
them to think in terms of assets?
It turns out that it does help to ask engineers to think in terms of the assets they manage for at least two reasons, says Mike
Marti, Principal of SRF Consulting. He is working with the Minnesota LRRB to help counties develop asset management
First, civil engineers working for the state, or counties or cities are public servants spending taxpayers’ money.
Second, cities and counties and states often own more assets than most private businesses.
A catalyst for changing the way engineers think about infrastructure has been less and less money every year. The mentality
of “x the worst rst,” says Marti, doesn’t work with current budgets. Asset management, he says, calls for a dierent
mentality of creating “a mix of xes”—meaning it might make more nancial sense to spend a little on preserving a good
road so it lasts longer rather than just chasing bad roads.
Dave Solsrud, Asset Management Project Manager for MnDOT, adds a couple of other reasons this approach is helpful. First,
it enhances the nancial eectiveness of the agency by helping decision makers have a long-term approach to the assets that
MnDOT manages. What does that look like?
Let’s take pavement as an example. Pavement mixes and designs have improved over the years. So too have pavement
longevity forecasts. Asset management connects and integrates capital with maintenance, says Solsrud, and they can then run
maintenance cost models against pavement forecasts.
Another plus in using asset management, says Solsrud, is it helps manage risk. By attaching a cost to risk, such as what
happens if an overhead sign falls on a highway, it helps prioritize things.
Of course, asset management isn’t really new. MnDOT and other state DOTs have been doing it years before it was mandated
in 2012 by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, MAP-21. “That pushed us to be taking more rigorous
long-term accounting for the costs of maintaining the things we own,” says Solsrud.
Some of those asset management mandates are migrating to counties and cities, says Marti, and their state funds are
becoming dependent on them developing an asset management plan.
Once the commitment to an asset plan is made, says Solsrud, the real work of doing an inventory of assets begins—roads,
bridges, culverts, overhead signs…everything. One of his surprises during the inventory were trac barriers. These are very
technical pieces of equipment that have been crash-tested. The inventory revealed that about 90 percent were decient, often
because they were incorrectly installed.
Says Solsrud, 50 percent of asset management is knowing what you have and what condition it is in. The other half is then
prioritizing maintenance of all of those assets.
Finally, says Marti, if you are a city or county engineer trying to develop an asset management plan, make sure it’s a team
eort. If your politicians and maintenance crews don’t buy into it, you could be ghting a multi-headed monster.
2019 Minnesota Future City Competition
ASCE-MN judged and presented the award winner for the Best Infrastructure Award
to Hmong Prep Academy (a charter school located in St. Paul).
48 teams competed on January 19 at Dakota County Technical College. Here are how
the top ve teams placed. Justice Page MS won rst place for the seond year in a row.
First place: Justice Page Middle School (Minneapolis) - The Lost Phoenix
Second place: Dodge Middle School (Farmington) - Elysian
Third place: Scott Highlands Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan) -
Sin Kuren No Toshi
Honorable Mention: Black Hawk Middle School (Rosemount-Apple Valley-
Eagan) - Titan
Honorable Mention: New London-Spicer Middle School - Joya del Mar
Committee Updates
Report Card Committee & Legislative Committee together with Transportation Committee
Our Story:
For two years a group of ASCE Minnesota members worked to produce the rst infrastructure report card for Minnesota
which was released to the public in October 2018. It is proving to be a powerful tool that coalitions of advocacy groups,
professional associations, rms, and our members are using to tell our story.
This session, ASCE is establishing our section as a deeply informed source of information about our systems. We, and other
existing coalitions, will use our report card to highlight the facts about infrastructure in a new way. Our intent is to get to the
point where someone hands a copy of the Report Card to a legislator and is told, “I’ve got ve of these already! I understand
the need.”
The report card is a dierent tool designed to produce dierent outcomes. It provides a credible source of information
and will be a key resource for policy makers to use when making decisions. We believe creating a legislative presence is
important to keeping the report card in front of lawmakers.
