On Thursday, March 3, a breakfast meeting held in Miami, Fla., formed the basis for a new SAME Post. Maj. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, P.E., M.SAME, USA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Atlantic Division Commander, presented an overview of USACE opportunities and ways to do business with USACE to a sellout crowd of 165 participants. Attendees included military engineers from Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., U.S. Southern Command, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, along with many participants from industry representing a wide array of design and construction firms, many of whom are based in south Florida. The event, hosted by a Post-in-Formation Committee, demonstrated to the national SAME Board of Direction a commitment towards providing meaningful programs and educational seminars for industry and government. Formation of the South Florida Post was subsequently approved by the national board, and officers were installed during a June 9 event showcasing opportunities with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The South Florida Post covers Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. For detailed information on upcoming programs, please visit www.samesouthflorida.org.
Cheryl Maze, South Florida Post
2010 was a good year for the SAME Mobile Post. In addition to being selected as Top Large Post, the Mobile Post won all four Streamers with distinction, increased its membership by more than 26 percent and activated an SAME Student Chapter at the University of South Alabama that has grown to more than 70 student members. The Post supports 22 active committees that establish strategies to meet and exceed goals aligned with the SAME Strategic Plan.
In addition to monthly meetings featuring technical presentations on topics including indoor air quality management, bridge inspection, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Mentor-Protégé Program, the new U.S. Southern Command headquarters complex and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) overseas military mission, The Mobile Post hosted and sponsored a variety of significant events in 2010.
The Post was a sponsor and competitor in both the American Cancer Society’s annual chili cook-off and the Alabama Coastal Foundation’s gumbo cook-off in February and April, respectively. The Post sponsored several Young Member events in March, and in May several Post representatives attended the SAME Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo in Atlanta, Ga., where the Mobile Post received several Streamers with distinction for achievements the previous year.
The Mobile Post’s annual Scores for Scholars Golf Tournament, held in early June, attracted the largest participation turnout in its 14-year history, and included the announcement of the Post’s scholarship recipients for 2010. Also in June, the Post sponsored several students to attend the SAME/U.S. Army Engineering & Construction Camp in Vicksburg, Miss., completed the election of new officers and initiated the formation of a SAME Mobile Post recognition coin.
The Post’s new officers were installed at its July meeting, and in accordance with the Post’s Alabama Active Duty Soldier Outreach Program, following the officer installation the Mobile Post recognized Sgt. 1st Class Randy Bailey and his wife Cindy for his 34 years of service to the nation as a member of the Alabama National Guard. A milestone was also achieved at the July meeting with the signing of the University of South Alabama SAME Student Chapter charter. The Student Chapter has since been running at full speed under the direction of Chapter President Jackie Parks and her officers. Finally, Paul Klotz and Emery Baya, two distinguished, long-standing Post members, were recognized at the July meeting by Mike Thompson, SAME South Central Regional Vice President, for their outstanding service to the Mobile Post with receipt of Regional Vice President’s Medals.
The Mobile Post sponsored a table at the University of South Alabama JagFest event in August and recruited new members for the Student Chapter. In October, the Post returned to the campus as a sponsor of a Girls Exploring Math and Science event
The Post in November hosted its annual workshop, which featured extremely well-attended session presentations by Bo Ansley, Chief of the USACE Mobile District Emergency Management Branch, and Col. Steven Roemhildt, USA, the USACE Mobile District Commander. Col. Roemhildt and 18 USACE Mobile District representative speakers previewed ecosystems restoration, the Mississippi Coastal Improvement Program, water wars challenges, military and civil works missions and overall contracting trends through 2011. At the workshop, the Post also announced a formal Mobile Post Award and Recognition Program and actively sought member participation.
In December, the Mobile Post made a generous donation during its annual Christmas social to the Alabama Nation Guard Foundation to support the families of deployed soldiers. Later in the month, the Post’s emergency management and homeland security committee executed a disaster scenario response that included a call-down exercise to Sustaining Member Companies that could respond with specialty skill support and services in response to a disaster.
In addition to these outstanding events and activities, the Mobile Post sent a Post officer and Young Member to the SAME Post Leadership Workshop in January and endorsed the nomination of members firms and individuals for numerous national-level SAME awards.
The Mobile Post’s membership offers venues for students and young engineers and scientists to prepare for their professional certifications, provides co-op opportunities and enables day-to-day mentorship of the young engineering community. The Post is proud of its involvement with the USACE Mobile District, the University of South Alabama, the surrounding community and the individuals and firms that support Post efforts. These efforts continue to make a positive impact in the lives of others, specifically the armed forces and engineering community.
Developing future engineers through outreach and mentoring—the SAME Kaiserslautern Post recently brought this important part of the SAME mission statement to life by helping orchestrate the Boy Scouts of America Barbarossa District Merit Badge University event. Kaiserslautern Post members teamed up with engineers from Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe, the 86th Civil Engineer Group, the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron, the 435th Construction Training Squadron, local contractors and Boy Scout Troop 69 to lend their time and expertise in leading numerous engineering-related merit badges.The successful event attracted more than 170 scouts from 12 different troops. In addition to logistical support throughout the day, the Post contributed engineers to instruct numerous technical merit badges including Architecture, Engineering, Environmental Science, Emergency Preparedness, Fire Safety and Surveying. According to Col. John Parker, USAF, Troop 69 Scoutmaster and Merit Badge University lead, “What made Merit Badge University such a great success is that the bulk of the instruction was provided by subject-matter professionals, not Scout leaders. This led to an amazingly high level of quality in the knowledge passed to the scouts.”
