American Society of Civil Engineers
Volume VIII, No. 10 September 2004 Newsletter
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Social: 11:30-12:00 am
Lunch/Program: 12:00-1:00 pm
Embassy Suites Austin North
5901 IH-35 North
$15.00 for Members/Guests and $5.00 for government employees/students with RSVP
(walkups and late RSVPs will be charged an additional $3)
Pay on site – cash or checks payable to Austin Branch ASCE
Main Menu: Chicken Marsala
Vegetarian Menu: Angel Hair Pasta w/Pomadoro Sauce (no cheese)
Make Reservations by Noon, Friday, September 17, 2004:
Send an E-mail message reservation to email@example.com
Meeting Sponsorship by:
(see page 3 for more information)
ASCE in the Midst of Change
Presented and conducted by:
Crespin Guzman, P.E., Claunch & Miller, Inc
Austin Branch, Texas Section
Texas Section President Elect, Crespin Guzman, PE, will address the Branch meeting attendees
regarding the recent national election results on the ASCE Presidency and the Governance issue as well
as the Section election results. He will also speak about major Section activities this year and some for
the upcoming year along with highlights of the Section meeting in Houston. In closing, he will lead the
traditional installation of the new Austin Branch officers.
Crespin Guzman is currently with Claunch & Miller, Inc., Engineering Consultants, whose corporate
offices are in Houston. He is their Central Texas Regional Engineering Manager and his responsibilities
include management of the Austin and San Antonio operations. As a Civil Engineer with more than 30
years of experience, he retired from the City of Austin in early 2003 where he spent almost twenty five
years shared between the Public Works Department and the last twenty with the Water and Wastewater
Mr. Guzman has a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the Calendar of Events
University of Texas at Austin and later pursued a Masters in Public
Administration at the LBJ School of Public Affairs also at UT Austin.
His career began in the private sector in 1971 working in Civil
consulting in Brownsville, Texas. That was followed by his public 07 ASCE Branch Board Meeting
service tenure with the City of Austin and now he has returned to the 21 ASCE Austin Branch Membership
private sector with Claunch & Miller, Inc. in Austin. Meeting
29 Texas Section Fall Conference
Crespin continues to be active member of ASCE after having served at Houston, TX
the state, local and national levels of the organization in a variety of
leadership positions since joining in 1980. Other affiliations include October 2004
the AWWA where he was involved in the local and state organization’s
leadership efforts in the mid 1990’s. Since the 1980’s he has been a 05 ASCE Branch Board Meeting
19 ASCE Austin Branch Membership
committed volunteer in reaching out to young school students to help
create a greater awareness of the engineering profession through the
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Texas
Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME).
ASCE Austin Branch NEWSLETTER
By Susan Keller Roth, P.E.
As my term comes to a close, I would like to thank all of the officers, committee chairs, and volunteers for
making this year a remarkable success. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with so many of you and have
appreciated your hard work and untiring dedication to the organization. It has truly been an honor and pleasure
to serve as your president for the Austin Branch.
I remember when I first moved to Austin back in the fall of 1995 and became involved with the Austin Branch.
At that time, approximately 35 members attended the monthly meetings on a regular basis. It is exciting to see
the growing number of civil engineers working in the Austin area and the interest to become more involved in
ASCE. The turnout at the branch meeting in May established a new attendance record of 130. Following the
meeting, a past branch president, who served during the early 1980s, mentioned to me that he thought the largest
previous turnout at the branch meetings was 128 when Lady Bird Johnson was the guest speaker. Thank you all
for your continued interest and support of the Austin Branch.
