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					      Page 1                                                                                       The Forge

                                                     THE FORGE
                                                      Shaping the future, one design at a time!
                                                    Newsletter of the Birmingham Branch of ASCE

        President          Vice President             Secretary/Treasurer                         April 2010
        John Clark          Karen Phillips              Lori Beth Kearley

                     Birmingham Branch- ASCE, P.O. Box 190366, Birmingham, AL 35219

                                Meeting Information
                                Our monthly meetings are the first Thursday of each month at
                                the Altadena Valley Golf and Country Club off Acton Road near
                                Exit 17 on I-459. April’s meeting will take place on April 1st.
                                The meeting starts at 11:30 am.
                                The Club’s address is 2651 Alta Vista Drive, Birmingham,
                                Alabama 35243 and can be reached from the Acton Road exit
INSIDE THIS ISSUE               just west of Highway 280 on I-459. The club’s phone number is
1 Meeting Information           205-967-5322. Please visit the website for maps and directions
                                from your location.
1 Mark Your Calendars
                                The price is $14.00 per person, which you can pay to the
2 April’s Lunchtime             Branch Secretary/Treasurer at the meeting or online at our
  Presenter                     website. We request that if you plan to attend the meeting,
                                please contact Lori Beth Kearley at 205-940-6420 or through
2 The Ballots are Coming!       the Branch’s e-mail at and indicate
   The Ballots are Coming!      your plans to attend no later than noon the Monday before the
4 Pre-College Outreach          meeting. Thanks.
4 Younger Member Group
5 UAB Student Chapter
6 To Be or Not To Be . . . a
                                Mark Your Calendars
  Member, That Is
                                     •       April 8, 2010 - Younger Member Group Meeting at
7 Newsletter Sponsors                        Gallet, a Terracon Company
7 Branch Contact
  Information                        •       April 26, 2010 - 1st Annual Joint CSI/ASCE Birmingham
                                             Chapter Golf Tournament at Pine Tree Country Club

April’s Lunchtime Presenter
Mark Gwynn with AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe will discuss AMERICAN’s
production of spiral-welded, carbon steel plant it manufactures at its state-of-
the-art plant in Columbia, South Carolina. Mr. Gwynn will also discuss other
products AMERICAN provides to meet a variety of water and other liquid service

Mr. Gwynn is responsible for the marketing of AMERICAN ductile iron pipe,
AMERICAN Spiralweld Pipe and AMERICAN STEEL Pipe to the national
industrial/power markets as well as AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe to distributor
plant markets. He joined the company in 1986 and has served in numerous
marketing and management positions with them. He holds a bachelor’s and
master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and is a
registered professional engineer.

After graduation from UF in 1982, Mr. Gwynn started his career with Chicago
Bridge & Iron Company and with Paul J. Ford and Company, Structural
Engineers. In 2007, he was elected and confirmed as a trustee for the
California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association and
oversees the Business Administration Division for the Section. He is a member
of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the University of Florida national
Alumni Association. Gwynn is married to the former Patricia Evans of St.
Petersburg Florida, and they have three grown children.

Founded in 1905, Birmingham-based AMERICAN is a manufacturer of ductile
iron pipe, fire hydrants and valves for the waterworks industry and electric-
resistance steel pipe for the oil and natural gas industry. AMERICAN’s
diversified product line also includes spiral-welded steel pipe, for pumps,
centrifugally cast steel tubes, static castings and fabricated assemblies.
Product and company information may be found at

The Ballots are Coming! The Ballots Are Coming!
In reviewing the Branch’s governing documents preparing for officer elections
and other business, the Executive Committee discovered a few provisions that
the officers have discussed at length among themselves. The principal result of
the review and discussion is a clarification of what defines Branch membership.
Summarizing, to be a Branch member, one must:

   •   Be a current member of ASCE (the Society), and;
   •   Be a subscribing member of the Alabama Section ASCE (Section) and
       residing or working within the Birmingham Branch boundary.

After meeting these two conditions, a person becomes a member of the Branch
upon payment of each year’s annual dues and by adherence to its by-laws. A
Life member of the Society is exempt from paying dues and is considered a
Branch member if residing or working within the Branch boundaries and
adhering to the by-laws. The Society makes available the database of its
members that have been allocated to the Section and then the Branch. The
Branch Secretary-Treasurer is the only officer authorized to access the

The status of an individual attending Branch meetings falls into one of two
categories. The first category is a person who meets the conditions for Branch
membership. The second category is a guest. Guests may consist of people
who are not members of the Society and the Section, who are not Section
members, or who are Society and Section members and have not met the
remaining conditions for Branch membership. A person not a Branch member
who pays the Branch $20 has made a donation only.