Understanding that the best way to keep scouts’ attention is through hands-on learning, engineers incorporated numerous creative activities into their lesson plans. Coy Webb used super soaker water guns to demonstrate the process and effects of water erosion while teaching the Environmental Science merit badge. Trent Tholen, Joe Gradney and Bob Cadow gave scouts an opportunity to dissect, rebuild and create electronics for the Engineering Merit Badge. The active approach not only kept classes engaged, but improved overall information retention and showed the fun side of engineering to the scouts.
Throughout the day, scouts completed or almost completed a total of 270 merit badges. Col. Bob Moriarty, USAF, SAME European Regional Vice President, commended the volunteer merit badge counselors and rewarded them with his Regional Vice President’s coin.“This was a tremendous community service activity and an outstanding promotion of engineering and core values in an effort to help build tomorrow’s engineers,” said Col. Moriarty.
Col. Parker added, “A tertiary benefit was the very obvious fact that the scouts were being supported by more than their parents and leaders, but also by non-scouters who demonstrated that scout values exist throughout our community."The Kaiserslautern Post hopes to participate in future Boy Scout Merit Badge University events as an ideal avenue to support the critical SAME outreach and mentoring mission. After all, the future of the engineering profession rests on the development of the next generation.
In celebration of national Engineer Week, the SAME Huntington Post hosted its 18th annual Engineering Career Day. The event, held Feb. 24 on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington, W.V., attracted 133 students from three states who have expressed interest in engineering and science. Additionally, nearly 100 teachers, exhibitors, workshop leaders, and Huntington Post members participated.Mark Kessinger, F.SAME, who sits on the event organizing committee, said, "This event gives kids who are interested in math and science an opportunity to get a better understanding of what engineering is all about. It's an informative day, and it's fun!"
The students attended workshops, viewed exhibits, interacted with engineers, and received lunch and door prizes. In the most popular workshops, students took part in a chemistry "magic show" and used laptops to design bridges with West Point's "bridge contest" software. In the exhibition hall, students saw demonstrations of engineering concepts and interacted with leaders in the field who provided career advice and encouragement.The Post capped the afternoon with a catered luncheon, during which it presented $5,000 in scholarships to deserving students who plan to obtain engineering degrees. At the luncheon, Col. Robert Peterson, USA, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District, spoke on the importance of engineering to the nation, and Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe was on hand to officially proclaim the day "Engineering Career Day" in the city. Keynote speaker Natalie Tennant, West Virginia's Secretary of State, reminded students of outstanding accomplishments achieved through engineering.
Post President Ken Woodard concluded, "The Huntington Post was proud to host Engineering Career Day for so many students. Our country desperately needs—and will continue to need—engineers and scientists. We hope this event opened the students' eyes to career possibilities in engineering."Kerry Ballew, Huntington Post Communications Chair
A key mission of the SAME Honolulu Post is to ensure that there are future generations of engineers to defend and build our nation. The Post accomplishes this through college outreach and youth programs that build relationships between Post members and students. The Post is an active organization, participating in and organizing year-round outreach activities. In the first quarter of 2011, these activities included:SAME Engineering Merit Badge Program. Capt. Jeremiah Gipson, USA, a Honolulu Post Young Member, coordinated an Engineering Merit Badge Program for the 27 scouts of Boy Scout Troop 147 in Aiea, Hawaii, on Feb. 5. SAME volunteers talked to the scouts about different types of engineering and conducted hands-on energy conservation and design projects. The scouts also researched and discussed engineering efforts undertaken to construct the H3 highway connecting Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe. The scouts were excited to discover that many of the skills required to become an engineer are the same that interest them most in school.
The Engineering Merit Badge Program was conducted as a joint effort between the SAME Honolulu Post and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District. Both organizations participate in various programs that support elementary and high school initiatives related to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Technology) Educational Coalition.SAME Student Chapter Resume Writing Workshop. A resume writing workshop was conducted for members of the SAME Student Chapter at the University of Hawaii on Feb. 2. The workshop was given by Todd Barnes, Chief of Engineering and Construction of USACE Honolulu District, and was conducted in coordination with the Engineering College Fair held annually in February on the University of Hawaii Campus.
MATHCOUNTS Regional and State Tournaments. Honolulu Post volunteers served as competition facilitators and assisted in the scoring of tournament examinations in February and March. Currently in its 28th year, MATHCOUNTS is one of the country's largest and most successful education partnerships, involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. The SAME Honolulu Post is a proud partner of the Hawaii MATHCOUNTS program.
VEX Robotics Tournament—Engineer Week 2011. Working in conjunction with the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies, the Honolulu Post provided judges for the “Build” and “Innovation” awards at the Engineer Week 2011 VEX Robotics Tournament on Feb. 20. Tournament winners qualified to participate in the World VEX Championships to be held in Orlando, Fla., in April 2011.
Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair. The Honolulu Post recognizes outstanding engineering projects in the Senior Research and Junior Display categories at the annual event. The Post also presents a $500 cash prize to an outstanding teacher. SAME members also serve as judges, assisting the Hawaii Academy of Science in selecting Hawaii student representatives to the International Science and Engineering Fair.