Here to welcome you to Fast Forward, a new online resource for transportation career awareness, is Clark Martin with the Federal Highway Administration.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the division of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) that focuses on highway transportation. This is the division of the federal government that oversees the National Highway System, including Interstate Highways and U.S. Routes.
Patrick J. Natale, P.E., CAE, F.ASCE is the Executive Director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), an organization consisting of over 141,000 civil engineering professionals worldwide. Nations across the globe benefit from the research and expertise of ASCE members, who use their knowledge to create innovative and economical solutions to problems such as transportation, water management, construction, energy, and many other areas that benefit society. ASCE promotes the spread of knowledge and innovation through its publications, conferences, and educational initiatives, and is, in fact, one of the world's largest producers - and champions - of civil engineering research.
A Balancing Act: Trying to Meet Society's Safe Transportation Needs
People want to feel safe as they move from place to place - but in today's world, they also want to get going as quickly as possible.
R. Marshall Elizer, Jr., knows all about this challenge. As the Executive Vice President for the engineering consultant firm Gresham, Smith and Partners in Nashville, Tennessee, Elizer serves as manager of the firm's transportation practice by leading a team of about 125 transportation professionals across seven offices in creating solutions for a variety of transportation projects.
Road to Success
Throughout his career, John Horsley has worked with governors, members of Congress, and U.S. presidents. Horsley is the former Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) - an organization which develops nationwide policies and guidelines for highway transportation. What you might not guess is that his career began when he was working in a congressional mail room. With hard work, skill, and determination, he eventually took the lead of a national organization that is known as the "voice of transportation" in the U.S., and his career path has been paved with national projects that impact the lives of millions.
Real Effort Leads to Real Success
Students often tend to think that if they are doing poorly in a subject ? math is a good example ? they must be "bad at it." According to Carl Mack, Executive Director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), this is likely not the case. After working with a countless number of students, Mack argues that doing poorly in a subject is most often the result of a lack of effort and planning, rather than natural ability. Just like sports, music, or video games, doing well in school is the result of effort, time, and practice, which is why a student's attitude toward school has a noticeable impact upon their success.
Marcia Ferranto is the President and CEO of WTS International, an association that was founded in 1977 with the mission of attracting, retaining, and advancing female professionals in the transportation industry.
A big part of WTS International's message is that transportation holds many exciting career opportunities for women, as well as men. A career in transportation can offer financial stability, a healthy work-family balance, and the reward of positively impacting others.
Take Risks, Reach Higher
Michael Melaniphy always knew that he wanted a career in transportation. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Melaniphy loves the interaction between people and mechanical things that defines the transportation system. His position at APTA gives him the opportunity to influence both of these elements. In Melaniphy's words, the mission of APTA is to "further the understanding of and to advance public transportation throughout this country, and to grow it to a bigger piece of the national landscape and dialogue."
Tom Brahms, Executive Director of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), says he anticipates a future transportation system that is capable of incredible things. From his vantage point at ITE, Brahms has witnessed tremendous advances made by transportation engineers, accompanied by the exciting questions and challenges that are raised by new technologies.Members of ITE form a global community where they can learn from one another and promote groundbreaking applications of new and existing technology.
A licensed professional engineer can face big challenges, and as Dan Wittliff, President of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), explained, "With awesome capability comes awesome responsibility." Since he finished his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering over 40 years ago, Wittliff served in the U.S. Air Force and worked as Managing Director of Environmental Services for GDS Associates in Austin, Texas. These experiences taught him how a successful path can be shaped.
Making a Difference
David Gutierrez overcame a few obstacles along his academic journey, and now he's helping future drivers safely avoid roadside obstacles through his research at the University of Nebraska?Lincoln (UNL). Gutierrez, a first-year graduate student in civil engineering, studies under his adviser, Dr. Ron Faller of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility. As a graduate assistant, Gutierrez creates simulations to test roadside safety equipment systems
Build Your Own Bridge to the Future
Building upon a love of math, Prairie View A&M University senior La Sasha Walker chose to major in civil engineering, specializing in structural engineering. She narrowed her focus to the field of transportation because she wanted to design large projects, such as bridges. She also realized that, since transportation engineers are needed everywhere, transportation could be her ticket to traveling the world.
Taking Flight, Conquering Fears
In the face of danger, the "fight or flight" response tells us whether to fight the fear or to flee the situation. But graduate student Xavier Henry confronted a fear and took flight. Henry is now a doctoral student in engineering and aviation sciences, as well as natural sciences, at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).
Finding the Right Fit
Kristina Currans is a third-year graduate student studying civil engineering at Portland State University (PSU). After receiving her undergraduate degree in civil engineering, Currans now studies travel behavior, looking into how and why people make the decision to travel to certain places using different travel methods like cars or buses.
Transport Yourself to New Horizons
James Wong grew up on Long Island, a short trip from New York City via the Long Island Railroad. As a kid, he was fascinated by the trains and subways of New York?the pulse of the city that shuffles nearly three million New Yorkers around the Big Apple every day. Today, about to complete his dual master's degree at Georgia Tech in engineering and city and regional planning with a focus on transportation, Wong is learning how to plan and design for mass transit systems in large cities.