Annual Gala Celebrates ASCE's Past and Future

About 50 ASCE Oregon members and their guests participated in a very special event aboard the Crystal Dolphin.  The Annual Gala celebrates the success of the Oregon Section and recognizes the contributions of our members.  The Engineer of the Year awards were given out.  This year's Engineer of the Year is Larry Magura.  Government Engineer of the Year is Tova Peltz and Young Engineer of the Year is Nick Hatch.  We were honored to have ASCE President-Elect Kristina Swallow join us on this special occasion.  Ms. Swallow inducted the new officers.  Brand new to the board this year is Jerald Ramsden as Treasurer and Courtney Davis as Oregon Section President-Elect.  Members and guests enjoyed a nice dinner in the private setting aboard the boat.  David Sowers of WSDOT provided a special presentation on the high profile and impressive Alaskan Way Viaduct project.  Adding to this was the unique ambiance as the boat plied the Willamette River on a perfect September evening and such great company of fellow ASCE devotees accompanied by their significant others.

2017 ASCE Oregon Government Engineer of the Year is Tova Peltz

Tova Peltz, PE, GE, CEG is the Geo-Environmental Unit Manager in the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Region 1. Tova works at the interface of engineering, environmental resource management, project delivery, and transportation infrastructure maintenance. Tova holds a Masters in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelors in Earth Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.), Geotechnical Engineer (G.E.) and Certified Engineering Geologist (C.E.G.) in Oregon. 


Tova started her career in geotechnical engineering consulting in 1999 at GRI. She joined ODOT in 2007 as a geotechnical engineer, stepped into a construction management position in 2012 and moved into her current position in 2016.  At ODOT, Tova’s team is comprised of hydraulic engineers, geotechnical engineers, geologists, biologists, environmental project managers, a wetland scientist, a landscape architect, and a historian. This multidisciplinary team does project design for ODOT’s capital projects, provides technical support to construction and supports maintenance of existing highway infrastructure. Currently her team is working in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with ODOT Maintenance and the US Forest Service to assess forest fire damage and mitigate rockfall and slope failures triggered by the Eagle Creek Fire. This team also recently completed the design and permitting for the I-205 Regional Water Quality Treatment Facility which will provide stormwater treatment for ODOT and City stormwater collected within the I-205 system north of SE Powell to the Columbia Slough. This team is taking a lead role in establishing ODOT’s approach to watershed based stormwater management and treatment. Tova is passionate about working at ODOT, and is particularly enthusiastic about the team of people she works with in Region 1 and the wide variety of work she does – from traditional project delivery to statewide strategy for stormwater treatment to professional mentoring to emergency response and planning.


Tova is an advocate for engineers and scientists engaging in local STEM education and has been on the leadership team for the Annual Engineers Week High School Program since 2006. She also helped develop the BEC’s Stem Connect Program and continues to lead Region 1’s STEM Connect participation. Tova is an ASCE Oregon Section Past-President and former Program Chair, Oregon YMF Past President, and Oregon ASCE Geotech Group Past President. Tova is also a former member of both ASCE’s Council on Disaster Risk Management (CDRM) and the Geo-Institute Legislative Sub-Committee.

Tova was awarded Oregon Government Engineer of the Year at the 2017 Annual ASCE Oregon Section Gala on September 28th 2017.  Congratulations Tova and a big thanks for all you do from all of us at ASCE Oregon Section!

2017 ASCE Oregon Young Engineer of the Year is Nick Hatch

Nick Hatch, PE, is a project engineer with GRI and has 7 years of geotechnical engineering experience.  He is a registered professional engineer in Oregon with a BS in civil engineering and M.Eng in geotechnical engineering from University of Idaho.  Nick has been a member of the ASCE Oregon Section since 2012, and had the honor or serving as President of the Younger Members Forum (YMF) of the Oregon Section from 2015 to 2016.  In 2016, he started hosting the Straw Bridge Competition at Oregon Engineers Week for ASCE and helped the Oregon Section update their website.  In his spare time, Nick enjoys camping, hiking, golfing, weekend getaways, attending sporting events and concerts, and spending time with his family and friends. 

