The beginnings of the Cleveland Section ASCE can be traced to 1880 when a group of Cleveland engineers formed the Civil Engineers Club. This group, which was not affiliated with ASCE, later changed its name to the Cleveland Engineering Society.
Between 1909 and 1911 efforts were being made to establish an ASCE Section in Cleveland. There were some local objections because of the potential for competition with the Cleveland Engineering Society.
On April 11, 1914, then Cleveland Engineering Society President, A. J. Himes, Bridge Engineer of the Nickel Plate Road, called a meeting at the Society's headquarters in the Chamber of Commerce Building on Public Square. At this meeting a committee was appointed to organize an ASCE Chapter in Cleveland. The first meeting of the "Cleveland Chapter, ASCE" was called to order on October 28, 1914, the first officers were elected on December 19, 1914, and on January 6, 1915, the National Board of ASCE approved the Cleveland Section's Constitution.
ASCE Makes an Early Impact
The Cleveland Section was politically active as early as 1919 when they worked on an Ohio Engineering Registration Bill. A later draft of the bill became law in 1933. The Section helped to revise the Cleveland City Building Code in 1946.
The Section's early community involvement included a series of Vocational Guidance Programs that aired on local television in 1953 and 1956. The programs were designed to encourage high school students to work toward careers in engineering.
A Description of What the Cleveland Section is All About
Prior to 1946 the section included much of northern Ohio. In 1946, the section approved a split to form a new section in Akron and Canton leaving the Cleveland Section with Branches in Mansfield, Massillon, and Youngstown. By 1984 the Mansfield and Massillon Branches had transferred to the Akron-Canton Section. Presently the Cleveland Section encompasses the counties in northeastern Ohio extending from Elyria on the west to the Pennsylvania border on the east and south to Jefferson County with the exception of the Akron-Canton and Mansfield area.
The Cleveland Section has supported student chapters at the University of Akron, formed in 1924, Case School of Applied Science(presently Case Western Reserve University), formed in 1925, Ohio Northern University, formed in 1937, and Fenn College(presently Cleveland State University), formed in 1951. Today the Section supports student chapters at Case Western Reserve University, Washkewicz College of Engineering at Cleveland State University and Youngstown State University. See how you can help our Scholarship Committee fund and create permanent endowments for our best and brightest Civil Engineering students.
The Cleveland Section is proud to have had two of its members, G. Brooks Earnest, who served as the ASCE Society (National) President in 1962 and Randall S. Over, who served in 2014. Prior to the formation of the Cleveland Section in 1915, Charles Paine, of Cleveland served as the 1883 National President. Four members have served as Society Directors and currently approximately eighteen section members serve on various Society technical institutes and professional committees. Today the Cleveland Section and Youngstown Branch have more than 700 members.
How the Cleveland Section Fits in Regionally
In 1969, The Ohio Council of ASCE Local Sections was formed to better address state-wide issues of concern to civil engineers. The Ohio Council is comprised of the six local sections in Ohio. At the time of its formation, Ohio Council and its member sections were assigned to District 9, Zone III. As a result of the Society's redistricting in 1982, Ohio Council was placed in District 7, Zone II, with the Michigan Section. A subsequent Society restructuring was approved in 2005 and placed the Ohio Council and its member Sections into Region 3, along with members from the states of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
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