The Executive Committee concluded that any Branch meeting may have
attendees from either of these categories. The Committee also found that,
unfortunately, attendees often do not know or recall their own status of
membership at one or more levels of ASCE. The by-laws state that only persons
meeting all conditions of membership are eligible to vote on Branch business or
hold offices or committee positions.

Because many individuals may be uncertain about their status of membership
and to assure that the Branch adheres to its by-laws, President Clark will use a
written ballot at the May meeting’s election of officers. Only attendees whose
names appear on the Secretary-Treasurer’s list of members will receive a
ballot.   The ballot will show the names of individuals the Nominating
Committee proposes for each position. There may be write-in candidates for
nominations made by members from the floor. Within a week of the meeting,
the Secretary-Treasurer will post the results of the balloting in an e-mail to the

The Executive Committee solicits comments and suggestions on how to clearly
and consistently distinguish among the various categories of meeting attendees
for special events, such as elections, and when we conduct normal Branch
business. Please contact John, Karen, Lori Beth, or Bobby to discuss your

Pre-College Outreach
By Sheila Montgomery

Spring has just arrived and already it is hard to gain people’s attention! The
month of March and the accompanying Spring Break activities slowed the

progress of the Pre-College Outreach Committee but only temporarily. We are
in the process of scheduling a meeting with Dr Fouad, Dean of UAB’s
Department of Civil Construction and Environmental Engineering, to discuss
how UAB and ASCE can work together in the Pre-College Outreach Program. In
addition, we are reaching out to faculty members at our local schools to
determine their needs and insure that the program we create will be well

For those of you who do not know, the committee is tasked with creating a new
program to replace the Coloring Book Competition. The long term goal is to
create a competition for area students and have the schools compete at UAB
introducing students to the civil engineering profession and to UAB’s CCEE
Department. In the near term, the committee plans to work with a small group
beginning with the new school year for 2010-2011 to refine and adjust the
program as needed before launching on a larger scale.

I believe this and similar efforts are very vital to our future, both as citizens
and as professional engineers. Please join us in our efforts to educate the
future leaders in our industry. If you have any suggestions for the committee
or wishes to participate, please contact the committee chair, Shelia
Montgomery, at Also, if you know of an area K-12
faculty member who would be interested in sharing their ideas on this program
with us, please let me know or feel free to share my contact information with

The mission of the Pre-College Outreach Program is to inform the Birmingham
metropolitan area's educators, students and their parents about the civil
engineering profession, and to support the educators' teaching efforts by
providing educational tools, mentoring support, and establishing creative and
competitive venues that challenge students and encourage their interest in
civil engineering.

Younger Members Group
By Maggie Weems

The March meeting of the Younger Members Group (YMG) of the ASCE
Birmingham Branch was held at the office of Hatch Mott MacDonald. The
turnout could have been better, but the quality of the food, the company, and
the information provided by the Northwestern Mutual speaker was outstanding!
The YMG has scheduled the April meeting for April 8, 2010, at the office of
Gallet, a Terracon Company, at 6:00 p.m. Ms. Nancy Hendrix of Dale Carnegie
will discuss the topic of “Goal-Setting” and/or “Presentation Skills”.

If you are interested in becoming an YMG officer, please attend the April
meeting or contact Lindsey Sanders via email at: Also
in the month of April, the YMG will sponsor a putting contest at the joint
ASCE/CSI golf tournament on April 26, 2010. Proceeds will supplement the
YMG General Fund which is utilized to sponsor community service activities and
networking/social events. During the months of May, June, July, and August,
the YMG will suspend regular monthly meetings. We will continue to hold
community service and social events periodically as a way to keep in touch
during the summertime. We appreciate the support that the Birmingham
Branch has provided to the YMG during our transitional time. We look forward
to continuing to make a positive contribution to the Branch and the City of

You can now find us on LinkedIn! Please join Birmingham ASCE - Younger
Members to stay in touch with the YMG.

UAB Student Chapter Update
By Sheila Montgomery

From March 19th through the 21st, Auburn University hosted the 2010 American
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Southeast Student Conference with the
assistance of co-hosts UAH and UAB. Over 900 civil engineering students
representing 25 schools attended the Conference. The UAB ASCE Student
Chapter had the responsibility of the design, judging and delivery of 4 main
events: Hydraulics, Balsa Dome, Visual Display, and T-shirt. The students
worked for a year to ensure these events would be successful.