Nick was awarded Oregon Young Engineer of the Year at the 2017 Annual ASCE Oregon Section Gala on September 28th 2017.  Congratulations Nick and a big thanks for all you do from all of us at ASCE Oregon Section!

2017 ASCE Oregon Engineer of the Year is Larry Magura

Lawrence M. (Larry) Magura, P.E., F. ASCE, D.WRE has been an active member of ASCE and the Oregon section since he moved to Oregon from his native California in 1978.    He served in all of the Oregon Section leadership chairs, culminating in serving as Section President in 1992.  He graduated from UC Davis with a BS degree in Renewable Natural Resources, and then continued his studies at UC Berkeley, where he received MS degrees in Civil Engineering and Watershed Management.  He is a registered professional engineer in Oregon, Washington, and California.

He started his professional career working for FEMA in San Francisco on the National Flood Insurance Program, and the Corps of Engineers in Portland, where he served as Chief of the Emergency Management Branch in the Portland District for 7 years during the Corps response to the Mt St Helens disaster.  When the disaster was declared over in 1987, he entered the private sector and worked for a succession of consulting engineering firms, culminating in a 14½ stint with the Lake Oswego office of Black & Veatch, where he served as the firm’s Principal Water Resources engineer, working on a number of large and small water resources projects up and down the west coast.

When Larry retired from Black & Veatch three years ago, he wasn’t ready to completely hang up his engineering career, so he formed Lawrence M. Magura, P.E., LLC, so he could continue to work part time for some of his favorite old clients. He also decided to reactive his involvement with ASCE.  He initially served for two years as Treasurer/Historian for ASCE Region 8, and last year was elected by his peers to a 3-year term as a Region 8 Governor.  He also served as Chair of the Local Planning Subcommittee for the 2016 ASCE National Convention in Portland, and he also chairs the EWRI History & Heritage Committee, and is the long-time secretary for the EWRI Urban Drainage Standards Committee.  He was recently appointed to a seat on the Society’s History & Heritage Committee, and last month, he was elevated by the Society to the grade of Fellow.

Larry was awarded Oregon Engineer of the Year at the 2017 Annual ASCE Oregon Section Gala on September 28th 2017.  Congratulations Larry and a big thanks for all you do from all of us at ASCE Oregon Section.

ASCE Oregon Hosts "Unprepared" education event in Astoria

The Oregon Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) hosted another community awareness event to highlight seismic risks and vulnerabilities, this time in the coastal community of Astoria, Oregon. Allison Pyrch, President Elect, Mark Libby, Past President, and Jerry Ramsden, Program Chair, were joined by a panel of local engineers and emergency managers for Q&A after a showing of the Oregon Public Broadcasting and Oregon Field Guide documentary UNPREPARED.  Fort George Brewery donated the space and equipment to show the documentary.  ASCE Oregon would like to thank the guest panel including Jeff Harrington, Astoria City Engineer; Michael Summers, Clatsop County Public Works Director; Tiffany Brown, Clatsop County Emergency Manager; Cindy Moore, Engineer with City of Astoria; Bill Marczewski, Consultant Engineer and Pat Corcoran, OSU, Hazards Outreach.

ACEC/ASCE Oregon Legislative Preview Dinner

On December 7, 2016, 50-60 professionals turned out at Henry’s on 12th to hear the latest on the legislative efforts for transportation funding from Marshal Coba, ACEC lobbyist, Representative John Lively (D, Springfield), and Senator Brian Boquist (R, Dallas). There is ample interest in doing something significant, the debate seems to be over how significant and how to pay for it. With the failure of Measure 97 and a state budget crisis, there will be other competing revenue measures coming out. Senator Boquist indicated they will be reaching out to the various groups and entities that are active in supporting, and in opposing, transportation measures to see how willing they are to support or oppose.

ACEC’s Legislative Committee, and membership, is very engaged this year and will be launching an opinion poll effort soon. They will be organizing a Day at the Capitol event in March.

UNPREPARED Event in Bend

UNPREPARED Event in Bend

ASCE Oregon Section held its 3rd public event where we showed the Oregon Field Guide documentary about Oregon’s pending Mega-Quake Unprepared, followed by Q&A with an expert panel, and handed out informational fliers and emergency preparedness raffle prizes.