Technical Committee Update

Amit KothariWritten By: Amit Kothari, Technical Committee Chair

The goal of the Technical Committee is to support and promote valuable technical activities related to the transportation profession within the Western District.  This is achieved through dissemination of information through the District website, newsletters and e-mails as well as numerous competitive technical programs managed by the Committee during the course of the year.  A brief overview is provided here.

Student Data Collection Fund – Under this program, the student chapters across the District are invited to submit a proposal for an innovative trip generation and parking demand data collection project for an under-represented land use. The five selected projects (student chapters) receive a $1,000 grant each at the completion of the project.  The grant monies support the chapter’s ITE activities including attendance at the District’s Annual Meeting.  One of the key goals of this program is to prepare the students for highly competitive public sector procurement processes with stringent requirements. In December 2015, the Committee selected five winners for the 2016 Student Data Collection Fund Program.  This year’s winners are University of California at Los Angeles, University of Hawaii, Brigham Young University, University of Utah and University of Washington.  All student chapters are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal later this year (Request For Proposals are typically advertised in November of each year and sent to all chapters). Sincere thanks to the three outstanding members for their years of contributions to this program – Randy McCourt (DKS Associates), Danielle Scharf (Sanderson Stewart) and Neelam Dorman (Kittleson & Associates).

Van Wagoner Award – In October 1985, Wayne Van Wagoner, an active member and WesternITE Editor from 1980 to 1984, passed away in an auto accident. In 1987, the Van Wagoner family endowed the award in memory of Wayne. This award ($ 200) recognizes the best technical paper published in the ITE Journal during the prior calendar year, authored by a member from the Western District. Currently, the Technical Committee is reviewing all eligible papers from the 2015 ITE Journals.  The winner will be recognized at the Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM in July 2016.

Best Annual Activities Report  – Every year in spring, all sections and chapters within the District are requested to prepare and submit an Annual Activities Report. This report captures the section’s technical, social, legislative and student activities over the prior calendar year as well as the section membership and financial information. The Committee reviews these reports and identifies best reports in two categories – sections up to 300 members and sections with 300 or more members. One of these two reports is submitted to the ITE Headquarter for the Best Annual Activities Report competition at the international level. So…if you are a section officer, do not forget to work with your leadership and submit this annual report.

Best Paper at the Annual Meeting – Every year, as hundreds of members and vendors are enjoying technical sessions, tours, vendor exhibits and traffic bowls at the Annual Meeting, the Technical Committee is working behind the scene to identify the best paper presented at the meeting. The entire selection process works in three steps that begins a couple of months prior to the Annual Meeting. First step involves review of all papers selected for presentation at the upcoming Annual Meeting by the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) of the host city. The LAC submits top 8 to 10 papers to the Technical Committee for further evaluation.  Next, the Technical Committee reviews these papers and identifies top four papers for further evaluation at the Annual Meeting.  The third and final step, the Committee attends the technical sessions where these four papers are presented and evaluates the actual presentations by the speakers and selects the best paper overall.  The presenter is recognized at the Western States Luncheon on the Wednesday prior to the Annual Meeting wrap up.

The Committee is routinely looking for technical experts and active ITE members to serve as a panelist for these programs.  If you are interested in serving on a panel, please contact Amit Kothari, Technical Committee Chair at  Students are encouraged to participate on these panels as well.