President's Message 

This time of year is a time to come together with family and enjoy the holidays. From the Board of the Sacramento Section we wish you Happy Holidays and a prosperous and Happy New Year. Often times, when looking back over the last year, if I ask myself the question “did I work more than I wanted to?”; if the answer is “yes”, then I believe it’s time to consider hiring to distribute the workload. It’s typical to be stretched thin at such a busy time with report and document deadlines. Many others answer the question the same way, which may be challenging, but I have some great news:  The Sacramento Section has four schools (California State University (CSU), Sacramento; CSU, Chico; University of California, Davis; and University of the Pacific) that have new regional Civil Engineering candidates entering the workforce in all fields of our industry. I encourage anyone seeking support to reach out to all four schools and interview the new graduates. The ASCE Student Chapters make interviewing easy by conducting mock interviews, resume workshops, etc. Congratulations to all of our new December 2016 civil engineering graduates!

We look to our new civil engineering graduates to help continue moving our industry forward in 2017. As an organization that continually gives back to the community, I’d like to remind everyone of the goals of the Golze scholarship. Committee Chair, and Section Past-President Louay Owaidat says, “The Sacramento Section is looking for 100% participation from our membership. If everyone gives an average of $50, and there are over 2000 members, we’ll reach our goal of $100,000 in scholarships. One hundred percent of the money raised is given directly to the civil engineering students from each of our four schools.” The impact of the Golze scholarship program within the region is tremendous and we appreciate all continuing and new support from our members.

My first three months as Section President have flown by, and I find myself taking stock of the progress on goals I set forth in October. As you may recall I outlined three main Sacramento Section goals: (1) increase ASCE legislative presence, (2) increase cross-pollination between groups, and (3) increase and retain membership. In this past quarter, the Sacramento Section officers and members have worked hard on each of these goals. I’m pleased to report the following.

Increase ASCE Legislative Presence:
Dr. Om Prakash has been taking the lead on the Sacramento Section Infrastructure Report Card. The Infrastructure Report Card is important as it is used by non-engineers to understand the quality and life expectancy of our failing infrastructure. This is especially important when talking to everyone from congressmen to neighbors about why supporting propositions, taxes, and bills are important to each of our lives. If interested in participating in the grading, please contact Dr. Prakash at

Additionally, Region 9 is holding its 2017 Legislative Drive-In during the week of January 23 - 27. ASCE members will visit their legislators in their district offices to introduce themselves and ASCE Region 9 to deliver information on civil engineering within the current Legislature.  Please contact ASCE Region 9 Lobbyist Richard Markuson at to participate. 

Increase cross-pollination between groups:
Over the last month, our groups have had some very successful events. There were numerous holiday parties, fund raisers, toy drives, and a very well attended Section Board meeting at Great Lakes Environmental & Infrastructure. To find out how to attend upcoming events and make a difference in ASCE, please review our EOG for upcoming events and attend an event next month.

Increase and Retain Membership: 
I continue to challenge each of you to not only attend one new event this year, but to bring a fellow engineer along with you. If there is a new event for which you would like to see involvement from the ASCE Sacramento Section chapter, please contact me with ideas via email at We are always looking to grow.  


Elias Karam, P.E., M.ASCE
Sacramento Section President 2016-2017