The Latest:
The Report Card was on the Hill over the last two weeks presenting for both the House Transportation Finance and Policy
Committee and the House Capital Investment Committee. Special thanks to the presenters who did a great job educating
policy makers on infrastructure and in answering the representatives’ hard-hitting questions.
Presenters were: Seth Spychala (Report Card overview), Nick Turner (Roads), Steve Olson (Bridges), Darwin Yasis (Transit),
Michael Monroe (Aviation), Craig Bursch (Ports), Dennis Martenson (Drinking Water & Wastewater)
Watch the House Transportation Finance presentation here:
The Report Card also made an appearance at the North Central Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers’
(NCITE’s) January meeting, Future City Competition, Rochester Chamber of Commerce Transportation Forum, American
Public Works Association (APWA) Minnesota Chapter’s Fall Conference, and more! Visit
minnesota for more info on the report card.
Contact Seth Spychala ( of the Legislative Committee or Jason Staebell (
of the Report Card Committee for more details and to see how you can make a dierence in making infrastructure a priority
at the state and local levels.
The Transportation Committee meets for lunch on the second Friday of every other month (through the winter). We look
forward to seeing you there. If you would like to be added to the email list for Transportation Committee events, please
contact Darwin Yasis at You can also check out the calendar on our website (http://www.ascemn.
org/Transportation_Committee.html) for upcoming events.
Structural Committee/SEI Chapter
There are two upcoming lectures hosted by the Structural Committee/SEI Chapter. PDHs will be provided. Watch your email
for additional information.
When Concrete Specications Are Not Governed by Compressive Strength
February 21
Speaker: Kevin MacDonald | President - Beton Consulting Engineers LLC
Towards an Integrated Fracture-Control Plan for Steel Bridges
March 14
Speaker: Robert J. Connor | Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the S-BRITE Center - Purdue University
Please contact Karl Gaebler ( for more information or to be added to the Structural
Committee’s mailing list. The committee also has monthly breakfast meetings, and as always, practitioners as well as students
are welcome to attend.
Outreach Committee
The Future City Competition was a success! Thank you to all who volunteered. Contact Lisa Breu at
for upcoming outreach events.
Minnesota Geotechnical Society – a Geo-Institute Chapter
MGS holds monthly meetings from October through May. To nd out more or get involved, visit www. or contact Jimmy Bennett at
Younger Member Group
ASCE Younger members group had several events occur over the past winter,
even though it feels like this winter will get well into the spring. We had
our annual bowling event which took place at Bryant Bowling in Uptown,
Minneapolis. We had over 30 people come and network with each other. We hope
the event keeps growing and we can get more companies involved.
In December we had our annual PE Information Session in partnership with
MnSPE. We had great speakers who gave great tips in helping pass the PE. I want
to give a huge thanks to everyone who volunteered their time teaching us more
about what to expect on the exam. Be on the lookout for more PE study sessions
in the near future.
ASCE Younger Members group volunteered for Future Cities event at Dakota
County Technical College on January 19. Future Cities is a competition
where middle school students create a city of the future that tackle our current
infrastructure challenges. This year the focus was on how cities can handle natural
disasters. We had a great time volunteering and look forward to volunteering next year.
YMG Board
Cody Preisler
Alysa Johnson
Vice President
Rajan Jha
Je Prasch
Katie Zadrozny
Media Chair
Brandon Brever
Frank Forsberg
Networking Chairs
Matthew Hardegger & Tyler Reich
Education & Outreach Chair
Marie DesHarnais & Ben Albrecht
Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Committee
Anyone interested in being added to our email list can contact Brett Staeden at
History & Heritage Committee
If anyone is interested in chairing this committee, please contact Lisa Breu at
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.
Congratulations to the ASCE MN nominations for 2019 MFESTS awards: Dr. Lauren Linderman (Assistant Prof. of Civil
Engineering at UMN) for the Young Engineer of the Year award, and Dr. Bojan Guzina (Prof. of Civil Engineering at UMN)
for the Distinguished Engineer award! Final MFESTS awards recipients are announced in late January or early February and
the MFESTS Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.
