Past Presidents

Ranjit Sahai, PE, F.ASCE (NCS President, 2013-14)

On New Year's Day in 1983, Ranjit and his wife looked through the airplane's porthole as it prepared to land at Houston International airport. He held her hand and observed, pointing to the cityscape that showcased a marvelous view of skyscrapers and highway interchanges he had never seen before. "Isn't this the paradise that mankind has been searching for? Human potential unleased, to dream and build, unfettered by constraints of traditional norms. Thank you for choosing me as your husband as I join you in our life together in the United States of America." He was thinking of two books that have influenced his life, the books his college roommate had suggested he read.

UH Downtown

Over the course of his life on campus at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, he read all available books by the author of the books his roommate had suggested. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in Structural Engineering. He went on to finish a master's in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston, Downtown campus in 1984.

The two books that sparked his journey to the US were the 1943 novel (and 1949 movie starring Gary Cooper and Patricia O'Neal) The Fountainhead and a collection of non-fiction articles in book form titled, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Both, written by Ayn Rand.

He authored five books and wrote hundreds of articles in computer magazines from 1987 to 1999. His fifth book titled Teach Yourself MicroStation/J became his most successful book of its time, published on January 26 in 1999. To get a glimpse of what the book meant to its readers, feel free to browse through its Reader Feedback.

He starts work on his sixth book on April 28, 2024, titled Infrastructure: It's Future, and Past to Present. Its anticipated date of release is January 26, 2028. You are welcome to share his journey to authoring Infrastructure: It's Future, Present, and Past in an upcoming Bentley User Communities group titled Infrastructure: Its Future, Present and Past.

Should you be interested in having your employer submit details of their most innovative projects in the Gallery of Projects section of the book's introduction, have them reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Those who took advantage of this opportunity in 1999 included: Amoco Oil & Fluor Daniel, SNWA and MW/Hill, Carilina Power and Light, Maryland DOT, among others.

Thanks for stopping by.

Excerpts from an interview with Ranjit

Tell us about your involvement with ASCE.

"In 1984, when I was a student at UHD, I joined ASCE. Economic conditions in Texas were bad at that time, to put it mildly. In search of a new job, I took advantage of its free listing for job seekers. This led to a job in New York. Structural engineers worked in the back backrooms of the building, and the sky-high rents prompted me to post another job-seeker ad in Civil Engineering magazine. This led to the move to Northern Virginia, where I have been since 1987."

Tell us how you became the longest serving webmaster for ASCE-NCS.

"I never let my membership to ASCE lapse. I became an ASCE Life Member a couple of years ago. I had been a "lurker" within the organization since joining ASCE. That changed in 2009. I attended a few ASCE-NCS meetings to network and offered to revamp its Website when Fady Afif was the Section's President, who supported the idea. I have been webmaster since. When I was President of ASCE-NCS, in 2013-14, the Section's Website was awarded the best in the nation for the Section size category we competed in. I was proud to accept the award on behalf of the Section."

How did you, as a civil engineer, learn to do websites?

"I fell in love with computer software in 1984. That passion continues to this day. I wrote five books and hundreds of articles in magazines, including ASCE's journal of computing on CAD between 1987 and 1999. I make it a point to read at least a dozen books each year on software development and related topics, and keep a pulse on the industry. This year, in 2024, I am shutting down the engineering services side of my business to focus attention to what interests me most, the transformative power of software in the engineering industry."