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The acclaimed giant-screen documentary Dream Big: Engineering Our World has inspired and delighted audiences in museums around the world. Now, ASCE with generous support from the United Engineering Foundation (UEF) has set an ambitious goal: to put a copy of the Dream Big film and educational toolkit in every public school in America. To reach every school, we need your help! Give $5 to send a school a toolkit containing: A DVD of the full-length feature film; Teacher’s guide; Companion videos; Downloadable files for classroom use. ASCE has pledged a 1-to-1 match of all donations made by Sections and Branches before April 15 for middle school educational kits. Any amount that you pledge will go twice as far with the match from ASCE headquarters. NCS will designate all funds go only to local schools, thus ensuring your donation is super-charged, i.e. it gets doubled, it goes to your local schools, and it amplifies our efforts to increase the quality of engineering education in our K-12 schools and inspire future generations of civil engineers!

On May 19, 2015, at the National Capital Section (NCS) meeting, Daniel Hanlon, P.E. provided an overview on the construction and design of the MGM National Harbor, a destination gaming resort under construction in southern Prince George’s County, MD. Upon completion, the $925 million resort will include a 300-room luxury hotel, a casino featuring 3,600 slots and 140 table games, a 1,200-seat theater, high-end retail, 35,000 square feet of meeting space, and premier restaurants. MGM was awarded a license to operate the casino in December 2013.


Daniel Hanlon, P.E., from the McKissack & McKissack project management team discussed some of the key elements to managing the complex, fast-tracked project to NCS meeting attendees. First, he provided a site overview and described the site’s design, from the fountain to clean sweeping roof of the casino, to how the hotel tower pays tribute to the National Mall. Mr. Hanlon then described in detail the exterior and interior design elements, including the floor plan and elevation views. He also described how the proposed finishes take suggestions from nautical references such as ships, sails, and tides, and showed attendees several examples.

Next, Mr. Hanlon discussed the project management and technical engineering aspects of the project, from foundation considerations to roof design; as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements of the 3,000,000 square foot facility. Mr. Hanlon noted that when working with numerous specialized consultants and contractors working simultaneously, communication is critical to ensuring all the pieces come together efficiently and eliminate surprises. The use of building information modeling, construction of full-scale models, and ongoing constructability reviews has been key to the team’s success. The project is on schedule for completion by October 31, 2016. The meeting concluded with an audience question and answer session.

For more information on the MGM National Harbor project, please visit

Mr. Daniel Hanlon, P.E., Senior Program Director, McKissack & McKissack. About the Presenter: Daniel Hanlon, P.E., has more than 40 years’ experience in facility management and administration and management of engineering design, construction and operations for complex facilities and infrastructure with particular emphasis on project and program management, strategic and budgetary planning and organizational operations. Prior to joining McKissack & McKissack, he served as Director of Capital Programs and Construction Management for American University, managing a capital construction budget of $450 million.


What is ASCE-NCS?

Welcome to the website of the National Capital Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a professional society for civil engineers.  ASCE was founded in 1852, represents 130,000 members of the civil engineering professional worldwide, and is America's oldest national engineering society.

The National Capital Section was founded in 1916 and currently has more than 3,100 members.  The section is located in Region 2 (link to region 2: The National Capital Section serves the District of Columbia; the counties of Montgomery and Prince Georges in Maryland, except College Park in Prince Georges County; the counties of Fairfax and Arlington, and City of Alexandria in Virginia. The National Capital Section's mission includes:

  • To advance the professional knowledge and improve the practice of civil engineering for our members and those we serve.
  • To advocate for our profession with those whose actions affect us, and to educate those whose actions and responsibilities could benefit from a better understanding of the contributions of civil engineers.
  • To improve our community through effective community outreach programs, local involvement and educational efforts.

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