Silver Spring, Md. — Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) is the new name of the organization formerly known as ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association. According to GBA President Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE (Terracon), “The time had come. Continually fewer of our most active members knew what ASFE originally stood for or how we’ve evolved over the years. Geoprofessional Business Association identifies who we are today.”
ASFE was an acronym for Associated Soil and Foundation Engineers, the name the organization began with in 1969. Several years later it changed its name to Association of Soil and Foundation Engineers and, a few years after that, it dispensed with the name entirely.
“ASFE-member firms were the first to become active in the environmental-remediation field,” Thorne said, “and those members of staff who focused on the environment, rather than soil and foundation engineering, felt like second-class citizens. That’s when we changed our name to ASFE – adopting the acronym as our name in full – and added a tag line explaining who we were; for example, ‘The Association of Professional Firms Practicing in the Geosciences.’ Taking that approach, we were able to recognize our geotechnical heritage while also explaining what we had evolved into. But answering the question ‘What’s ASFE stand for?’ was becoming a steadily more cumbersome process.”
Thorne noted that the geoprofessions, as defined in Wikipedia, consist principally of geotechnical engineering; geology and engineering geology; geological engineering geophysics; environmental science and environmental engineering; and construction-materials engineering and testing.
He said, “GBA is the source of programs, services, and materials geoprofessionals apply every day to help themselves and their clients confront risk and optimize performance.” He added that, to the best of his knowledge, GBA is unique in that it provides all its materials – more than 700 items – to member-firm personnel free of charge.
Now that GBA has renamed itself, subsequent steps include establishing a new logo, securing a new Website address and creating an entirely new Internet presence, and revising graphics on its 700 case histories, best-practices monographs, manuals and guides, model documents, and so on. “It’s a daunting task,” Thorne observed, “but we’ve already made some excellent progress.”
All GBA-member firms' technical activities are under the full-time control of an individual who is legally and/or ethically bound to hold paramount public health, safety, and welfare. GBA's associate membership comprises geoprofessional constructors; geoprofessional educators; geoprofessionals employed by government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and industry; and attorneys and other consultants to GBA-member firms.
Obtain more information about GBA at its website (www.asfe.org).