Global Link – International Activities
Spring 2023

ASCE hosts Pan American Union of Engineering Societies annual meeting
ASCE 2023 President Maria Lehman, center, takes part in the Pan American Union of Engineering Societies annual meeting alongside newly inaugurated UPADI president Aridai Herrera, third from right.

Leaders of engineering societies from 14 countries in the Americas and Puerto Rico convened at ASCE’s Washington, D.C. offices for the annual meeting of the Pan American Union of Engineering Societies, known best by its Spanish acronym UPADI, for Unión Panamericana de Asociaciones de Ingenieros. With ASCE and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as the U.S. representatives on UPADI, ASCE served as meeting host. Representatives from the societies in the 27-member UPADI who could not attend in person did so virtually. Aridai Herrera, M.ASCE, was inaugurated president for a two-year term. 

The meeting was capped by a declaration agreed to by UPADI representatives calling for global leaders to “foster engineering education and development, mitigate damages due to natural disasters, design and construct climate resilient infrastructure, and commit to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”
ASCE extends sympathies to Turkey and Syria earthquake victims, works with damage assessment teams
The world has looked on with horror and sympathy as southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria have suffered tens of thousands of deaths and massive destruction to buildings and infrastructure on a widespread scale as a result of the 7.8-level earthquake on Feb. 6. 

Promptly, ASCE sent members of the ASCE Turkey Group a message of sympathy. The Society also has made a collection of relevant ASCE journal papers available for free. ASCE member Menzer Pehlivan, who was born and educated in Turkey and deployed to Turkey with the GEER assessment team, shared her reactions in an article for Civil Engineering Source. A web page on provides links to worthy relief organizations to donate to.

The Structural Engineering Institute is working with a reconnaissance team formed by the American Concrete Institute that will assess collapsed buildings with an eye toward what can be learned to help revise standards, including ASCE 7 and ASCE 41, and eventually, building codes. The Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute is considering a team to investigate damage to a port near the epicenter, while the Geo-Institute is collaborating with other geotechnical and seismic groups already in the area.
International water conference held in Bangladesh and at ASCE
Held simultaneously in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and at ASCE headquarters in northern Virginia, the 11th International Perspectives on Water Resources and the Environment conference considered how to mitigate the potential effects of climate change, especially in one host country already prone to flooding, and on such effects in the United States, from the Everglades and the Mississippi River to drought in the West. 2023 President Maria Lehman traveled to Bangladesh to attend the conference segment there in person. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration representatives were among the many high-level participants of the U.S. segment.

ASCE’s Environmental & Water Resources Institute and continuing education department coordinated the three-day hybrid gathering with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. The conference attracted the attention of Bangladeshi news media; in one example, Lehman was interviewed by the Bangladesh Post
Lehman strengthens Society’s ties in Bangladesh, Portugal, Qatar
ASCE President Maria Lehman, center, views the structure of the new Padma Bridge crossing the Ganges River in Bangladesh, south of Dhaka.

2023 President Maria Lehman has conducted extensive international travel on behalf of ASCE. As noted above, she traveled to Bangladesh for the joint conference on water resources; while in Dhaka, she met with leaders and members of the ASCE Bangladesh Section and the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, and signed an agreement of cooperation with IEB.

Lehman was taken on a tour of the new Padma Bridge spanning the Ganges River, where she hailed the achievement as an “extreme engineering feat”; read local news coverage of the event. She was joined by Region 10 Governor Kamal Laksiri, ASCE Bangladesh Section President Md. Didarul Alam, and EWRI leaders. Lehman also made a point of visiting with women civil engineers in Bangladesh.

In Porto, Portugal, Lehman followed up on an invitation to display ASCE’s Future World Vision extended by the Order of Engineers Portugal during the ASCE 2022 Convention. She demonstrated Mega City 2070 and its virtual reality experience at the World Council of Civil Engineers’ 17th General Assembly. The event received coverage in local media and on CNN.

In Doha, Qatar, Lehman was keynote speaker at Qatar University’s 2nd International Conference on Civil Infrastructure and Construction. She also met with the university’s ASCE Student Chapter members.
Costa Rica Section president travels to Denver for Multi-Region Leadership Conference
Because Mario Alberto Vargas Brenes, SMC, M.ASCE, wants to be a more effective leader, the president of ASCE’s Costa Rica Section traveled to Denver for training at the Society’s Multi-Region Leadership Conference. As he described it, “the event was intense … As well as other events I had the opportunity to participate in, the importance of developing soft skills and learning how to influence others in a positive way to make things happen to achieve a better world was an aspect pretty much remarked on most of the sessions,” Brenes said. “As president of the Costa Rica Section, it’s my responsibility to transfer this knowledge to the rest of my colleagues in the section.”
Region 10 governor serving as Sri Lanka engineering society’s president
Kamal Laksiri, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, an ASCE Region 10 governor through 2024, is also 2022-23 president of The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka. The society is Sri Lanka’s official engineering licensure agency. Incorporated in 1968 by the Sri Lankan parliament, IESL is the nation’s largest engineers’ organization with more than 20,000 members. It also provides engineering perspectives on issues of national significance to the government and the general public.
President of Nigeria Section’s Kaduna Branch dies at 61
Dawood Akinwale Kelani, M.ASCE, an accomplished Nigerian construction engineer and president of the ASCE Nigeria Section – Kaduna Branch, has died at 61. Over the course of his career, Kelani was involved in a multitude of civil engineering projects across Nigeria, including construction of a mosque in Aiyepe-Ogun; a prototype housing plan in Yaba, Lagos; and an arid zone development program headquarters in Gasua, Yobe. He had just won the Safety Ambassadors Award from the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria in December. Read more about Mr. Kelani.
ASCE provides English-language translation and editing of journal papers
Now you can produce polished English-language papers that meet the rigorous style standards of academic journals, including ASCE’s. A new partnership with Editage offers language editing and translation services for authors. ASCE members receive a 15% discount. Learn how it works.
Join fellow international members in discussions at ASCE Collaborate
ASCE Collaborate is an exclusive forum where Society members from the United States and around the world engage in lively, timely discussions about issues they confront daily on the job. Virtually any topic is welcome and open to discussion. Start or join a conversation now!
Geo-Congress 2023
with 60th anniversary Karl Terzaghi Lecture
Los Angeles
March 26-29
India ASCE Student Symposium
KPR Institute of Engineering and Technology
Arasur, Tamil Nadu, India (virtual)
March 28-29
ASCE annual officers election
May 1-31
SEI Structures Congress 2023
New Orleans
May 3-6
Greater China ASCE Student Symposium
Harbin Institute of Technology
Harbin, China
May 6-7
2023 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress
Henderson, Nevada
May 21-25
Submit your item for a future Global Link
Do you have news or an announcement for ASCE international members that might be worthy of an item in Global Link? Submit it to Civil Engineering Source associate editor John Marston at