December 2018 Print

President's Message

Engineers love numbers right? Well here are two numbers that I personally find abhorrent: 42% and 11%. These numbers are findings reported in the January 2018 California State University Study of Student Basic Needs that found 42% of enrolled students are food insecure, and 11% are homeless. These numbers are similar to those in the December 2017 University of California Global Food Initiative: Food Housing Security at the University of California.

We can do better!

By the time you read this, you’re likely to have received a letter from the Golze scholarship committee requesting your support. Please consider donating to the scholarship fund this year. In case you recycled your letter, or it got lost in the mail, you can donate online by visiting Click on "Donate" and enter any amount. Your generosity allows the Golze Scholarship Committee to award numerous significant scholarships to deserving students at each of the four ASCE Student Chapters in our Section: California State University, Chico; California State University, Sacramento; University of California, Davis; and the University of the Pacific. Scholarships can be a make-or-break difference for completing a degree, and many Chico State students will require extra support this year as a result of the disaster caused by the Camp Fire.

We all have family, friends, and colleagues that have been affected by the fires that have plagued California this year. To me, the Camp and Woolsey Fires were the anvils that broke the proverbial camel’s back. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. But thoughts and well wishes are not enough, so please consider joining me and donate directly to a charity of your choice whose mission focuses on helping the countless people affected by the fires.


Michael V. Konieczki, PE, D.WRE
ASCE Sacramento Section President

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Capital Branch Activities



The ASCE Capital Branch is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Civil Engineering Firms, Contractors and Vendors to sponsor ASCE’s monthly Luncheons. The sponsoring company will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation that is 3 to 5 minutes long and is supported by a few slides in PowerPoint format.  This opportunity will provide the sponsoring company a great marketing opportunity to the local engineering community.  For further information, please contact Jai Singh at (916) 580-9725.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn.

The Capital Branch has a group page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area.  To join the group page go to


The Capital Branch has started a group page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area.  To join the group page go to   

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Central Valley Branch Activities

We have monthly lunch meetings with various presentations on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are in the Stockton area please join us. For more information about the Central Valley Branch, please contact Erik Almaas at [email protected]

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Feather River Branch Activities


The Feather River Branch is the home ASCE chapter for those impacted by the Camp Fire. There has been massive support from fellow agencies and government response folks who have recently been through the Carr Fire, Tubbs Fire, or other fire making the process a bit more manageable. The engineering staff from the local agencies remain buried in a pile of information that is constantly coming in; while also doing their best to prioritize actions and responses. One of the caveats that keeps arising is the fact that this fire is a magnitude greater with regards to death and destruction than any other recent/local fire.

The Feather River Branch will be dedicating their December monthly meeting (Wednesday December 19th) as a forum for Camp Fire updates, progress, and planning. The planning will primarily center around a planned workshop/seminar on the engineering impacts, lessons learned, and best practices moving forward for fire recovery. This workshop will likely feature teams of engineers from other fire-ravage communities as well as local agency personnel. Stay tuned for further details.

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact, Clay Slocum at, or 530-864-1648.

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Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at [email protected].

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Younger Members Forum (YMF)


Thursday, December 20 @ 6PM
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J Street 

Entry Cost: $10 per person or FREE with a $15 donation to NVCF

Be sure and join us for our annual YMF Holiday Charity Dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Downtown Sacramento! Sit down with us, chat enjoy some delicious pasta, and learn what's new with ASCE in Sacramento and our plans for 2019. Seating is limited so be sure to RSVP.

In support of the victims of the horrific Camp Fire, this year's charity will be the North Valley Community Foundation based in Chico, CA. All those that donate $15 or more to NVCF and show proof of donation, will eat free.

To donate to NVCF:

To RSVP, email: [email protected]


Stop stressing out about the PE! Sign up to the YMF PE Review course early and you will get:

  • Up to 78 hours of face to face classes at Sacramento State
  • Comprehensive review materials and notes designed to be used during the exam
  • Classes offered for the 8 hour, seismic and survey exam separate or bundled
  • All of this for a great competitive price (and an early bird special rate for signing up early)!