My primary focus this past year has been to provide valuable and beneficial services to our members. I hope you
have been pleased with the efforts of the branch to better serve you. Here is a brief summary of
accomplishments and new programs implemented by the branch officers and committee chairs during 2003-
• Reduced branch meeting dues of $5 for members employed by the public sector and students; branch
began 2004 with companies sponsoring lunch meetings
New branch meeting location at Embassy Suites to accommodate growth, improve presentation
audio/visual needs, increase parking facilities, expanded lunch menu—all for the same cost without
raising branch meeting dues
• Awarded two (2) $1,500 scholarships to civil engineering students active in ASCE Student Section at
University of Texas
• Revitalized Branch Golf Tournament—raised approximately $3,000 towards the scholarship fund
• *New* Branch Web site rolled out in May 2004 to provide better means of communication to members
about upcoming meeting information and events
• Continuing Education Seminars held in July & August—provided opportunity to earn Professional
Development Hours (PDH) for PE license renewal & raised approximately $6,700 towards the
• Student Outreach Committee conducted classroom visits and hands-on math/science activities for over
800 students in local elementary and junior high schools
• Public Relations Committee hosted event at Austin Children’s Museum during National Engineers’
ASCE Continuing Ed Classes • Week; sponsorship provided free passes for 200 children
• Streamlined branch operations—reduced newsletter
September 2004 distribution costs, provided electronic copies of PDH
certificates, & secured economical website provider
Oklahoma City, OK
16-17 Highway Bridge Design (LRFD)
• Rolled out three new company sponsorship packages for
the next fiscal year: Gold Level Sponsor, Silver Level
Houston, TX Sponsor or Meeting Sponsor.
23-24 Structural Condition Assessment •
History & Heritage Committee provided award winning
articles for Texas Section publication
• Hosted web cast seminars on professional development
Austin, TX topics for project managers at City of Austin and Austin
07-08 Dam Safety and Rehabilitation Energy
• Served as host committee for CMOM Conference
San Antonio, TX
14-15 Toe Scour Evaluation
sponsored by EPA Region 6 & TCEQ—raised $1,500
towards the scholarship fund
Houston, TX • Served as host-by-name for 2004 Central Texas
28-29 Structural Design of Industrial Infrastructure Design & Construction Symposium
Facilities sponsored by Austin Contractors & Engineers Association
ASCE Austin Branch NEWSLETTER
For more information go to New technical committee for Forensics Group hosted kick-
www.asce.org/conted/seminars off meeting in May
At our September meeting, the new officers for the branch will be
installed. I will be leaving the presidency in the capable hands of David Matocha, who recently served as Branch
Director for Texas Section. The incoming slate of officers and committee chairs are an outstanding group and
are committed to serve you all. The Austin Branch provides networking opportunities with other civil engineers
in both the public and private arena, updates on key projects in the area, continued learning of technical design
principles, and opportunities for development of leadership skills. Mark your calendars and plan on attending
the meeting this month to hear from our very own Cres Guzman, President of ASCE Texas Section.
As many of you know, the Austin Branch will be hosting the 2005 Spring Meeting for Texas Section in April.
We are looking forward to showing off our fabulous city to the other branches in Texas! Please sign up to help
out with a committee and to make this conference a success!
September Meeting Sponsor: HBC/Terracon
HBC/Terracon is an employee-owned engineering and consulting firm specializing in Geotechnical Engineering,
Construction Materials Testing and Inspection, and Environmental Consulting services. We help our clients
succeed in their business ventures by effectively executing projects, controlling costs and managing risk.
HBC/Terracon provides services on thousands of projects each year. Our culture, systems and structure enable
enable us to excel at both small and large projects. We offer a variety of related services through a national
network of more than 60 offices in 24 states to meet single or multi-site project needs. In Texas alone, we have September 2004
more than 300 engineers, geologists, scientists, technicians and administrative personnel.
Over the past 10 years, our Austin office has performed services on more than 7,500 projects including the
Austin Bergstrom International Airport; State Highway 45; the new Austin City Hall; Computer Science
Corporation's Headquarters; Dell Computer's Office and Manufacturing Facilities; the Heart Hospital of Austin
and the new Whole Foods Headquarters.
Austin Branch Continuing Education Seminars
The Continuing Education Seminars hosted in July and August by the Austin Branch were well received and
extremely successful! Attendees received certificates for Professional development Hours (PDHs) towards the
fulfillment of new PE license renewal requirements. Thanks so much again for LAN, HVJ Associates, Brown
& Caldwell, and PBS&J for sponsoring these seminars. The proceeds from both continuing education seminars,
approximately $6700, contributed towards the branch scholarship fund. Thanks so much to Rose Marie Klee for
organizing these outstanding events!
July 16 at LCRA: Courses were offered by Mike Kelly (City of Austin), Don Willhouse (Texas Board of
Professional Engineers), and Linda Barlow (HVJ Associates) on the following topics, respectively: Streambank
Stabilization, Professional Ethics, and Pavement Design.
