PacTrans News

  • April 2, 2015

    PacTrans Regional Safety Workshop


    Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) Regional Safety Workshop

    University Transportation Center for Federal Region 10

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015
    9:00AM to 3:30PM

    Talaris Conference Center
    Cedar and Maple Room
    4000 NE 41st Street Seattle, WA 98105
    Tel: 206.268.7091

    More information to come.

  • March 31, 2015

    PacTrans Student Leadership Training: Marsha Bomar

    Student Leadership training 4.20.2015 header

    Organized by

    The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) USDOT University Transportation Center for Federal Region 10

    Presentation Title

    Language of Leadership


    This class will teach you the right language skills to put you on the verbal track to be recognized by leadership in a positive way.  Know the words to be heard in meetings and getting your name remembered.  You work hard – add these skills to your executive toolkit. 


    Bomar_Marsha_headshot_webMarsha Anderson Bomar is a Senior Transportation Principal for Stantec Consulting Inc. in Duluth, Georgia.  She is the former President and Founder of Street Smarts, Inc., a planning, engineering and design firm, and Data Smarts, a data collection and management firm, established in 1990 which she sold to Stantec Consulting Services Inc., in 2010. Marsha has received many awards throughout her career. She had the honor of being the first woman to serve as International President of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and was the first woman to receive the ITE Burton Marsh Distinguished Service Award. Last year she was awarded the WTS Atlanta chapter Leadership in Diversity award.  She served as the President of the Transportation and Development Institute of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for the 2009-2010 term. She was also recognized by the University of Massachusetts Amherst ITE chapter as the Jane F. Garvey Transportation Leadership Award recipient for 2009 for her outstanding leadership affecting women in transportation and remarkable contributions to the field.  In 2010, Marsha received the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Community Service Award for outstanding contributions to her community and her profession. Also in 2010, she received the Karl Bevins Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) which is given to recognized, highly competent, and professional engineers who practice in the field of traffic and/or transportation over a number of years.  Marsha served on the local Women Transportation Seminar (WTS) Board for many years and is a panelist at the National WTS Leadership conference every year. She received the Atlanta chapter WTS Woman of the Year and WTS Employer of the Year in 2003. Marsha is the Treasurer of the International Board and will continue as a Director until 2016.  Over the span of her career, Marsha has participated in and led many technical committees of the Transportation Research Board including Urban Goods Movement and various Data committees. Currently she is the Chair of the Women’s Issues in Transportation committee, and this year the group held its fifth research conference in Paris, France. Marsha earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Transportation Planning and Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.  She also holds a Masters of Civil Engineering with a concentration in Transportation from Princeton University.  Marsha is the author of hundreds of publications, articles, and studies.

    For questions, please contact Ms. Maria Bayya, Asst. Director for PacTrans, at or 206.685.6648

  • March 31, 2015

    PacTrans Sponsored Transportation Seminar: Emily Feenstra


    Organized by

    The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans)
    USDOT University Transportation Center for Federal Region 10

    Presentation Title

    The Case for Engaging in Public Policy – Your Projects Depend on It!


    This year, we will see several important decision points about infrastructure at the federal level, including how to fund transportation projects with a dwindling Highway Trust Fund.  In addition, state and local governments are grappling with how to fund major infrastructure programs, with proposals at the ballot box ranging from raising local sales taxes to state infrastructure banks. Nearly every infrastructure project is affected by decisions made by government and often non-engineers.  How do we engage with decision-makers, and why should we care?  Learn about the current status of infrastructure funding for 2015, how the American Society of Civil Engineers has engaged in the policy debate, and best practices for becoming a trusted resource on infrastructure issues in your community.


    Feenstra_emilyEmily Feenstra is the Director for Infrastructure Initiatives of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and leads infrastructure policy research and advocacy initiatives for the Society. Her recent projects include ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the Failure to Act economic study series, and a study on the use of life cycle cost analysis in transportation planning. Prior to joining ASCE, she worked with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington, and as a consultant for the Washington State Department of Transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Washington.

  • March 24, 2015

    PacTrans Attends UTC Safety Summit

    PacTrans joined safety-focused University Transportation Centers (UTC) from across the country in Pittsburgh for the Summit of University Transportation Centers for Safety: Working in partnership to address real world transportation problems. From March 19 – 20, government and industry leaders and UTC officials learned about UTC research and education efforts, as well as government interests and industry needs in these areas. The summit featured keynote speaker Greg Winfree, US DOT Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, as well as agency and industry representatives speaking to their respective transportation safety priorities. Dr. Zhibin Li, a research associate at the University of Washington, presented an overview of PacTrans’ safety research and educational activities at the summit.


    Dr. Zhibin Li, University of Washington research associate.

  • March 23, 2015

    Man-Chung Tang and the Formula for Innovation

    Innovation – it tops the list of most used (and misused) words of the past decade, but how many of us truly know what innovation means?

    Dr. Man-Chung Tang, Chairman of T.Y. Lin International, discussed innovation at the PacTrans Regional Transportation Seminar on March 4, and as the designer of over one hundred bridges, was uniquely qualified to do so. He is known not only for his contributions to the overall bridge design industry, but for the quality and innovation of his individual designs.

    In his encouraging talk, Dr. Tang broke down the components of innovation into an easy to use formula: 5I + 3W + 3C. While somewhat mysterious at first glance, the formula divides the weighty concept into three parts: the definition, process, and prerequisites of innovation.

    Man-Chung Tang

    Innovation is comprised of the 5 Is: inventions, improvements, incorporations, increased value, and incentives. Fundamentally, the purpose of innovation is to increase value. In looking at a bridge, we see the value of safety, functionality, economy, and aesthetics. Together, the total sum is the value of the bridge.

    On the road to innovation, Dr. Tang cited three questions (the 3 Ws) to ask:

    Why? to challenge the status quo.

    Why not? to introduce your new ideas.

    What if? to keep you from straying outside of the possible.

    For example, in the case of the West Seattle swing bridge, the prevailing belief required that a swing bridge be made of steel. By asking these three questions, the bridge instead used concrete, and the construction cost was much lower than the steel scheme.

    Finally, innovators must have the 3 Cs, capability, courage, and chance, chance being both the opportunity offered by society and created by the innovator. Courage, for example, was critical in the case of the Eifel Tower. Originally criticized by many, including prominent engineers and architects of the day, it is now the pride of France.

    While Dr. Tang has designed several record-breaking bridges, he reiterated the underlying principles of innovation. “Reaching a world record is not innovation. Making something impossible possible is.”

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