Sign up here or contact [email protected] if you have any questions.


ASCE UCD Student Chapter is looking for Civil Engineers to become professional student mentors. This program will better bridge the gap between student and professionals in the civil engineering field. As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Provide networking opportunities to future civil engineers
  • Provide advice on internships, jobs and help with resumes
  • Offer tips on how to succeed in the professional world

If you are interested or have any questions contact  Sanjana Srinivas – Membership Chair: [email protected] Program begins January 2019 and ends June 2019.

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 6pm
Potluck at Ashley Smith’s House
Contact Ashley at [email protected] for address
Sign up for potluck here: (PASSCODE: 1234)

Fundraising Updates

This Tuesday, November 27th is #GivingTuesday which is also the beginning of our End of Year fundraising campaign! Please donate to any one of our individual chapter teams using the links below. Your donations help the project teams complete all the great work that they do. Thank you so much for the support!


Volunteer Opportunity: Bridges to Prosperity

Bridges to Prosperity is a United States-based nonprofit organization that partners with local governments to connect their rural last mile via pedestrian bridges. They are currently planning an implementation trip to Bolivia in April 2019. They are seeking someone who can read plans and pay their own way to help construct a pedestrian bridge. Ideally the candidate would have some bridge construction experience and Department of Transportation experience, but it is not required. If you are interested please contact Rich Williams at [email protected].

For more information about Bridges to Prosperity see



The project team has submitted a monitoring report and a continued implementation report to EWB-USA and are responding to their comments. While in Kenya, the team will explore the possibility of water supply wells within the community. The KEK Clean Water Program is located near Rongo, Kenya in the East Kanyamamba community (a community of 1600 people). For more information, please contact Laura Byrd at [email protected].


We are waiting to have a call with the community then we will start preparing the assessment pre-trip report for realigning a large portion of the pipeline. For more information, contact Michelle Kolb at [email protected]


The Belize team has submitted their Draft Outreach Implementation Report to National. National confirmed it's under review and should have comments back to the team by the end of November. The team plans to travel in April 2019 and focus efforts on flood-proofing structures in the most vulnerable areas of the Village, and meet with the Belize Ministry of Works to discuss the availability of large equipment and the original technical plan. Sarteneja, Belize is a community of about 3,000 people who suffer major loss from flooding each year. For more information, please contact Mandy Ott at [email protected]  

Santa Rosa Tiny Homes

The Sacramento EWB chapter has partnered with the Denizen/Wyck Housing Group to support the structural design of tiny homes for those displaced by last year's fires in Santa Rosa. If you have a structural background and are interested in being involved with the project, please email Patrick Donovan at [email protected]

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History & Heritage Committee



Chuck Spinks, P.E., M. ASCE
Chair, Region 9 History & Heritage Committee

Next year, May 10th, 2019, is the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad, the most significant Civil Engineering accomplishment of the 19th century. To celebrate this great event, ASCE is presenting a Railroad History Symposium on May 6th in Sacramento.

The Symposium, which is being sponsored by the ASCE History & Heritage Committee and the Sacramento Section, will include topics on the civil engineers, engineering design, and engineering projects of the period. In the 19th Century, civil engineers received much more recognition from the press for their projects than we receive today.

The attached photo by Andrew Russell, the official photographer for the Union Pacific, was taken at Promontory, Utah on May 10th, 1869, after the ceremony. Russell titled it “Engineers of the UPRR at the laying of the last rail, Promontory”. To a modern audience, that might be interpreted as a group of locomotive engineers, but it was the Civil Engineers, the skilled professionals that designed and led the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad.  The Symposium will tell the stories of some of these Civil Engineers as well as the Civil Engineers of the Central pacific Railroad. Additional Symposium details and registration information will be available by early 2019. If you have any questions about the event, or to reach me, please contact me at [email protected].

