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If the United States is to address the challenges of an aging infrastructure, shrinking energy and water resources, and globalization, action must be taken now to attract, educate, and train talented young civil engineers to compete in a rapidly changing and technology-driven world. That is the focus of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) 138th Annual Civil Engineering Conference titled, Engineering: The Workforce of the Future.

The conference, Nov. 6-8, 2008, in Pittsburgh, will open with a plenary session featuring a keynote address by Jason Jennings, who will focus on the future of the civil engineering profession and the steps that can be taken to meet the industry’s challenges and sustain a thriving workforce.

Conference tracks include the following:

  • The Civil Engineering Workforce, A Look Ahead, which will examine programs developed and successfully implemented by various organizations in an effort to address engineering workforce issues;
  • Risk-Based Future in Civil Engineering, which will provide an opportunity to learn from the experts how methods are evolving to quantify risk for infrastructure systems against a variety of hazards, and how to understand and effectively manage that risk;
  • Engineering Leadership, which will help attendees develop leadership skills such as time management, public speaking, and networking; and
  • ASCE Presents, which is designed to enhance attendees’ career and professional development.

The conference’s closing session will feature a discussion on robotics in civil engineering led by William L. Whittaker, Ph.D., director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Field Robotics Center. Whittaker will discuss the state of the robotics industry and lunar development.

More information on the conference is available online at www.asceannualconference.org.