Quarterly Newsletter (August 2018)

Presidents Message:

Since our last message, the Southwest branch has been busy with many events. In March, our Young Member Group (YMG) hosted a social at the Wisconsin Brewing Company. The goal of the event was to promote new members to get together and brain storm about where they would like to see the YMG move towards in the future. Though we did not have many attendees as we would have liked, the YMG was able to get productive feedback. March was also when the ASCE 2018 Section Spring Technical Conference was hosted. This year’s conference was hosted in Pewaukee by the SE Branch. I would like to take a moment to thank the SE Spring Technical Conference Committee for all their hard work in putting this event together!

Moving into April the YMG was able to host a bowling event as well! Let’s just say that most of us should probably keep our day jobs! In May we hosted a lunch meeting at the Essen Haus where we had Dr. Blake Wentz present on the topic of Ethics and Construction. In June we had two social events; one hosted by the branch and one by the YMG. The branch social was hosted at the Great Dane. Though we had a fun time, we were not able to enjoy the outdoor seating as we have had in the past due to the weather. The YMG hosted their social at the Vilas Park where they were able to grill and enjoy the wonderful weather!

Now that we are getting to near the end of the summer (time flies!), The branch will be gearing up to have our elections for the 2018-2019 Board Members. The branch is actively looking for members who would be interested in having an active role on the board, whether that be running for an elected position, filling one of our vacant chairs, or just helping the board with our many events.

From personal experience, I have found that taking a leadership role in ASCE has helped me to develop my leadership and networking skills. Being part of the board exposes you not only to the local ASCE chapters, but it also gives you the opportunity to attend leadership conferences where you are able to meet other engineers from different states and in some cases different countries.

As some of you may know, I moved here from Minnesota about 4-years ago and knew no one. On top of that I was a Gopher fan in Badger Land (Someday we’ll get that axe…). Joining ASCE when I moved allowed me to not only meet new people, but it also gave me the opportunity to meet local engineers, attend and organize local events which in turn exposed me to a lot of what Wisconsin has to offer. Long story short, it helped me transition my move! So especially for those who are transplants to Wisconsin, I would highly suggest joining the board, or the very least joining the chapter if you haven’t already done so!

Please look below for our current board positions. Positions that are in bold are up for election and those that are not bold but say vacant are open. If you are interested in any of these positions or even interested in helping in other ways, do not hesitate to contact us! ASCEWISW.Info@gmail.com Our deadline for elected officers will be on Friday, August 17th.  Other positions do not have a dead line, but we would like to get you on board before the 2018-2019 board meets for the first time in mid-September.

Thank You,

Harry Tran

ASCE Wisconsin SW Branch President

2018-2019 Board Positions

2018-2019 (Anticipated)

President – Ann Thielmann

President Elect – Vacant

Past President – Harry Tran

Secretary – Elisa Becker

Treasurer – Matt Buckli

Director (Program Chair) -Vacant

Director: Kelly Gruel

Director: Ed Sippel

Director (YMG): Terry Armstrong

Scholarship Chair: Jeff Barker

UW-Platteville Liaison: Noah Hofrichter

UW-Madison Liaison: Ed Sippel

Social Media Chair: Vacant

EWB Chair Madison: Vacant

EWB Chair Platteville: Vacant

Upcoming Events

  • Late August/Early September
    • Tour of local project (TBD)
  • September
  • October/November
    • Student Night/Scholarship (TBD)

YMG Bowling Event

On April 26th several of our younger members went bowling at Bowl-A-Vard!  Though no one scored 300, the younger members had a great time! Hope to see everyone at the next event.


UW-Madison EWB Student Chapter Spring Banquet

Our current Wisconsin Section President, Justin Bilskemper as well as former ASCE WI SW Board Member, Larry Ryan attended the UW-Madison Engineers Without Borders Student Chapter Spring Banquet. The Southwest Branch presented a check to the student chapter to help fund their efforts. We hope to get an update from the chapter in the next couple of weeks!

Quarterly Newsletter

Presidents Message:

Over the last couple of months, I can proudly say that the Southwest Branch has been busy hosting and attending a variety of events. These events include lunch meetings, volunteer opportunities, and fun networking event. Please see the list we have compiled below for a summary of our events from October 2017 to February 2018.