August 20 at PBS&J: David Harris with PBS&J instructed a four hour course detailing the application for the
ArcGIS-8 suite of software, including an introduction to basic ArcGIS skills, GIS data mining, and development
of hydraulic and hydrologic models.
Austin Branch ASCE Public Relations Committee
The PR Committee is getting ready for a new year! We are planning the Annual Food Drive in November &
December, Austin Children’s Museum Engineers Event in February; press releases of noteworthy Austin Branch
events; articles to be considered for the Excellence in Journalism Award nomination; and student outreach
activities to encourage the study of math and science, including coordination with Central Texas Steering
Committee for E-Week. We are looking for new members for our committee so if these activities sound fun or
you have other great ideas, please contact our committee chair, Linda Barlow, at 447-9081 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASCE Austin Branch NEWSLETTER
ASCE Austin Branch Scholarships
The Austin Branch of ASCE is proud to announce the availability of two (2) scholarships in the amount of
$1,500 each. The scholarships are available for registered University of Texas at Austin students pursuing a
major in Civil Engineering. Scholarship funds will be applied towards tuition and expenses for the Spring 2005
semester. You may access the scholarship application form from our web site at: www.austinasce.org, by
visiting the University of Texas Scholarship Office of the College of Engineering or by contacting Francia
Harutunian at email@example.com or 371-3535.
2nd ASCE-Austin Forensic Group Meeting
We cordially invite you and your colleagues to attend the 2nd meeting of a local professional organization for
forensic engineering, on September 27, 11:30AM, under the auspices of ASCE. The cost will be $9 for ASCE
members and guests and no cost for students. The speakers, Eugene Reinhart, P.E.; Reinhart & Associates, Inc,
Teodoro Leon-Salamanca, P.E., Ph.D; Reinhart & Associates, Inc., will discuss “The Role of NDT in Forensic
Engineering.” The menu includes a box lunch and soft drinks catered by Garden Spot Deli (for participants who
RSVP’d). The meeting will take place at Lower Colorado River Authority (Boardroom) on 3700 Lake Austin
Blvd. For more detailed information and a complete abstract about the above topic, please visit the Austin
Branch ASCE web site.
Please RSVP by noon on September 20, 2004, by phone to 512-474-0400 or by email to
ASCE Live Web Cast Seminars for City of Austin
The Austin Branch recently hosted an ASCE live webinar on August 25 for the City of Austin and Austin-
Energy on "Monitoring Project Budgets and Schedules: Earned Value Method -- A Live Interactive ASCE Web
Seminar". It was a huge success with a sell out attendance of 60 project managers/engineers from Austin-Energy
and various City departments!
The Austin Branch will be hosting another ASCE live webinar on September 14 for project managers and
transportation engineers with the City of Austin Public Works & Transportation Department. For members with
the City of Austin, please contact Therese Baer with Baer Engineering for more information at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Therese has been instrumental in organizing these events, as well as securing sponsorship.
Special thanks to Therese and to all of our sponsors for making these events free for the City!
New Austin Branch Website
The Austin Branch has begun creation of their new website, www.austinasce.org. The beginnings of the site are
under way and it will be completed over the next several months. Please check out the website for information
on the branch, upcoming meetings, events, and recent issues of the newsletter.
Capacity, Management, Operations, & Maintenance (CMOM)
The Austin Branch of ASCE recently hosted the "Capacity, Management, Operations, & Maintenance" (CMOM)
Conference on August 30-31 at the Austin Convention Center. This conference was sponsored by EPA Region 6
and had attendees from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico. The purpose of the event was to provide
a forum for the exchange of practical experiences among EPA, the States, and the Municipalities. The
conference was deemed a great success with a sell-out attendance and raised $1500 towards the branch's
scholarship fund. The Austin Branch appreciated the opportunity to work with the City of Austin Clean Water
Program Committee on such an important environmental, health, and safety topic.
Lost Civil Engineering Projects: A look at the Austin Dam
By: Melinda Luna, P.E.
ASCE Austin Branch NEWSLETTER
The drought of 1877 prompted the City of Austin to consider building a dam. Several sites were considered for
the dam, including one just below Bull Creek. Austinites considered the dam so important it was a major issue
in the 1889 race for mayor.
