Networking for Civil Engineers
There are numerous benefits to membership in an engineering society. You will have the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests, obtain scholarship information, attend job or career fairs, mentor underclassmen, interact with alumni, attend conferences, and participate in community service. The following organizations are student run and organized on a national level.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - founded in 1852, ASCE now has over well over 10,000 members of which more than 20% are students. They offer professional, career, technical resources in the forms of publications, continuing education courses, conferences, networking opportunities. This group consists of members from every civil engineering discipline. They offer outreach to people of all ages-with educational programs for young people interested civil engineering and tools for those who are just beginning their careers.
American Concrete Institute (ACI) - for one hundred years, ACI, established in 1904, has advanced, created, and distributed information to improve how concrete is used. ACI is involved in national and international conferences, seminars, certification, scholarships, the publication of journals and abstracts, student concrete project competitions, and maintenance of a research database
American Water Works Association (AWWA) - in 1881, the AWWA was created to improve drinking water quality and supply. It is an international nonprofit professional society that is the largest organization dedicated to water resources. AWWA offers training and development seminars, conferences, and online courses for continuing education, the latest information and government legislation affecting the drinking water industry, and scholarships for undergraduates and graduate students. The group also publishes journals and books, and maintains a technical database and career center. Geological Society of America (GSA) - founded in 1888 to connect geoscientists investigating our planet and provide a forum for them to share their research. With a global presence and more than 16,000 members, 20 percent of whom are students, GSA coordinates national and regional meetings and conferences, provides research grant opportunities, supports mentoring programs for university students, publishes journals, fosters community outreach, and recognizes important scientific contributions in research and teaching.
Societies of Women Engineers (SWE) - established in 1950 as an engineering organization that provides support for female engineers looking to study and pursue careers in engineering. SWE provides a wealth of information on the engineering field and how women can succeed as professional engineers. They are also involved in education, outreach, and leadership training. They have k-12 programs as well as a strong presence on college campuses. SWE offers scholarship opportunities, publishes a magazine, and sponsors conferences on the national level.
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) - created by college students in 1975, NSBE's mission is to increase and improve the number of African-Americans studying engineering. There are more than 270 college and university chapters-along with 75 alumni chapters nationwide for post-graduate members and pre-college chapters for high school students interested in engineering. NSBE offers tutorial programs, organizes study groups and high school/junior high outreach programs, sets up technical seminars and workshops, publishes national magazines and newsletters, maintains a resume book of all members, hosts career fairs, and coordinates a national convention.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) - founded in 1974, SHPE is a national organization with over 5000 student members and close to 2000 professional members, created to improve the advancement of Hispanics in engineering and other technical sciences. SHPE offers access to conferences, sponsors competitions, accepts research papers, publishes a magazine, is involved in professional and career development and training, and provides career and internship information.
Even though these organizations offer networking opportunities, it is important to establish relationships outside of the classroom with your departmental faculty. Professors have numerous contacts in the academic and working worlds, they can provide recommendations for graduate school and scholarship applications. Also speak with civil engineering graduate students. More than likely they will assist your professors grading coursework, teaching the material, or answer any question you may have about the course work.