One of the events I would like to highlight is our Annual Scholarship Dinner. Each year, with the help of our members, the Wisconsin Sections and donations from local firms, the ASCE Southwest Branch Scholarship Fund program can award scholarships to recognize outstanding civil engineering students with the cost they incur for their education. Myself and the board would like to thank our generous donors and congratulate this year’s recipients!


Brenden Polkinghorn

James Creaser

Tanapat Sudhiwana


Karisa Rusch

Justin Mahlberg

Turning the page to March, we look forward to the ASCE Wisconsin Section 2018 Spring Technical Conference on March 16th, 2018 (Click here for more information). This year’s technical conference is organized by the Southeast Branch and will be hosted at the Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center in Pewaukee. The conference is always a great opportunity to network with fellow members, and a great way to earn PDH credits!

Looking beyond the conference, the Southwest branch hopes to host another lunch meeting and several social/networking events before summer arrives. If you have not already done so, please check our website and calendar for updates to upcoming events!

Thank You,

Harry Tran, EIT

ASCE Wisconsin SW Branch President

Event Summary (October 2017-February 2018)

  • October 2017
    • Bowling Event with the UW-Madison Students
      • This event is always a great opportunity for students and professionals to network and have a little fun as well!
    • UW Madison Scholarship Dinner (1-2 PDH)
      • The event included a tour of the Charter Street Heating and Cooling Plant followed the scholarship dinner which included a presentation by Katie Macdonald and Bruce Morrow (Ayres & Associates) titled “Beyond Functional Design”
  • January 2017
    • Workshop for Section and Branch Leaders (WSBL)
      • Every year regions 3, 6, & 8 host a leadership conference. This year we had our President Elect and one of our Directors attend the conference in Omaha, Nebraska. The conference is always a great opportunity for our board members to share and collaborate with other ASCE leaders.
  • November 2017
    • UW Platteville Scholarship Dinner (1-PDH)
      • Though it can be a bit of a trek for some of our members, the UW Platteville Scholarship Dinner is always a great to show our support for our Platteville members. This year scholarship dinner included a presentation on the Quilt Block Wind Farm Located near Darlington, Wisconsin by Brodie Dockendorf
  • December 2017
    • Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl (YMG)
      • The YMG enjoyed a wonderful night filled with beer and food! YMG hopes to see more members and ugly sweaters for next years!
    • Lunch Meeting (Recent Innovations in the Concrete Industry) (1-PDH)
      • Our guest speaker for the December lunch meeting was Kevin McMullen, current President of the Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association. Kevin and those members who attended had a great time and interesting dialogue on the future of concrete.
  • January 2018
    • Lunch Meeting (Asset Management) (1-PDH)
      • Our guest speaker was Cathy Wunderlich of the WDNR. The presentation gave some insight into how asset management is used to help meet the Safe Drinking Water Act and how asset management is a hot topic at the EPA.
    • UW-Madison Student Chapter Mini Golf
      • Hosted by the student chapter, the event is great opportunity for the student chapter to raise money for the various ASCE competitions they have in the future. The fundraiser included appetizers, a round of mini-golf, and a silent auction. We highly encourage professionals and their employers to attend and support the student group.
  • February 2018
    • Mathcounts Competition (YMG)
      • Mathcounts is an annual math competition open to all sixth, seventh, and eight grade students. Our YMG members volunteer every year to help judge the competitions!
    • Engineer’s Week Banquet (1-PDH)
      • This was a joint meeting with the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE). Every year WSPE awards scholarships to high achieving high school seniors in the Madison area who will be attending college in an engineering program. This year’s recipients had GPAs of 3.9 and 4.0 and both scored 33 on the ACT. Wow!
    • Badger Hockey Game (YMG)
      • This year’s game was the classic border battle between the Badgers and the Gophers. The event was well attended and both students and professionals had a good time. Even though everyone had a fun time, the results were less than desired for many. Though I must put as a disclaimer that I am a proud University of Minnesota alumnus that very much enjoyed the results of the game…SKI-U-MAH.

Upcoming Events

  • March
    • ASCE Wisconsin Section 2018 Spring Technical Conference (March 16, 2018)
  • April
    • YMG Social (TBD)
  • May
    • Lunch Meeting/Tour (TBD)
  • June
    • Summer Social (TBD)