We sat down with three transportation leaders at SEH to discuss trends across the industry, their careers and what it means to be part of a multidisciplined engineering company.
Technology is fast evolving and the public has high expectations. As engineers, we need to efficiently develop high quality products that are readily understood by the public – we can accomplish this through the use of visualizations and animations. We are continually seeking new tools and technology to communicate concepts and ideas. There is an immense amount of data impacting transportation decisions including safety, traffic patterns, freight and congestion, to name just a few. Robust data analytics are needed to manage and evaluate this information.
Related Content: Learn more about SEH visualization services.
GPS and other technologies are greatly affecting the way things are constructed now, from how they are designed and surveyed to how construction equipment is controlled and final records are documented and utilized.
As I am approaching the end of my career, I am amazed at all these new technologies and also happy for the growth opportunities my younger coworkers get to experience.
The industry is working toward efficiency in moving people in all modes. This includes broadening the use of rectangular rapid flash beacons, audible pedestrian buttons, high-intensity activated crosswalk beacons, and the integration of different modes of transportation working in parallel to facilitate that goal.
By staying curious and learning about advances in these areas, we have the opportunity to offer our clients innovative and smart solutions.
I love the opportunity to work on a wide range of traffic engineering projects. I spent my first decade at SEH focused primarily on traffic operations analysis for complex networks, corridors and freeways. Over the next decade I completely switched gears, learned something new and focused my work on multimodal transportation and complete streets projects; here, I ultimately found my passion. And, better yet, I know I can share my experiences and help others grow their careers.
The people I have worked with. Because I have a new project and location almost every year, I get to meet many great people. Some I only work with for a short time and others I run into again and again. It has made me very proud to see some of the people I have mentored become highly capable and respected workers.
I also value the opportunity to put my own touch on projects that will be in service for many years. I am always trying to make decisions that help to produce a final product that will serve the needs of the community and be something the client is proud of.
I love problem solving and the diversity of projects I get to work on.
SEH has always given me the freedom to and supported me in developing unique solutions to our clients’ challenges. I’ve also had many opportunities to attend and present at industry conferences, where I have developed many important friendships and contacts. This has also helped elevate my personal brand within the multimodal community.
SEH has always been serious about keeping up with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) standards and design/construction requirements. We are often sent to training opportunities which keep us abreast of all the changes to construction activities and requirements. We also have access to new technologies and equipment that help us do our jobs.
At SEH, we have a wonderful diversity of practices – whenever I have a question about something outside my normal scope, I know there is an SEH expert available and happy to help.
SEH has supported me in my career by challenging me to do new things and mentoring me along the way. The relationship I’ve had with our Company has really been key for my professional development.
The Franklin Avenue Bridge Protected Bikeway project over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. That project involved re-decking the entire bridge. Like many, this project was the result of several conversations that occurred over the course of a few other projects, a few years, and with many people involved across different agencies and companies.
I worked with colleagues at the City and County to develop the concept, which reduced the roadway on the historic, nearly 100- year-old bridge from four lanes to two lanes and included a barrier protected space to accommodate 1,800 people biking and 900 people walking every day.
I would say that my experience working on the Nicollet Mall Reconstruction Project in downtown Minneapolis was both my most challenging and “coolest” project. The City crews, contractor crews and administration/inspection team bonded in a way unlike any other project I’ve been on. We were on a very visible project that was at times questioned by the public. As a group, we were committed to being respectful and considerate of the affected public and businesses while producing a project held to the highest quality standards.
My goal on all projects is to be able to walk away proud of what we have constructed. It was exciting to share that same feeling with everyone on the Nicollet Mall Reconstruction project.
The I-25 signing project in northern Colorado. Up until working on this project, I did not have experience working on a signing project for final design. Previously, I only had experience with feasibility conceptual layouts or spot location fixes using regulatory and warning signing, but had never done an all-inclusive corridor signing project like this before. During the project, I had to flex some research muscles and familiarize myself with the guide sign section of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and local standards, as well as design the structural supports for Class III signs. I worked with an amazing team along the way.