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Civil Engineers Call For Curb in Worldwide Corruption

Civil Engineers Call For Global Standards to Curb Trillion Dollar Worldwide Corruption
Civil engineers convene in Baltimore to explore challenges in globalization and advances in technology

RESTON, VA - Bribes account for an estimated $340 billion dollars of worldwide construction costs each year. In comparison, the Three Gorges Dam in China, the world's most expensive public project, cost only $25 billion dollars. The forecast for dramatic increases in infrastructure spending, particularly in developing countries, will lead to an unprecedented globalization of engineering practices and the potential for a dramatic increase in corruption. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will explore this and other vital issues at its 2004 Civil Engineering Conference and Exposition in Baltimore, held October 20-23, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

During a special conference session, global engineering leaders and representatives from The World Bank and Transparency International will be brought together to explore the role of the individual engineer in preventing corruption in business dealings. The global standards initiative, spearheaded by ASCE President-elect William Henry, P.E., F.ASCE, seeks to create an acceptable set of global principles for the professional conduct of civil engineers. Global Standards of Professional Practice will feature Alan Boeckmann, chairman and chief executive officer of Fluor Corporation, who will review business practices that counter bribery; Daniel Kaufman, director, global governance, of the World Bank Institute, who will discuss the costs of corruption on infrastructure development; and engineers from Asia and Africa who will present perspectives on regional corruption.

"With the increase in globalization of engineering practices, there is critical need to address global principles for professional conduct to ensure that limited project funds are spent only on necessary work," says Henry. "Our effort will give all engineers a platform for expressing their views on this important issue."

In a mix of topical and technical sessions, conference participants will also explore a number of the challenges civil engineers face. Among the featured events at the conference are:
Special sessions on the WTC collapse investigation and reconstruction that will provide in-depth knowledge of the structural response to the aircraft impact and a general overview of the rebuilding efforts;
A roundtable session on gender leadership and management styles that will explore the increase in leadership roles held by women and people of color in the engineering workforce;
A special workshop on Bus Rapid Transit technology that will cover land use, traffic engineering, station design, precision docking, lane vehicle guidance and more;
An international roundtable on technical capacity in developing countries that will focus on capacity-building efforts in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan;
A day-long symposium on information technology that will examine the use of computational intelligence - both practical and theoretical - in civil engineering;
An overview session on hazard risk activities that will feature FEMA's contributions to structural engineering; and
A technical session on innovations in sustainable engineering that will highlight challenges and applications for major environmental improvement projects.
In addition, the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) - Corporate Advisory Board (CAB)'s Technology Innovation Program and the Civil Engineering in the Oceans VI (CE06) conference will be held concurrently with the 2004 Civil Engineering Conference and Exposition in Baltimore. The CERF CAB meeting, held October 21-22, will feature keynote speaker Admiral David J. Nash, CEC USN (Ret.), P.E., M.ASCE, who has been overseeing reconstruction efforts in Iraq and will discuss steps being taken to achieve U.S. and military objectives there. CE06, held October 20-22, will highlight the technical advances, historical perspectives and emerging trends in the multidisciplinary area of coastal and deep ocean engineering.

The opening plenary session will feature a welcome from Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and a keynote address from Marsha "Marty" Johnson Evans, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. For more information on the 2004 Civil Engineering Conference & Exposition please visit our website at

Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 133,000 civil engineers worldwide and is the nation's oldest engineering society. The Society celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002.

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