November 9, 2016

2016-2017 Student Awards Presented at November Dinner Meeting


At the November Dinner Meeting, the Section recognized the outstanding academic achievements of four students from the Section’s Student Chapters; this was the 25th year that these awards have been presented. This award is available to students who either attend one of the five colleges/universities within the boundaries of the Central PA Section: Bucknell University, Penn State University – Harrisburg Campus, Penn State University – Main Campus, Penn College of Technology and Messiah College or reside within our Section’s geographical boundaries. This year, a total of 15 students applied for four (4) $2,000 awards. The award winners were Drew Bechtold (PSU-Main), Erin Schwab (Bucknell), Mary Taylor (PSU-Main) and Sarah Folk (PSU-Hbg). Congratulations once again and continued success throughout the remainder of your academic career and into your professional careers.

Each year, the Student Awards are generously funded by the Geo-Institute with proceeds from the Central PA Geotechnical Conference. This year’s conference will be held in Hershey from January 25th thru January 27th. For more information and to register for the conference, go to

Drew Bechtold – The Penn State University – Main Campus

Mary Taylor – The Penn State University – Main Campus

Sarah Folk – The Penn State University – Harrisburg Campus

Erin Schwab – Bucknell University - was the fourth recipient but was not able to attend.

February 25, 2016

Local High School Students Compete in the Capitol Area Science and Engineering Fair


The 2016 Capital Area Science and Engineering Fair (CASEF) was held at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg on Thursday, February 25th. There were 291 projects, and 348 students from 48 capital area middle schools and junior/senior high schools.  One hundred fifty volunteers were on hand to judge the submissions. Of the 13 junior engineering entrees and 10 senior engineering entrees, three (3) were considered particularly outstanding from a civil engineering perspective and subsequently recognized by ASCE Central PA Section.


    Senior Category, First Place: $200 Prize
    Laura Benton, Derry Township Hershey High School (SR-EN-019)

    This project investigated the effect of amperage on weld strength and concluded weld penetration is
    directly related to weld penetration but also the optimum current for strength.


    Junior Category, First Place: $200 Prize
    Samuel Corbin, Cumberland Valley Eagle View Middle School (JR-EN-340)

    The project investigated the best bridge mass-to-mass support ratio by constructing several types of


    Junior Category, Second Place: $100 Prize
    Aniela Lee, Linglestown Middle School (JR-EN-304)

    The project investigated the minimum ramp height to produce enough energy for a Hot Wheels car to successfully complete a loop.


The ASCE Central PA Section sponsored awards were presented on Friday, February 26th by Paul Lewis, Geotechnical Group Co-Chair, at the Whitaker Center’s Sunoco Auditorium. Each First Place winner received a check for $200 and each Second Place winner was awarded $100. The Senior Grand Champions will attend the International Fair in Phoenix, Arizona in May and the Junior Finalists will enter the National Broadcom Masters National competition.

For more information on the CASEF, visit

February 24, 2016

Paul Lewis Named Engineer of the Year by Central PA Engineers Week Council


Paul J. Lewis, PE has been selected by the Central Pennsylvania Engineers Week Council (CPEWC) to receive the 2016 Engineer of the Year Award.  Paul is a member of the Central Pennsylvania Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO).  Paul is a past Treasurer of ASCE Central PA Section and is currently Co-chair of the Geotechnical Committee.  Paul is also an active member of DFI’s ground improvement committee.  In 2012, he was inducted into the West Virginia University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Academy of Engineers, and is an active member of that organization.

Paul J. Lewis, PE was born September 30, 1960 to the late Clarence and Marie Lewis, in Harrisburg, PA.  He graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg in 1979.  Following high school, Paul attended Harrisburg Area Community College and then West Virginia University where he graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1983.  At West Virginia University, he was a member of Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering Honor Society) and Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society).  He is a geotechnical engineer with more than 32 years of experience and is currently a Senior Vice President with Gannett Fleming, Inc.  Paul and his wife Dona have been happily married for 25 years and reside in Mechanicsburg PA.  They are the proud parents of four children, Jessie, Bill, Joe, and Connor.  Paul and Dona are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Mechanicsburg, PA.

