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In this article, Barcus talks about the top issues that civil engineers are faced with. This article is written with respect to American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that has been in the frontline of developing strategies for process management that entails enhancing research in environment to find out strategic issues, prioritizing the issues after careful analysis and establishing what needs to be done to achieve the issues of top priority. Barcus also discusses the potential action plans required to achieve the results.


According to Barcus, the top ranking priority issue is how the United States of America has neglected its infrastructure for a period running to five years now. Consequently, public health and safety has been placed at risk hence the competitiveness and economic growth of the nation has been held back. The ASCE hence has plans of improving the grades on infrastructure of America. Barcus continues by saying that ASCE desires to see the public and its officials comprehend the important role infrastructure plays in the advancement and well being of the nation. The plans to achieve this entail upgrading all levels of advocacy at ASCE, help civil engineers assume the leading role in generating logical solutions and mechanisms for funding and repeated reporting on the condition of the infrastructure.

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Another issue facing civil engineer is the present path of the professional that allows only four years for a degree hence preparing practitioners inadequately. This has to be solved by improving the professionals' competency levels in the near future. The plans to achieve this are to initiate proper curricular for civil engineering during both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Barcus also adds that attaining more sustainable built and natural environment is an important issue faced by the professional practitioners. In the wake of environmental awareness, civil engineers have to develop structures that enhance environmental sustainability.

Other current issues that Barcus looks at in his article are formation of megacities and population growth where he feels that civil engineers have a daunting task of designing structures that will cater for them. Climatic changes are also one of the issues that practitioners face as they have to develop in a manner that will not increase carbon in the atmosphere.

Other the above challenges, additional issues are the continuous demand communication and transportation networks, and water and energy. The management of manmade and natural risks is also an important issue that civil engineers currently face.

Barcus article "Grand Challenges for Civil Engineering" is timely at serves as an eye opener to not only to the practitioners in the field but also to all stakeholders. It comes in the wake of environmental awareness and sustainable development where every project initiated has to ensure environmental sustainability. The challenges and issues mentioned by Barcus can be viewed as new but not unique as the problems have been there for some time now,

ASCE is doing a good job of identifying the plans to be implemented so that their anticipated target can be met. Going through the article, one can easily see how the society is committed to facing the challenges and issues. This has been most importantly dealt with in the article with the clearly outlined plans and future expectations.

The field of Civil engineering as it is today, has to ensure that all individuals are in touch with all the current happenings globally. This will ensure that all designs and structures put all individuals' needs and expectations first to avoid future problems. It is however very important to note that civil engineers offer innovative solutions through design management and environment.

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