The UAB competition team consisted of only 14 students who competed in 11
events. Despite UAB’s having the conference’s smallest competition team, the
school competed admirably. The team garnered a 2nd place trophy in the field
survey competition and 4 additional top ten finishes in Hydraulics, Visual
Display, T-Shirt and Construction.        Overall UAB finished 18 of 25.
Unfortunately the concrete canoe did not receive a score. During removal from
the mold, a crack developed and eventually the canoe broke in two. There
were positive comments from the submittals the team made for the canoe. If
the canoe had held together, the team would have likely had a top ten overall
finish. There were many innovations this year that will serve well at next
year’s competition, such as, female form and mix design.

UAB once again performed on a shoestring budget of $5000, which included
funds for travel, materials and registration. In the end, this is small amount
compared to what many other schools spend. The hardworking UAB ASCE
students raised all the funds required and were able to be self supportive. Of
course, Dr Kirby’s iron stomach provided much of the momentum for the group.
If you will recall, it was just a few weeks ago when Dr Kirby made good on his

promise to eat a serving of pickled pig’s lips once the team raised $5000. For
funding support, UAB ASCE is extremely grateful to Vulcan Materials
Corporation and a member of its management team for their significant
contribution which insured the team’s reaching its budgeted goal.

Dr Jason Kirby, UAB ASCE Faculty Advisor, once again gave much of his own
personal time and effort to support the students. Providing assistance to Dr
Kirby was Richard Hawkins and Dr Chris Waldron, fellow UAB faculty members.
ASCE sends a special thank you to Dr Jason Kirby, Richard Hawkins, and Dr Chris
Waldron for their continued efforts on behalf of UAB ASCE Student Chapter

ASCE would like to congratulate our future leaders, the UAB ASCE Student
Chapter members, who worked tirelessly to compete in Sectionals: Joey
Sprague, Stephen Gremmels, Melissa Johnson, Jessica Thompson, Allison
Cheatwood, Jeewon Park, Joshua Phillips, Ethan Parker, Daniel Lavender,
Daniel Brown, Cameron Parker, Justin Moman, Rodney Thornton, and Jason

To Be or Not To Be . . . a Member, That Is
In another article (The Ballots are Coming! The Ballots are Coming!) in this
newsletter, there is discussion about what constitutes Branch membership. As
an incentive for meeting attendees to become ASCE (Society) and Branch
members, the Executive Committee is considering implementing a two-tier cost
for the luncheon meal.

Branch members who have pre-registered on time for the lunch would continue
to pay the usual cost, which is presently $14, for the meal. The remaining
attendees, including Branch members who did not pre-register on time, would
pay a higher amount, probably $20. The additional monies would accrue to the
Branch’s account for budgetary uses. More importantly, the additional cost
could motivate some attendees to satisfy the full requirements for Branch
membership to secure the meal at the lower cost. The higher cost would also
encourage on time pre-registration for the meal, allowing the Branch to more
accurately provide attendance numbers to Altadena for meal preparation.
Membership would be decided by the appearance of the person’s name on the
Secretary-Treasurer’s list of members, a copy of which the Secretary-Treasurer
will have at each meeting. The Secretary-Treasurer will also have a list of pre-
registrants, as well.

President Clark will open the floor at Thursday’s (April 1, 2010) meeting for a
discussion of this issue. Please attend to offer your opinions.

Newsletter Sponsors

                         SPACE AVAILABLE!
          Where else can you reach over 500 people for such
          a low price? Put your company on the map today!

   Don’t see your company’s name here? Support your branch! For a fee of $50.00
   per month your company’s name can reach over 500 engineers, scientists and
   potential clients in the Birmingham Area. If you would like to advertise in next
   month’s issue, please contact Lori Beth Kearley @ 205-940-6420 or mail your
   check to P.O. 190366, Birmingham, AL 35219.

Branch Contact Information

               President               Vice President          Secretary/Treasurer

                                                                 Lori Beth Kearley
                                           Karen Phillips
                                                                  Sain Associates
              John Clark                 City of Talladega
         Volkert and Associates            205-541-5148

        DUES: ASCE Birmingham Branch (2009-2010) Total Due: $20.00
        MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO: ASCE-Birmingham Branch
        P.O. Box 190366, Birmingham, AL 35219
        Interested in volunteering your time?_______________________________