The Minnesota Section of ASCE has also established the ASCE-MN Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award to recognize
the outstanding contribution of local engineers to the civil engineering profession. The Board of Directors is soliciting
nominations for this award, to be presented at our annual awards banquet in April 2019.
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 awards@ascemn.
org by March 22, 2019. The Board will select the recipient at the March board meeting. If no recommendations are received,
the Board may select a recipient or choose to forego the award until the following year.
ASCE (national) has additional awards with deadlines fast approaching. The complete nomination rules and forms can be
found on the awards pages of the ASCE website linked below.
Civil Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The Civil Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes successful entrepreneurs who have created private-sector
organizations with sustained growth in civil engineering employment over a decade or more.
Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award
The Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award recognizes a Society member who has contributed substantially to
the status of the engineering profession by establishing a reputation for professional service.
Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award
The Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award recognizes distinguished civil engineers employed in public service for
signicant engineering contributions as a practitioner in public service.
Outstanding Public Ocial Award
The Outstanding Public Ocial Award (previously the Civil Government Award) recognizes those members of the
engineering profession who have rendered meritorious service in elective or appointive positions in government.
Parcel-Sverdrup Civil Engineering Management Award
The John I. Parcel-Leif J. Sverdrup Civil Engineering Management Award recognizes eective leadership and management
skills in the civil engineering profession.
Nominations are due by March 1, 2019. Therefore, the Minnesota Section is requesting nominations by February 28, 2019
to review at the March 1 Board meeting before submitting their nal nominations.
The Minnesota Section ASCEnews is published four times a year by the Minnesota
Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Ariel Christenson, Editor Teresa Kes, Assistant Editor
Student Chapters
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Greetings from the ASCE Student Chapter UMN-TC. Five new ocers were chosen in
December for the 2019 school year. We are in the planning stages of our spring philanthropic
events. The rst one will be a volunteer event for Feed My Starving Children. Invitations will
be sent out to all faculty and students of the Civil
Engineering department. One of our goals this
semester that has carried over from last semester is
to engage in more community service and include
faculty to help build closer relationships. Our
second event is a March Madness bracket fundraiser.
Students and faculty will be invited to purchase
brackets for $5 per bracket and all proceeds will be
donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Our goal this spring is raise more money than last
The Steel Bridge team is preparing for fabrication and the Concrete Canoe team is preparing for pour day. Both teams will be
very busy during the next month preparing for competition.
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas ASCE student chapter held an election in November for the 2019 executive board, and the
chapter is now operating under their leadership. The new cabinet consists of Maren Mosley, president; Chloe Weber, vice
president; Kaitlyn Peterson, secretary; Matt Heimerman, treasurer; Vanessa De La Vega Meza, archivist; Will Kaeding,
director of events; and Jack Berry, project chair.
Our past few guest speaker presentations have included young professionals from MnDOT, BKBM, BKV, MBJ, and HGA.
They were able to share their expertise in structural engineering and transportation-related elds as well as discuss how
students can get involved in networking and internship opportunities. We look forward to bringing in more guest speakers
from a variety of disciplines in the coming year.
Regarding upcoming events, we are planning to hold a “Build ‘Em and Bust ‘Em” event on campus on March 1. Middle
school students from the Twin Cities area will be able to test the strength of model bridges they construct as well as tour the
engineering labs and facilities at St. Thomas.
Minnesota State University - Mankato
Our chapter had a eld trip hosted by ISG. This eld trip showcased several dierent projects that were happening in
downtown Mankato. The projects included a PrairieCare medical building and Blue Earth County Government Center. These
projects helped many of our students that have not been to a job site experience what one can be like.
We also hosted our annual golf tournament which Bolton & Menk won. Our golf tournament is a great way for us to network
with professionals and for our chapter to raise money.
To round out the year we had other smaller events like Recharge Mankato, a softball game, and Adopt-a-Highway. Recharge
Mankato was an event to showcase the energy ecient projects and research that is happening in our department and across
campus. The softball game was a combined event with Adopt-a-Highway that allowed students to help our community and to
socialize with other members.
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