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Continuing Education


ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!
To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants to[email protected] and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to [email protected].


Water Hammer in Transmission and Distribution Systems 
March 14-15, 2019 | San Francisco Metro Area

Managing the Design Process: Keeping on Schedule, within Budget, and Selecting the Right Resources
March 28-29, 2019 | Sacramento Metro-Area


You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.

  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal


Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

Live P.E. and S.E. Exam Reviews  NEW!

  • Take the guesswork out of your study plan and build confidence for exam day
  • Learn from qualified experts in interactive courses 
  • Receive access to recorded webinars and reference material
  • Take advantage of group rates for 2 or more engineers preparing in the same location
  • Courses start August 1!


On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate

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ASCE LinkedIn Group


ASCE National's LinkedIn group has become a vital community of professionals like you that share ideas and knowledge. Here you can join your fellow civil engineers to network, interact and exchange ideas. To join, click here. If you are already a member of the group, learn more about networking and the benefits of ASCE membership. 

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Region 9



Mojgan (MJ) Hashemi, P.E., M. ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Governor-At-Large from the
Los Angeles Section

It is an honor to be one of your new Region 9 Governors, and I am looking forward to serving you in this capacity over the next three years.  Also new to the Region 9 Board of Governors is Jeff Cooper from the San Diego Section.  We were both sworn in at ASCE’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia in September during the Presidents and Governors Forum and our three-year terms officially began on October 1, the start of the new fiscal year for ASCE.

I would like to thank the outgoing Governors, Ken Rosenfield and Jim Frost for their invaluable service to Region 9.  I look forward to continuing their great work representing our region, and I know that they both are continuing their volunteer efforts to support ASCE through active committees and task forces.

I have been involved with ASCE for over three decades going back to my school days at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Many of you probably better know me from my active legislative advocacy work on behalf of ASCE including as a State Advocacy Captain in California, the Los Angeles Section Government Relations Chair, and most recently, as the Region 9 Chair of the Government Relations Committee, a position that I held for the past three years.

The responsibilities of Region 9 Governors were summarized by Kwame Agyare, the Chair of Region 9 Board of Governors, in his newsletter article last year as follows:

“The purpose and objectives of the Region 9 Board of Governors shall be to assist the Society’s Board of Direction on a Regional basis in governing the Society and to provide leadership and carry out programs for the benefit of Region 9.”

ASCE’s Vision Statement is that “Civil engineers are global leaders building a better quality of life.” The accompanying Mission Statement asks us to “Protect the public health, safety, and welfare; deliver value to our members; and advance civil engineering.” In addition, the Society’s Board of Direction recently completed a strategic plan and approved the following six goal statements that will enable us to better align our programs and activities toward common objectives:

  1. An ever-growing number of people in civil engineering realm are members of, and engage in, ASCE.
  2. Civil engineers develop and apply innovative, state-of-the-art practices and technologies.
  3. All infrastructure is safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  4. ASCE advances the educational and professional standards for civil engineers.
  5. The public values civil engineers’ essential role in society.
  6. ASCE excels in strategic and operational effectiveness.

These goals establish the foundation of our Region 9 strategic initiatives, customized for the benefit of our membership. Some of our current priorities include, membership growth; younger member retention; infrastructure advocacy; innovation and technology support; communication and collaboration among various Society and regional groups; leadership development; and succession planning. 

As an incoming Governor, I will work with the Society, the Region 9 Board, and local Section and Branches to help further the Region’s strategic initiatives.  Here are some of my top priorities for the next three years:

  • Improving membership- As a volunteer organization, our future is directly dependent on the number and level of involvement of our members at all levels. There is currently a challenge in transitioning our ASCE Student Members to Associate Members, attracting young engineers to join ASCE, and retaining young engineers as members.  I believe that we all should engage and communicate more often with our student members. We also need to connect these student members with working professionals and welcome them to our programs and be accessible to them, to help improve their interactions with ASCE and our existing Younger Member Forums (YMFs).

