Shaping the future with Engineering and Technology

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA Kansas City Office

Every organization needs a "techie" group and APWA has a good one in the form of the Engineering and Technology Committee. Their mission statement is four-fold:

  • To identify and develop skills and competencies necessary for effective application of engineering practices and principles to public works applications.

  • To provide APWA members with a forum to exchange and develop ideas, information, skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to provide engineering and technological support for public works.

  • To encourage application of modern technologies that will assist public works agencies to better fulfill their missions.

  • To influence public policies that will strengthen the application of engineering principles and management of public works.
Realizing that public works directors come from multi-disciplines, the committee members strive to provide information to engineers and non-engineers which can lead to growth and development of the individuals. Researching new proposals from other professional engineering groups, sharing the information with APWA members, and attempting to reach a consensus that relates the position of the majority of our members, is an ongoing responsibility.

Currently under discussion and review is developing a position statement regarding the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Policy Statement 465, which supports the concept of the master's degree as a prerequisite for the practice of civil engineering at the professional level. Comments will be solicited from members prior to drafting a statement.

The committee recently proposed a position statement regarding ADA access in the public right-of-way, which is under review by the Government Affairs Committee.

Continuing the relationship with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in an effort to provide information to the membership relating to value-based delivery systems and qualifications-based selection of consultants (QBS) is another responsibility of the committee.

Realizing that smaller public works departments often have difficulty securing the level of technology they need to upgrade their operations, committee members are committed to working with the APWA Rural and Small Communities Forum to help assure the availability of current technology to that sector of our membership.

Other goals for the coming year include expanding the number of members subscribed to one or more InfoNOW Communities; monitoring the efforts of the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) as an observer; participating in the Smart Growth and Homeland Security Task Forces as appropriate; providing a liaison to the committee working toward a National CAD Standard and developing the necessary background to consider a position/policy statement; and focusing on emerging engineering and technology issues relevant to both the U.S. and Canada as a means of drawing upon the respective experiences of APWA and CPWA.

Members of this year's committee include: Kurt Corey, Chair, Eugene, OR; John German, At-Large Director; and Members Paul Cooley, Encinitas, CA; Maureen McCauley, Goderich, Ontario; Alan Garcia, Pompano Beach, FL; Neil Grigg, Fort Collins, CO; and Robert Wagner, Yuma, AZ. APWA Staff Liaison is Carol Estes.

To reach Ann Daniels, call 1-800-848-APWA or send e-mail to