Tom Miller Dam occupies the site originally chose for Austin Dam, which, at a cost of $1.36 million, was built
in 1893. This dam, the first designed specifically for hydro-electric power generation. was declared one of the
Seven Wonders of the World. At the time, there were other dams in Europe of a similar height and depth but
none that spanned such a large and sometimes volatile river as the Colorado. The reservoir was also the first
large reservoir in Texas. Despite its notoriety, there were problems with Austin Dam. Discovery of several
springs delayed construction. Once constructed, the dam provided power, first for lighting the city and providing
power for the railway and then for running other lower priority motors and printing presses. When the generation
of power started, another problem became evident. Power generation lowered the water levels on Lake
McDonald, now known as Lake Austin. Fishermen along the dam had also reported water flowing under the
Problems with Austin Dam attracted the interest of T.U. Taylor at the University of Texas. Taylor was
concerned about the lower lake levels, silting behind the dam and the stability of the dam, even though it had
withstood several floods like the one in 1899.
But on April 7, 1900, heavy rains spelled doom for Austin Dam. Five inches of rainfall was recorded over a 12-
hour period. Eventually, the two-day storm would produce about 12 inches of rain. The soil around Austin was
already saturated by rainfall that had occurred earlier. The river was rising rapidly at about 2 feet an hour.
Townspeople were attracted to the sight of a dramatic rise in water levels; they came out to the dam to take September 2004
pictures as water crested over the dam. Many of these observers were present when rising water got the better of
the dam and the dam failed. These pictures and the observations of those present later were included in a study of
the dam failure. T.U. Taylor wrote the report titled “The Austin Dam” to preserve much of this history and the
accounts of the first dam failure. Much of this information included here was taken from Taylor’s report.
Before the dam was repaired other sites for a new dam were considered, including one at Mount
Bonnell. Both the Mount Bonnell and the Bull Creek site would eventually be considered for the
building of Mansfield dam. The dam was partially repaired in 1915 but the repair was abandoned when
the City of Austin and the dam contractor became embroiled in a dispute. The Austin Dam was damaged
again by floods in1915 and 1935. Eventually, the dam was rebuilt and renamed Tom Miller Dam. Debris from
the old dam is visible downstream of Miller dam and in Red Bud Isle Park.
2003-2004 OFFICERS 2003-2004 COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
President President-Elect Secretary Continuing Education
Susan Keller Roth, P.E. Patrick M. Beecher, P.E. Heidi Anderson, E.I.T. Rose Marie Klee (512) 416-2308
Lower Colorado River Authority HBC Engineering HNTB History and Heritage
Phone (512) 397-6724 Phone (512) 442-1122 Phone (512) 447-5590 Melinda Luna, P.E. (512) 473-3200 x 2396
Fax (512) 397-6722 Fax (512) 442-1181 Fax (512) 447-5329 Honors
Donald E. Willhouse, P.E. (512) 440-3076
VP - Programs Communications Director Treasurer Membership
Kelly A. Barney, E.I.T. Jamie Farris, E.I.T. Ayda Gonzalez, E.I.T. Dale Murphy, P.E. (512) 329-8342
Bury Partners Texas Dept. of Transportation S&B Engineers Newsletter Advertisements
Phone (512 328-0011 Phone (512) 416-2567 Phone (512) 681-6265 Kimberly Culp, P.E. (512) 681-6104
Fax (512) 328-0325 Fax (512) 416-2557 Fax (512) 681-6101 Younger Member
Chad Gilpin, P.E. (512) 329-8342
State Director Past President National ASCE Office UT Student Chapter Contact
David J. Matocha Francia C. Harutunian, P.E. (800) 548-8905 Rose Marie Klee (512) 416-2308
Hanson Concrete Products c/o Kurkjian Engineering Corp. Texas Section Office Public Relations
Phone (512) 385-3951 x15 Phone (512) 371-3535 Phone (512) 472-8905 Linda Barlow, P.E. (512) 447-9081
Fax (512) 385-1725 Fax (512) 371-7333 Fax (512) 472-2934
Francia C. Harutunian, P.E . (512) 371-3535
The Austin Branch ASCE Newsletter is Austin Branch NON-PROFIT ORG.
published monthly, except in July and Texas Section U.S. POSTAGE PAID
August. American Society of Civil Engineers AUSTIN, TEXAS
3501 Manor Road PERMIT NO. 879
Austin, Texas 78723