  • Increasing advocacy efforts- I am a strong believer in the importance of advocacy and engagement on issues surrounding infrastructure and the civil engineering profession. Region 9 has one of the most active legislative advocacy programs in ASCE.  Our membership is engaged in advocacy at all levels, and for the past three years we have consistently completed legislative visits to Sacramento with over 50 members representing all our Sections.  We have also conducted local follow up visits.

We need to continue educating and training both our new and seasoned members, to help them all become better advocates.  Events such as fly-ins, webinars, and local visits are some of the ways to do this.  We also need to continue to educate the policy makers to make them aware of the importance and the need for improved infrastructure funding and planning.

  • Promoting innovative, state-of-the-art technologies and best practices- We need to incorporate innovative technologies while planning and implementing infrastructure projects. As a recent example, on October 11, ASCE Board of Direction adopted a new SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) Cities policy statement.  This policy supports integration of technology into our transportation infrastructure systems, to build strong community connectivity, workability, and resiliency.

We also need to support efforts to increase funding for research as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs to develop more capable engineers; and to establish collaborative efforts between the practicing engineers and the academicians.

As the current year, 2018, comes to an end, I would like to thank you all for your contributions to ASCE and wish you and your family a wonderful new year ahead.  I look forward to working with many of you over the next three years and would welcome your suggestions and ideas.  For any further information, you can reach me at [email protected]

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

State Legislation

Nothing new probably until the February issue.

New Reports of Interest 

Stanford Water in the West released Guide to Compliance with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. “Local agencies in critically over-drafted groundwater basins in California have less than a year and a half to draft their plans to achieve sustainable groundwater management. [They] … will need to avoid six specified ‘undesirable results’ ranging from seawater intrusion and degraded water quality to land subsidence. A new report … guides these agencies through how to understand and comply with the requirement that GSAs (Groundwater Sustainability Agencies) must not cause ‘significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses of surface water.’… To help agencies navigate how to interpret (California’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or SGMA), the report reviews state and federal laws, regulations and other resources that provide guidance on the issue.”

The Applied Technology Council, for the City and County of San Francisco released Tall Building Safety Strategy. Commissioned by the City of San Francisco in 2017, this study of buildings over 240 feet in San Francisco has raised concerns about inadequate inspections of certain types of steel framed buildings after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. At the time of the earthquake, it was not yet understood that “steel moment frames” are particularly susceptible to fracture. In addition to a re-inspection of all such steel framed buildings, the report makes 15 other recommendations in order to reduce seismic risk.

The CA Dept. of Water Resources has released its annual water year report, “Water Year 2018: Hot and Dry Conditions Return,” says “despite below-average precipitation in water year 2018, most California reservoirs are storing near- or above-average levels of water heading into the 2019 water year,” which runs from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. 

The UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy & the Environment released When is Groundwater Recharge a Beneficial Use of Surface Water in California? Current state law requires a permit from the State Water Resources Control Board to divert surface water for groundwater recharge. The current lack of specific guidance for qualifying recharge purposes creates uncertainty and acts a disincentive for entities seeking to undertake some recharge projects, including non-extractive uses “combatting subsidence, raising regional groundwater levels, or supporting baseflow or ground-water dependent wetlands.” The authors of this report argue that the state could promote greater investment and activity in groundwater recharge by issuing further guidance regarding when and how such projects qualify as beneficial uses.

