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Call for Submissions

The Call for Submissions is now closed. 

Key Dates

  • Call for submissions opens |
  • All submissions due |
  • Author notification |

Convention Purpose

The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Convention is the Society’s premiere membership event. It is the single annual opportunity where the entire Society joins together reflecting the diversity that ASCE encompasses. The Convention program is designed to have integrated, multi-cultural, technical, and educational components to meet the needs of the profession.

The program will follow the convention topics described below. These topics are used to define a recurring convention program that draws attendees back year, after year focusing on the important issues affecting the profession. The program will provide benefits to attendees on an educational and professional level and value to their employers by enhancing staff’s technical, managerial and leadership skills.

Target Audience

The Convention target audience is leaders in the Civil Engineering profession across all disciplines and levels of experience. Targeted attendees include ASCE members, Institute members, students, younger professionals, and seasoned experts.

Convention Topics

The program topics cover seven key areas within the profession. Each topic has a set of sub-topics to clearly define presentation proposals within these broad topic areas. Authors should select the topic area for the general subject and then choose the more specific sub-topic to better describe the presentation and learning objects for the proposed session.

1: State of the Industry/Profession

The topic includes presentations from recognized thought leaders, corporate leaders in engineering, corporate leaders from related fields, Institute leaders, leaders in engineering education, leaders from cooperating industry organizations, and political leaders. Presentations are intended to introduce industry and profession level topics from a leadership outlook, explore multi-discipline viewpoints, examine the civil engineering profession and how it functions, and show how civil engineering affects industry and the public.

Presentation sub-topics include:

  • Innovation
  • Workforce
  • Globalization
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Life Cycle
  • Big Data

2: Professional Development

The topic is intended to provide sessions based on the needs assessment of attendees and engineering firms. The sub-topics are designed to educate and enhance the individual skills, contribute to career development and provide knowledge that can be applied to their jobs. Rotating levels of training and development (first year, 101 series, second year, 201 series, etc.) are desired to attract new and returning attendees.

Presentation sub-topics include:

  • Ethics
  • Management Skills
  • Marketing
  • Business Development
  • Small Business Ownership
  • Public Relations
  • Project Management
  • Value Engineering
  • Employee Development
  • Diversity
  • Communications
  • Risk Analysis & Management

3: Multidisciplinary Technical

This topic is intended to bring the best of the best from the Institute conferences, ASCE conferences and other profession conferences from other professions, multi-discipline issues, innovation, best practices, hot issues, case studies, perspectives from allied professions affecting civil engineers, and new concepts. The sessions should have a multi-discipline view on topics important to the civil engineering profession and provide interactive information exchange. Time for a question and answer period must be included in the proposal.

Presentation sub-topics include:

  • Forensic Investigations (Case Study)
  • Risk Analysis
  • Infrastructure
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental
  • Unique Project Approaches/Solutions

4: Natural & Man-made Disasters

The topic is intended to explore disasters from a multi-disciplinary point of view. It will look at the natural and/or man-made causes, prediction, present codes and standards and suggested revisions, effects, and how to mitigate effects by component or macro approaches. The session may contain reports from ASCE/Institute Disaster Response Teams and investigate case studies, lessons learned, and discuss sustainability, and/or resilience design concepts.

Presentation sub-topics include:

  • Causes
  • Effects
  • Resiliency
  • Mitigation
  • Risk Asset-Management
  • Response
  • Adaptation to a Changing Climate
  • Changes to Design Standards or Codes

5: History & Heritage

This topic will cover significant civil engineering achievements within the region of the host city or of National importance to add appeal for all attendees. Presentations on projects close to the Convention site, especially National Historical Civil Engineering Landmarks should be highlighted. Presenters should present multi-disciplinary views on the importance, design, construction, costs, public process, value, and innovation of the project(s) being presented.

Presentation sub-topics include:

  • Landmarks and other significant projects
  • Major Events
  • Biographies
  • Lasting Significance and Relevance to Modern Practice

6: Strategic Issues/Public Policy

This topic is to present a forum to discuss the progress and direction of public policies and their effect on the profession. Sessions are intended to present current status, to drill down on practicable application of policies, how to utilize ASCE policies to affect political and legislative changes, to present case studies, and investigate future directions. Presenters should be both ASCE members and outside thought leaders from academia and private and public practice and managers who are actively pursuing solutions and employing tools related to ASCE’s strategic issues and policies. Presenters could also be political or legislative leaders who understand the issues and the environment surrounding them.

Presentation sub-topics include:

  • ASCE Strategic issues
  • Strategic Issues impacting the Profession
  • Infrastructure Funding
  • Implications of Not Funding Infrastructure
  • Report Cards (National, State, Regional)
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Changing Regulations
  • Political Advocacy

7: Significant Projects

This topic is intended to cover mega projects and multidisciplinary views on the feasibility, planning, design, construction, costs, public process, value, innovation, environmental, sustainability, and resiliency of the project discussed.

Convention Program and Sessions

To appeal to the broad and diverse groups within the engineering profession, the Convention program will be comprised of a well-rounded mix of sessions from the 7 main topics. Authors may submit a full or partial session idea and the Technical Program subcommittee will work with the submitting author(s) to merge similar ideas within a category to create a session. Submitting a proposal to the Convention constitutes an agreement that, if your proposal is accepted, the author(s) will register for the Convention (either at full or daily), attend the Convention, and present their work in person.

