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Workforce Development Needs and Objectives of Today’s Transportation Engineering Professional

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Writers, Experts, and the Workforce in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kevin Chang P.E. University of Idaho, Moscow

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Kevin Chang, Ph.D., P.E., is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Idaho, where he is focusing on traffic operations and safety, transportation security, and engineering education. Prior to his current position, Kevin was a traffic engineer with the King County Department of Transportation where he managed the Traffic Management Center and supervised the implementation of neighborhood transportation plans, livable communities, and pedestrian and school safety programs. Kevin is the past Chair of the ITE Transportation Education Council, member of the TRB Safety Management Committee, and Past President for the Washington State Section of ITE. He is registered as a Professional Engineer in Washington, Idaho, and California, and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Washington.

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Benjamin David Lutz California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16

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Ben D. Lutz is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is the leader of the Critical Research in Engineering and Technology Education (CREATE) group at Cal Poly. His research interests include critical pedagogies; efforts for diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering, engineering design theory and practice; conceptual change and understanding; and school-to-work transitions for new engineers. His current work explores a range of engineering education design contexts, including the role of power in brainstorming activities, epistemological and conceptual development of undergraduate learning assistants, as well as the experiences of recent engineering graduates as they navigate new organizational cultures.

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Shane A. Brown P.E. Oregon State University Orcid 16x16

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Shane Brown is an associate professor and Associate School Head in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include conceptual change and situated cognition. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2010 and is working on a study to characterize practicing engineers’ understandings of core engineering concepts. He is a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.

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Given the growing influence of technology and innovation, the skillset and knowledge required of today’s transportation engineering professional includes many different subject areas. For this reason, transportation engineers and managers alike must constantly seek out workforce development opportunities to expand either their learning or the skill set of their employees. This study examined transportation education needs on two fronts. First, an assessment was initiated identifying available course training offerings and their curriculum and delivery characteristics. Second, an investigation into training needs was conducted using a mixed-method approach consisting of personal interviews and an online survey. This study concluded that while training is a highly personal decision and influenced by many different factors, those related to cost, location, and topic area ultimately drive an individual or agency to pursue such opportunities. These findings can inform both practitioners and researchers to strategically determine how future training opportunities should be developed and shaped to meet the growing demands of tomorrow’s transportation engineer.

Chang, K., & Lutz, B. D., & Brown, S. A. (2019, June), Workforce Development Needs and Objectives of Today’s Transportation Engineering Professional Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33668

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