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Plenary & Keynote Sessions

*Subject to Change (CI & CRC joint sessions)

Thursday | March 21

Opening Plenary Luncheon | Construction Industry Outlook: Thriving in an Uncertain Future  
11:30 am – 12:45 pm

The Engineering and Construction (E&C) Industry has faired well though the turmoil since 2020. More uncertainty awaits in 2024 and beyond. The key to thriving is not having certainty about the future, but rather being able to reduce, simplify and navigate uncertainty. How are leading firms prioritizing investments, organizing their work force, pursuing projects, adopting new technologies, staying forefront in their markets, and pivoting with a changing regulatory environment?   

We have an industry veteran with deep knowledge and an industry strategy consultant with wide knowledge discussing the main challenges and best practices across the industry. Such as:

  • Economic outlook and the built environment: what this means for E&C.
  • Trends and adoptions around high-performance building materials and energy-efficient systems.
  • Technology solutions like BIM, VDC, and robotics and applications of emerging technologies, such as generative AI.
  • Workforce development.
  • Setting and implementing Strategy.


Brian R Manning, P.E., F.ASCE
mc2 civil, inc.
Speaker Details

Will Gruy
Speaker Details

Friday | March 22

ASCE-CI Research Awards | Awards Presentations for Halpin Award, Peurifoy Award, and Rowland Prize
8:30 – 9:30 am

Afternoon Plenary Session | Prioritizing Mental Health in Engineering and Construction
4:15 – 5:15 pm

In a 2021 survey conducted by the Center for Workplace Mental Health, 77% of construction CEOs, presidents, and owners said that addressing mental health at work was a priority. While this statistic is promising, construction industry leaders need to continue having conversations about mental health and make it a pillar of construction industry education and support resources to see lasting improvements. 

In this session, we want to go beyond awareness and offer practical steps to implement on the construction job sites, engineering offices, and classrooms with engineering students. 

Key takeaways from the session:

  • Mental health in construction by the numbers
  • Impacts on mental health in the industry
    • construction professionals 
    • design professionals
    • engineering classrooms  
  • How to combat mental health challenges in construction
    • Know the warning signs
    • Utilize toolbox talks
    • Address the stigma 
  • Mental health resources for construction and engineering industries


Scott Staffon, CSP
AVP, Risk & Safety Construction Programs, PC/ Shareholder
Speaker Details

Saturday | March 23

CRC Early Faculty Forum | Ph.D. to Surviving Year 1 as an Academic
7:30 – 8:30 am

Knowing how to navigate the application and interview process for an academic position is tough, but then you get the job and you’re an Assistant Professor, now what? Join us in a discussion of lessons learned for applying and interviewing for Assistant Professor positions; figuring out the research application process; who to go to with questions; teaching your first class; deciding how much service; how to say no to service; how to network at your new institution; how to work with your chair; how to select, interview and mentor students; and so much more as you’re working on surviving your first year as an academic.

Speakers: Sagata Bhawani, Assistant Professor, Fresno State; Chuma Nnaji, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University; Kristen Parrish, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Closing Plenary Session & Luncheon |The Anatomy of a Complex Demolition Project – Engineering and Execution of the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge Removal
12:15 – 1:45 pm

I 74 Mississippi River Bridge RemovalWhen we talk about a bridge project, the focus is typically on the new bridge being constructed. But often, the safe and efficient removal of the existing bridge contributes equally to the project’s success. In the case of the existing I-74 Bridge spanning the Mississippi River between Moline, IL and Bettendorf, IA, Genesis Structures and Helm Civil collaborated to engineer and execute a complex staged removal sequence. The demolition involved a deviation from the suggested plan of blasting the suspension spans in their entirety to a piece-by-piece removal of the existing superstructure. By limiting the amount of required recovery time from the river, this method proved to be more cost effective and reduced the required navigational closure time of the waterway. Additional challenges associated with the demolition included the proximity to the new bridge, crane access limitations near the existing lateral dam, and the presence of endangered mussels which prohibited the use of temporary structures on a portion of the job site and necessitated the use of barges with shoring towers to support the approach trusses during removal.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the analysis methods and monitoring process used to establish a safe and efficient staged demolition sequence for the suspension spans.
  • Understand the alternate removal strategies used to address site and environmental related challenges.
  • Learn how the contractor modified the original demolition plan to eliminate risk, speed up removal time, and ultimately provide savings to the Iowa DOT. 


Lisa Briggs, PE., M. ASCE
Associate & Senior Structural Engineer- Gensis Structures
Speaker Details

Thomas Schebler, EIT, A.M.ASCE
Project Engineer- Helm Civil
Speaker Details 

Zach Bardot, EIT
Structural Engineer- Genisis Structures
Speaker Details

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