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Event Report: National Engineers Week – DCCEAS Events

The D.C. Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies (DCCEAS) annually holds two National Engineers’ Week functions. DCCEAS is an umbrella organization representing 35 area professional societies including the National Capital Chapter of IIE. As in the past, the Chapter offered members a 40% discount on tickets for both DCCEAS affairs.

Feb. 24 Proclamation Luncheon Talk, “Improving Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay”

Mr. Leonard R. Benson, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DCWASA) Acting Chief Engineer/Assistant General Manager, led off a series of four compact presentations at this year’s National Engineers’ Week Luncheon, Feb. 24 at Channel Inn’s Pier Seven Restaurant. The DCWASA team described the history, challenges, and innovative approaches of DCWASA’s success in meeting its share of the Bay restoration effort.

Saving the Bay (all 64,000 sq. miles of it) is a struggle dating back over a quarter of a century and working toward a planning horizon a quarter century in the future. The most conspicuous and technology-based player in this effort is DCWASA’s Blue Plains advanced wastewater treatment facility. The facility, the largest of its type in the world, serves 2 million area residents, working at an average daily capacity of 370 million gallons per day.

Note: the Chapter is planning a future tour, details to be announced, of the Blue Plains facility.

Feb. 27 Awards Banquet Talk, “The Future of Engineering”

Dr. Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering and President Emeritus of MIT, was the Keynote Speaker at the National Engineers’ Week Awards Banquet Feb. 27 at the Silver Spring Crowne Plaza.

Dr. Vest’s insightful presentation started by examining the two frontiers of engineering, the ”tiny” and the “macro.” The tiny is the intersection of physical, life and information sciences. He sees these bio, nano, and info. disciplines as offering stunning, unexplored possibilities, with a merger of science and engineering. The macro is the world of energy, food, manufacturing, and communications, wherein he expects a melding of the physical and social sciences. Dr. Vest went on to examine evolving trends, major challenges, and the 21st Century drivers of innovation as well as the implications for engineering education.

The Banquet program included DCCEAS awards for the Engineer, Young Engineer and Architect of the Year. The winning team from the DC Region’s Future Cities Competition was also recognized. You may recall our chapter president, Russell Wooten, was the previous Engineer of the Year.

(Submitted by Richard Leshuk)

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