About Us

imageThe Los Angeles Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was founded in 1913, largely through the efforts of three engineers in the City of Los Angeles Engineering Department; City Engineer Homer Hamlin, Deputy City Engineer Andrew C. Hansen, and Engineering Draftsman, Wilbur C. Sawyer.  On March 22, 1913, Wilbur Sawyer wrote to Charles Warren Hunt, Executive Director of ASCE in New York, suggesting that a branch of ASCE be established in Los Angeles.  Hunt responded on April 22, 1913, conveying the Governing Board’s conceptual approval.  The ASCE Board approved the LA Section constitution on December 3, 1913.


William Mulholland
1916 LA Section President

The LA Section has had strong leadership though out its long history including the Section‘s third president and noted engineer, William Mulholland, in 1916, and the Section’s 79th president, Bob Bein, in 1992.  Bob is the most recent LA Section President to become the ASCE National President in 2001.

Other LA Section Presidents who have also become ASCE National President include:

  • Louis C. Hill, Section President 1918 and Society President 1937
  • Wallace Chadwick, Section President 1946 and Society President 1965
  • Irvan Mendenhall Section President 1965 and Society President 1981
  • William Carroll, Section President 1967 and Society President 1989

Bob Bein
1992 LA Section President &
2001 ASCE National President

In addition, the LA Section has provided numerous committee members, chairs, directors, and vice presidents for service to the ASCE National organization.

The LA Section consists of seven branches: Desert Area, Metropolitan Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties, and Southern San Joaquin.  The map on our home page shows the county or counties which make up the boundaries of the Section and of each of the branches.  The LA Section is one of four sections that make up ASCE Region 9 which encompasses the State of California.  With approximately 8,000 members, the LA Section is the second largest ASCE Section (the Texas section encompassing the entire state of Texas is the largest) and one of the most active ASCE sections in the United States.

The year 2013 will mark the centennial anniversary celebration of the LA Section.  Events leading to the founding of the Section, designated historic civil engineering landmarks, a timeline of significant events, the people who were a part of the Section’s history, and other interesting Section history is being documented by this Committee. If you are interested in learning more about the Section’s 2013 centennial celebration, click here.

Committees and Technical Groups

The LA Section has several committees, including Disaster Preparedness, History and Heritage, International, Legislative, Sustainability, and Water Policy.  Our technical groups, under the guidance of our branches, include Air Transport; Forensic Engineering; Geotechnical Engineering; OC Hydrology and Hydraulics, MLAB Hydrology and Hydraulics; Transportation; Stormwater; Water Resources; and Waterways, Harbors, and Coastal Engineering. These committees and technical groups serve the needs and interests of LA Section members within their specific disciplines, offering numerous lectures and seminars throughout the year.  If you are interested in these activities, click on the name of the group above or go to the Committees and Technical Groups tab above.

Younger Member Forum

Younger members (defined as ASCE members 35 years of age or younger) participate in the LA Section through the Younger Member Forum (YMF).  Each of the following branches has a Younger Member Forum: Metropolitan Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties, Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties, San Luis Obispo, and Southern San Joaquin.  The Section’s YMF groups provide leadership and activities to those younger members that are beginning their careers in engineering.  They sponsor activities that reach out to these younger people and provide guidance and fellowship.  In addition, the YMF groups reach out into high schools with unique events challenging the minds of young people throughout the greater Los Angeles area.  If you are interested in YMF activities click on the forum name above for your area or go the Younger Member Forums tab above.


The Section has eleven universities with ASCE Student Chapters.  These Student Chapters are the connection between student engineers and the Society.  Student Chapters have been established at: Loyola Marymount University; California State University, Los Angeles; California State University, Northridge; California State University, Long Beach; California State University, Fullerton; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; University of California, Irvine; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Cal Poly Pomona, and California Institute of Technology.  For further information about these student chapters go to the Student Chapters page.


The Section has developed programs designed for the younger generations of students.  The LA Section’s Branches and Younger Member Forums sponsor a K through 12th grade school outreach program designed to introduce children to civil engineering at the elementary school level, such as the “Curious George” program.  For further information about these programs go to Education page.

LA Section Awards

The Section presents awards each year to recognize local members for their contributions to the field of civil engineering.  To learn more about the award categories, criteria and deadline for submittal of nominations visit the Awards page.

About ASCE

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was originally founded in New York City in 1852 and represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.  ASCE’s mission is to provide essential value to our members, their careers, our partners and the public by developing leadership, advancing technology, advocating lifelong learning and promoting the profession.  ASCE’s World Headquarters is located in Reston, Virginia and the Society’s Government Relations office is located in Washington, DC.