Fulfilling your mission with Engineering and Technology

Carol S. Estes, P.E.
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City office

Are you looking for new ways of utilizing emerging technologies? Are you interested in various methods of project delivery? Is qualifications-based selection of professional services a "hot topic" in your agency? If the answer is yes, then Engineering and Technology is the committee for you!

One of the missions of the Engineering and Technology Committee is "to encourage application of modern technologies that will assist public works agencies to better fulfill their missions." A very important aspect of this mission is the emerging technologies and methods of value-based delivery systems and qualifications-based selection of consultants. The committee works with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) as well as the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to provide information to the APWA membership on state-of-the-art value-based delivery systems. Look for the ACEC Congress session this year on Project Delivery Systems.

Committee members are finalizing an update of APWA's Selection and Use of Engineers, Architects and Professional Consultants publication after coordinating review and comments from ACEC and AGC. The final product, a new edition, will be available at Congress this September in Kansas City. Engineering and Technology members will be on hand to discuss the changes and new material with attendees.

The committee is in contact with the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) to keep abreast of emerging ideas in design-build. The committee looks to continue to strengthen relationships with AGC, ACEC and DBIA during the coming year so that state-of-the-art construction and consultant procurement methods can be communicated to the APWA membership.

Another mission of the committee is "to identify and develop skills and competencies necessary for effective practices and principles to public works applications." This year the committee is looking forward to assisting in the development of the Construction Inspector Certification Course.

The committee is also looking to pursue new and strengthened relationships with the academic community to enhance educational and training opportunities. The focus of this goal is to provide training opportunities in the campus setting and possibly partnering with higher educational institutions to provide public works-related training at the academic level. This outreach to the academic institutions will be an attempt to groom the future public works leaders and introduce students to the roles of the public works professionals. The Engineering and Technology Committee is very excited about the potential to build further relationships with the academic community and to provide training which will help to recruit our future public works leaders, thus strengthening the role of the public works professionals.

The Engineering and Technology Committee promotes the "Professional Manager of the Year - Engineering and Technology Award." The Professional Manager of the Year Award in the Engineering and Technology category seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in the private and public sectors by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of engineering and technology professionals. The primary focus of this award is recognition of exceptional leadership and management in the area of engineering and technology. The role of engineering and technology is vital to the success of public works agencies in fulfilling their missions, and the committee looks forward to the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize individuals who inspire excellence in the field of public works engineering and technology.

For the future, the Engineering and Technology Committee acknowledges that public works management and city engineering are in flux. Technology is exploding and our workforce is changing. A central question for the committee is: What are the issues and options for APWA to serve its members and accomplish its mission in the areas of engineering and technology? A few relevant questions are:

  • What is the effect of off-shoring of professional services?
  • Is the role of the engineering office in public works changing?
  • How can technology be used to improve public works?
  • What are the main technologies to track?
  • Is the preparation of the engineer adequate?
  • How can engineers in public works practice do better in their careers?
  • How do we relate to other associations and band together on engineering education and other shared interests?

The Engineering and Technology Committee looks forward to addressing these questions through our future business plans and, as always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.

Members of this year's committee include: Gordon Daring, Chair, Middletown, CT; John German, At-Large Director, San Antonio, Texas; and members Ken Buccilli, Farmington Hills, MI; Paul Cooley, Encinitas, CA; Kurt Corey, Eugene, Oregon; Neil Grigg, Fort Collins, CO; Fred Whitley, Hampton, VA; and the APWA Staff Liaison is Carol Estes.

Carol Estes can be reached at (816) 595-5222 or