The San Francisco Transportation Authority released TNCs & Congestions. Congestion in San Francisco significantly worsened between 2010 and 2016. Based on monitoring data from the SF Transportation Authority’s Congestion Management Program, peak arterial speeds decreased by 26% for morning commutes, and by 27% in the evening. On a typical weekday, total vehicle hours of delay increased by 40,000 hours, and vehicle miles travelled increased by over 630,000 miles. “[Transportation network companies, or TNCs] accounted for approximately 50% of the change in congestion in San Francisco between 2010 and 2016, as indicated by three congestion measures: vehicle hours of delay, vehicle miles travelled, and average speeds. Employment and population growth—encompassing citywide non-TNC driving activity by residents, local and regional workers, and visitors—are primarily responsible for the remainder of the change in congestion.


Governor Brown appointed To the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and GeologistsDuane Friel, Temecula, Democrat, district representative for the International Union of Operating Engineers since 2018.


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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

I was often impressed with the perception that the amount of time collectively spent by consultants in preparing and presenting proposals for engineering investigations seemed to exceed the total fee that would be paid to the consultant eventually hired. It also appeared, given the obviously competitive situation, that to win the competition, the more confidence a consultant expressed that it could assure a more spectacular result, the greater the advantage that consultant would have. The bottom line was that the process seemed to encourage consultants to represent that they could achieve results which, in reality, were not as clearly possible as represented. Once the consultant got the project and if it turned out that represented results were not totally attainable, a process of re-framing of the initial representations and cultivating an "understanding" client might ensue. The project would continue to the end with "the best result under the circumstances" achieved.

It occurred to me that a "less understanding" client could argue that it was induced to enter into the contract with the consultant on the basis of statements that might be construed as "misrepresentations" delivered at the proposal stage of competing for the project. Of course, the consultant could argue that the "misrepresentations" were not really misrepresentations but merely "statements of professional opinion" that the consultant believed were valid. The resolution could end up being reached after a long involved trial including the competing efforts of creative and imaginative lawyers and a cast of other consultants supporting the contentions of both sides. Needless to say, such a trial would cost a great deal of money and damage the reputation of the consultant "defendant," regardless of the outcome.

The general rule is that an engineer must perform services in a "non-negligent" manner. It must be remembered is that any engineer can promise to perform at a level higher than "non-negligent" and can be held to that level of performance. For example, a "guaranteed" result will be interpreted as such. Any representation that the project will comply with "all applicable laws and regulations" will foreclose the possibility that reasonable and competent engineers might differ as to the application of those laws and regulations. Examples are endless.

The point is that in presenting a proposal, the consultant must be aware of the possibility that what is represented as an outcome, may not be possible, with certainty, and that if the anticipated result is not achieved, there is the potential for a client, who feels it was misled at the proposal stage, with justification, to sue the consultant.


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Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)


President   Michael Konieczki [email protected] 916-840-5211
President Elect   Tino Maestas [email protected] 916-471-8210
Senior Director  Megan LeRoy [email protected] 916-993-4613
Junior Director Christina Rice [email protected] 530-559-4506
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell [email protected] 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih [email protected] 916-679-8864
Past President Adam Killinger [email protected] 951-265-5289
Executive Director Tony Quintrall [email protected] 916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Nelson Tejada  [email protected] 916-751-0849
Region 9 Chair Kwame Agyare [email protected]  
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Egrs. w/o Borders Ashley Martin [email protected] 530-200-6309
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia [email protected] 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Michelle Zeiss [email protected] 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Bradley Waldrop [email protected] 916-788-2884
Central Valley Branch Erik Almaas [email protected] 209-946-0268
Feather River Branch  Clay Slocum [email protected] 530-864-1648
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin [email protected] 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir [email protected] 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon [email protected] 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricich [email protected] 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  [email protected] 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst.

Niranjen Kanepathipillai

[email protected] 916-227-4463
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily    530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew [email protected] 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan [email protected] 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  [email protected]  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Elias Karam  [email protected] 209-481-6857
Scholarship Eric Polson [email protected]  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan [email protected] 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Vince Anicich [email protected]  
University of the Pacific Joey McElhany [email protected]  
University of California, Davis Abdulla Alishaq [email protected]  
California State University, Chico Grant Rose [email protected]  


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