Prof to make history at helm of engineering society

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Susan Tighe will break new ground when she takes over next month as president of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering for an elected one-year term.

A professor of civil and environmental engineering, Tighe is the first person from the University of Waterloo and just the second woman ever to lead the 5,000-member organization in its 117-year history.

Susan Tighe“I see this as a great opportunity to give practitioners information and tools to better do their jobs – and ultimately build better infrastructure for Canada,” she said.

Director of the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology at Waterloo Engineering since 2010, Tighe has made improving both internal and external communications one of her top priorities in the job.

The society is out to double its membership to 10,000 by 2020, largely by attracting students and other young people in the profession, while also spreading the word about “what civil engineers do and how it impacts your life” to a wider audience.

Promoting sustainable infrastructure is another key goal. Included is the development of tangible measures to arm civil engineers with data, for instance, to justify projects that may cost more, but are of higher quality.

“If we do a good job building a bridge or a road and it lasts a long time, it is sustainable by definition,” said Tighe, whose role with the society will include writing editorials for its monthly magazine.

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