Many technical sessions will include various presentation styles. The Technical Program Subcommittee will work with session leaders to ensure the presentation components for a particular session involve a suitable mix of topics, and the proposed presentation style is the most appropriate format for the subject matter.

Types of Sessions

Roundtable Discussion (60 or 90 minutes)

In these sessions, a group of experts on the given topic review and discuss specialized, professional matters before the audience on an equal basis. This type of session does not include a moderator or facilitator and is more of a conversation format with no formal question or answer period but instead allows the audience to participate and ask questions during the entire session. Rooms for roundtable discussions are set theater-style with a riser and chairs for speakers at the front of the room.

Concurrent Program Sessions (60 or 90 minute sessions)

These lecture-style and interactive sessions are scheduled concurrently throughout the Convention and are based on the Convention’s established topic categories. The session may include one to three speakers presenting different aspects of the same topic. It is not a panel discussion with a moderator (see below). Authors may propose partial sessions of 15 or 30 minutes or full sessions at 60 or 90 minutes. Proposals of 15 or 30 minutes will be combined with similarly identified topics at the Technical Program subcommittee’s discretion. Authors will be notified in advance and have an opportunity to discuss the combined session format before it is finalized. Rooms for concurrent program sessions are typically set theater-style with a lectern in the front of the room.

Panel Discussions (60 or 90 minutes)

A panel discussion is an instructional technique using a group of people chosen to discuss a topic in the presence of an audience. The panel should not exceed 4 individuals with a moderator/facilitator to facilitate the discussion and the question and answer period from the audience. The Q&A session is typically between 10 to 20 minutes in duration. This room is typically set theater-style with a head table for a maximum of four speakers.

Point–Counterpoint w/ Questions & Answers (90 minutes)

This panel discussion is a technique using a group of individuals chosen to debate a topic in the presence of an audience. The panel should not exceed a total of 6 individuals (up to 3 per side) with a facilitator to facilitate the discussion and the question and answer session. This room is typically set theater-style with two head tables.

Submission Information

  • All proposals must be submitted via ASCE’s online Paper Management System.
  • Proposal must be free of materials and/or language that discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, or sexual orientation
  • All submissions must include the submitting author’s full name, telephone number and email address.
  • Proposal must be free of personal/corporate-specific marketing
  • Both the main topic and a sub-topic must be selected to be considered.

Submit Presentation

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be selected by the Convention’s Technical Program Subcommittee based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the defined Convention topics and sub-topics
  • Interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary applications
  • Potential to attract and stimulate cross-cutting and collaborative discussions
  • Timeliness of the topic
  • Practical application of information to be presented
  • Practical and clearly defined Learning Objectives

Scheduling of Program Sessions

Program sessions are scheduled throughout the Convention from Thur, through between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Program sessions will only be held during the official dates and times of the ASCE Convention. Submission indicates the availability to present a session on any of the dates and times listed.

Proposal/Abstract Submission Process

Session proposals allow the Technical Program Subcommittee to develop a comprehensive Convention program that will be both valuable and interesting for all attendees. Your proposal must contain all three components described below including your email address and telephone number. Submissions without the completed information in full and containing a comprehensive session topic description will not be considered.

The Technical Program Subcommittee reserves the right to combine abstracts/topics to create a session.

Program Abstract (200–250 words) 

The Convention Technical Program Subcommittee is seeking abstracts that align with the Convention topics. Describe the session topic and its relevance to the Convention and participants, what the attendees will take away from the session and how the presentation will be made within the 200 to 250 word abstract. Submitting Authors must provide enough detail to convey all of the aspects of the topic the speakers intend to discuss in a session. The proposal must be a minimum of 200 words.

Session Format

Please describe the proposed format for how the session will be conducted—including the number of speakers, length of presentations, anticipated manner of audience participation, and other similarly related information. Please identify all speakers, panel members, moderators or facilitators by name, affiliation, and include their phone numbers and email addresses.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives are needed to identify and award PDHs during the Convention. Submitting authors must include a minimum of 3 learning objectives (maximum of 5) for each session. The learning objectives must be clear, specific, concise, and measurable and reflect what the attendees will achieve/learn by participating in the session. Submissions without learning objectives will not be considered for inclusion in the convention program.

Follow these guidelines when writing the objectives:

  • A statement that clearly communicates what the participant will be able to demonstrate at the conclusion of the session, including conditions and criteria of performance
  • Measurable
  • Feedback from participants demonstrating skills or knowledge obtained

The following is an example of a learning objective which complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard:

  • Identify 4 principal structural properties of aluminum according to the 2015 Aluminum Design Manual (instead of the vague “Know the principal structural properties of aluminum.”)

Learning objectives that comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard must use one condition, one action verb, and one standard or criterion.

Revisions and Combinations

ASCE staff and the Technical Program Subcommittee members may propose changes to session proposals in an effort to manage content and fit the available programming times. Sessions may be accepted conditionally based on such changes.

Submit Presentation

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