Civil Engineering Practice, published by Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE (BSCES), is one of the oldest civil engineering publications in the US. BSCES has published over 100 issues of this journal since 1914. 

Known as a practice-orientated journal that was sent to BSCES members and subscribers worldwide, Civil Engineering Practice has been transformed from its familiar orange covered publication into an online journal. Looking to make Civil Engineering Practice a more effective tool for BSCES member professional development, the journal editorial board has also broadened the journal’s scope and contents to include topical articles, presentation slides from recent BSCES programs, and even videos of premier BSCES- sponsored lectures, as well as the peer-review articles the journal has been known for throughout its long history.  Learn more about us

BSCES Civil Engineering Practice Journal Needs Your Help: Call for Papers: Fall/Winter 2023

Contribute to the Fall/Winter 2023 BSCES Civil Engineering Practice Journal, fostering knowledge exchange in civil engineering. Share research, case studies, and thought leadership in water resources, sustainability, project management, and infrastructure design.

Enhance your expertise, network with peers, and elevate your professional reputation. Expect a peer-review process to ensure high-quality content. The Journal’s editorial board seeks articles on innovative projects, research, reviews, and reports within BSCES’s scope. Experienced editors will assist in communicating findings. Join us in advancing civil engineering practices.

President of Boston Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE Section (2023-2024)

Michael Cunningham, PE

Mike Cunningham boasts an extensive 25-year tenure in civil engineering consulting, specializing in water resources and utility engineering. Presently holding the role of Senior Principal Engineer at Kleinfelder’s Boston office, he brings a wealth of expertise. With over 16 years dedicated to project management across diverse design and construction projects, Mike has also excelled in program management as the Team Leader for Kleinfelder’s Water Resources Team.

Beyond his project-related responsibilities, Mike served as Kleinfelder’s East Division Project Management Service Line Leader, demonstrating his commitment to enhancing project management tools and processes within the company. Furthermore, he demonstrated his leadership capabilities by chairing the BSCES (Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section) Newsletter Editorial Board for a notable four-year span. His dedication to the field is further evident through his participation as a BSCES leader on the Executive Committee. With his extensive experience and leadership roles, Mike Cunningham is a respected figure in the civil engineering realm.


Message from Editor-in-Chief of Boston Society of Civil Engineers Practice Journal 

Dr. Gautham P Das, PE

It is with immense pride and enthusiasm that we welcome you to this special edition of the Boston Society of Civil Engineering Practice Journal, dedicated to honoring the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and its profound impact on the field of civil engineering in the Greater Boston Area.

For decades, the MWRA has stood as a shining example of innovation, dedication, and excellence in the realm of water resources management, environmental protection, and infrastructure development. As one of the nation’s preeminent public agencies, MWRA has been at the forefront of tackling complex challenges related to water supply, wastewater treatment, and sewage disposal in the Greater Boston area. Through its visionary leadership and commitment to sustainability, MWRA has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of civil engineering practice not just in Massachusetts but across the country and beyond.

This journal serves as a tribute to the countless engineers, researchers, and professionals who have been instrumental in the MWRA’s remarkable journey. Their unwavering pursuit of cutting-edge technologies, their emphasis on research-driven decision-making, and their passion for transforming theoretical ideas into practical solutions were the driving force behind the agency’s achievements.

Within these pages, you will find a rich tapestry of articles and research papers that highlight the transformative projects and groundbreaking initiatives spearheaded by MWRA. From the ambitious construction of the Quabbin Reservoir to the establishment of state-of-the-art water treatment facilities, the MWRA’s endeavors have redefined the boundaries of civil engineering practice and set new standards for resilience, sustainability, and public health.

Furthermore, this edition seeks to delve into the collaborative efforts that have fostered a robust relationship between the MWRA and the Boston Society of Civil Engineering Practice. As two entities deeply committed to advancing the science and practice of civil engineering, this partnership has been instrumental in knowledge exchange, professional development, and driving the industry’s evolution.