Paul began his career at Gannett Fleming, Inc. in 1983 as a staff geotechnical engineer.  At that time, the geotechnical section consisted of only 13 employees.  He conducted geotechnical exploratory investigations, supervised laboratory testing programs and performed geotechnical analyses and foundation designs for highway, bridge, dam, landfill, water, wastewater and other heavy civil projects throughout the northeast U.S.  Under the leadership of Messrs. Jim Langer, Jack Diviney and David Wilson, the geotechnical practice grew and Paul eventually became the leader of Gannett Fleming’s Geotechnical Practice with more than 100 professionals nationwide.

Throughout his career, Paul has worked on projects throughout the U.S. and is licensed in seven states.  He has also worked on international projects.  Most notably, he led a large groundwater inflow remediation project for an oil sands mining project in northern Alberta, Canada.  He has conducted workshops on geophysical applications for engineering in the Middle East, and is currently serving as an independent geotechnical expert regarding claims litigation for the $5B Panama Canal, Third Set of Locks Project, in Central America.  Paul has presented at numerous conferences, workshops and short courses and is the author of 12 technical publications. 

Paul has been an instructor for the Penn State University, Professional Engineer’s Exam Review Course responsible for teaching sessions including Soil Properties and Testing; Shallow Foundations; Rigid Retaining Walls; Piles and Deep Foundations; Temporary Excavations; and Special Soil Topics.  He has also been an invited guest lecturer at Bucknell University.

Paul shares his career experiences with local students as a career day speaker at Mechanicsburg Area High School and has been a volunteer tutor for the Harrisburg Area Math and Science Academy.  He was a member of the MS Leadership Class and received the MS Leadership Award in 2001.  He has been a volunteer leader for the YMCA Indian Guides program, volunteer coach for the YMCA youth sports program, and assistant troop leader for Boy Scout Troop 80.

The Central PA Section is proud of Paul's achievements throughout his career and also want to extend our congratulations for being selected for this prestigious award.

February 9, 2016

Dr. Peggy Johnson Awarded 2016 Hans Albert Eistein Award


Peggy Johnson, Ph.D, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, has been selected by the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) and Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Einstein Committee to receive the 2016 Hans Albert Einstein Award for her substantial contributions in the use of sediment transport for evaluation and design of in-line control structures and stream restoration projects. The committee was particularly impressed with her work to lay the foundation for the use of Uncertainty and Risk Management for scour analyses.

The award will be presented during the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress in West Palm Beach, FL, May 22-26.

February 2016

Seven Central PA Section Members Elected to Life Member Status in 2016


Advancement to Life Membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers is an honor and unique accomplishment reserved for individuals who have made a long time contribution and commitment to the Society and the profession. Furthermore, these members have reached the age of 65 years and have paid dues in any membership grade for a number of years such that when added to their age, the sum equals or exceeds 95. From now on, the dues are waived with the exception of the life member service fee to cover mailing of publications.

The following members of ASCE Central PA Section have achieved Life Member Status in 2016:

  • Robert Hasemeier, P.E., M.ASCE *
  • Edward Buchan, P.E., M.ASCE *
  • Jeffrey Evan, P.E., Ph.D, F.ASCE *
  • Stephen Grimme, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Donald Mowery, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Raymond Robbins, P.E., M.ASCE
  • Robert Grubic, P.E., M.ASCE

The Section recognized three of these members at the February Dinner Meeting (denoted with asterisk).

