Blaine Leonard, P.E., an alumnus from the University of Utah College of Engineering, has been chosen president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for 2009. ASCE is the nation’s oldest professional engineering organization, representing 140,000 civil engineers and students worldwide with a mission to “advance technology, advocate lifelong learning, promote the profession, develop leadership and advocate infrastructure and environmental stewardship.”

Having served on numerous committees and groups within ASCE for years – including leading the student chapter while attending the U – Leonard will assume his first year in office at the society’s annual conference in November 2008. The three-year volunteer position includes the first year as president-elect, another as president, and the third year as past-president.

Leonard plans to continue ASCE’s work to envision engineering in the future and finding ways to realize it. A publication released by the organization titled, The Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025, offers a global, aspirational vision for civil engineering.

“One of my big initiatives is to continue to carry the flag for achieving the vision of civil engineering in 2025,” says Leonard. “We must join together to move ASCE and our profession into the future. We must continue to serve members where they live, push the frontiers of technical practice to new heights, adapt our education system to meet future needs, expand our efforts to shape public policy and be proactive in determining our own future role.”

Leonard is currently the research program manager for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), and will continue there while serving ASCE. At UDOT Leonard manages the applied research program, determining the department’s needs and resources and contracting projects to outside research groups. “Many of our research projects involve the University of Utah,” says Leonard. “We have a long ongoing and productive relationship with the University.”

Leonard earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1981 and his M.S. in Geotechnical Engineering in 1987 from the University of Utah. In 2005 he spent a semester teaching in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the U. Prior to working at UDOT, Leonard spent about 20 years working in the consulting industry for a variety of firms, including as vice president and managing partner for the civil division at Van Boerum & Frank Associates, and as owner and principal engineer at Strata Consultants.