As we celebrate the MWRA’s remarkable achievements, it is also a moment to reflect on the challenges that lie ahead. Climate change, population growth, and urbanization are presenting our society with new and complex water management issues. In this context, we must draw inspiration from MWRA’s legacy and continue pushing the boundaries of civil engineering practice to create sustainable, adaptive, and resilient solutions.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the contributors, authors, and reviewers who have made this journal a compelling repository of knowledge and expertise. Their commitment to sharing insights and experiences will undoubtedly inspire future generations of civil engineers to rise to the challenges of their time.

Message from the President:

Now Hiring

At regular intervals, I dedicate time to browse through my LinkedIn account, seeking updates from my professional network and others within our industry. However, over an extended period, it’s become evident that my feed has been overwhelmingly filled with variations of the phrase “Now Hiring,” posted by different employers to attract potential candidates. This persistent theme reflects the current labor shortage and the consequent high demand for new hires in our field. In my 25-year tenure as a civil engineering consultant, I’ve never witnessed such a pronounced scarcity of workers.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic did temporarily disrupt projects for certain individuals, by late 2020, most of us in the industry were already amid a bustling workload and actively seeking additional assistance. This trend has only intensified since the approval of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) by Congress in November 2021—a landmark investment in our nation’s infrastructure often characterized as a “once-in-a-generation” endeavor.

Expenditures linked to the BIL were anticipated to commence this year and extend until 2033, with funding reaching its peak around the years 2027 and 2028. An article featured in the May/June 2023 edition of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Civil Engineering magazine included the following statement from former ASCE President Dennis Truax, PhD, PE: “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need for about 25,000 new civil engineers each year throughout this decade. However, this number is based on the need to replace workers; it does little to consider the impact of the (IIJA) and civil engineers’ roles in its implementation.”  The term “IIJA” refers to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is an alternate designation for the BIL.

This data prompts me to ponder about how the civil engineering sector will navigate these conditions in the coming decade. The shortage of adequate personnel coupled with the substantial workload has posed significant challenges, inevitably leading to busier and more demanding day-to-day routines. Nonetheless, amidst these challenges, it’s easy to overlook the fact that this situation presents a highly advantageous opportunity for our profession—one that is poised to stimulate remarkable progress and innovation.

The American Society of Civil Engineering magazine details various reasons why civil engineering and many other professions are facing labor shortages and strategies for employers to attract new hires. However, one important activity we must collectively improve upon over the next decade is our outreach to primary and secondary education students to promote engineering and combat the decline in those pursuing engineering curriculums and careers. The Boston Society of Civil Engineers has a Public Awareness and Outreach Committee that is responsible for planning and implementing educational outreach and our dedicated members consistently organize several great events and competitions each year! We hope to keep this up given its significance these days.

The Most Crucial Natural Resource (Besides Air!)

I am particularly enthusiastic about the current edition of the journal, which delves into articles centered around the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Serving over 3.1 million individuals and more than 5,500 businesses across 61 communities in eastern and central Massachusetts, the MWRA is responsible for providing wholesale water and sewer services. Since its inception in 1985, the MWRA has invested upwards of $6 billion in novel facilities. This commitment has yielded remarkable achievements, including transformative projects like the restoration of Boston Harbor through the construction of the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as the establishment of the John J. Carroll Water Treatment Plant. The MWRA remains steadfast in its efforts to enhance and maintain the extensive network of water and sewer pipelines, along with numerous other critical facilities that underpin our access to drinking water and the disposal of wastewater.

In my capacity as a consulting project manager, I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with the MWRA on a range of intricate capital improvement projects. In doing so, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the unwavering dedication of its staff and the resolute commitment of its leadership to delivering water and sewer services of exceptional quality and reliability to the communities it serves.

Lastly, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Gautham Das, the Editor-In-Chief of the Civil Engineering Practice, and the entire Editorial Board for their immense dedication and the countless hours they’ve dedicated as volunteers to produce this journal issue. It’s your steadfast commitment that ensures the continued existence of this invaluable publication.

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