November 2015

Student Chapter Members Earn $2,000 Student Awards


At the November Dinner Meeting, the Section recognized the outstanding academic achievements of four students from our Student Chapters: this was the 24th year for these awards. This award was available to students who either attend one of the five colleges/universities within the boundaries of the Central PA Section (Bucknell University, Penn State – Harrisburg, Penn State – University Park, Penn College of Technology and Messiah College) or reside within our Section’s geographical boundaries. This year, a total of six students applied for four $2,000 awards. The four award winners were Danielle Berman, Laura Searles, Eric McCall and Dane Dewire all of whom attend Penn State – University Park. The Section congratulations the students and wishes them continued success throughout the remainder of their academic career and into their professional career.

For more information about the annual Student Awards click here. Solicitation for the 2016 Awards will start in August.

September 2015

Snyder Elected ASCE Fellow


At the Section’s Dinner Meeting on September 9th, on behalf of the Section, President Christopher Smith, proudly presented Jason Snyder, P.E., with a certificate, lanyard and lapel pin to commemorate being elected to the grade of Fellow. ASCE’s Fellows are eminent engineers who have made significant technical or professional contributions and have demonstrated notable achievement in the practice of engineering during their ASCE membership. It is a prestigious honor held by fewer than 3.5% of ASCE members. There is no direct admission to the grade of Fellow; Fellow status must be attained by professional accomplishments via application and election by the Membership Application Review Committee. Applicants for the grade of Fellow must satisfy the following requirements:

  • A current ASCE member
  • Be a licensed Professional Engineer or Professional Land Surveyor for a minimum of 10 years
  • Be nominated by an organizational entity of the Society, in this case the Central PA Section
  • And have had responsible charge for not less than 10 years, of important work in engineering or surveying and be qualified to direct, conceive, plan, or design engineering works OR have had responsible charge for not less than 10 years, in the grade of Member, of important industrial, business, construction, educational, editorial, research, or engineering society activity, requiring the knowledge and background gained from engineering training and experience.

Mr. Snyder joins 46 other members of the Central PA Section who have been elected to the grade of Fellow dating back to 1955.  Jason joins the following recently elected members from the Central PA Section:  Ali Memari, Ph.D., P.E. (2013), Michael Walsh, P.E. (2013), Jeffery Evans, Ph.D, P.E. (2014), Partick Fox, Ph.D.,P.E., D.GE (2014), and William Frost, P.E., D.WRE (2015).

If you are interested in applying for the grade of Fellow, please contact Chris Smith for more information.

July 21, 2014

Evans Elected ASCE Fellow

Jeffrey C. Evans, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, is professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Bucknell University and specializes in the field of geotechnical engineering with a focus on environmental geotechnics. A member of the University's faculty since 1985, Evans has received many honors and awards, including the Class of '56 Lectureship in 1997, the Award for Inspirational Teaching, the Bucknell University Presidential Professor in 2001 in recognition of his contributions to the University, and an Overseas Fellow at Cambridge University (Churchill College) in 2012. In addition, Evans has been a visiting academic in the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University (2012/2013) and the University of Nottingham (1998/1999), and a senior scientific officer at the Warren Spring Laboratory in Stevenage, England (1991/1992). Prior to joining Bucknell University he spent over 10 years as a consultant with Woodward-Clyde Consultants (now URS Corporation), where he was named Young Professional of the Year in 1984. Evans, who served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reserves and he retired at the rank of Captain, is co-author of the book Hazardous Waste Management, which is widely used by both universities and practitioners. In addition, he has authored and/or co-authored over 100 publications in the areas of geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering.

April 2014

Walsh Elected ASCE Fellow


Michael P. Walsh, P.E., F.ASCE, who has enjoyed a 35-year career as a civil engineer, an engineering manager, and who currently serves as a vice president of engineering in the air pollution control industry, was recently elected an ASCE Fellow. Throughout his career, Walsh has designed and supplied innovative capital air-pollution-control systems in 22 countries, thereby reducing particulate and acid rain pollution to the benefit of uncounted hundreds of millions of people.