Friday, May 29, 2009

Introducing committee member Dick Hanneman

Dick Hanneman is President of the Salt Institute, the Alexandria, Virginia-based international trade association representing companies producing salt throughout North America and the world. The Institute advocates salt industry policy on such issues as highway traffic safety, human health and nutrition, and worker safety.

He has served as President of the Salt Institute since 1987. Previously, Dick directed government and public affairs and membership development for an international environmental industry association, served two Congressmen on Capitol Hill and as a staff assistant to the Governor of his home state of Wisconsin. Part of his time in graduate school was at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In the transportation area, Dick represents the salt industry on the Board of Directors of the American Highway Users Alliance and on the Advisory Council of the Roadway Safety Foundation. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Winter Maintenance Committee, Technology Transfer Committee and Corrosion Committee and served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Strategic Highway Research Program Highway Operations Advisory Committee. He also serves on the Transportation Association of Canada’s Maintenance and Construction Committee, its Environment Council and on the TAC committee that produced a Salt Management Guide and its Syntheses of Best Management Practices. His leadership helped forge a partnership between the Salt Institute and the National LTAP Association to promote improved winter maintenance training. He is a “friend” of the APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-committee.

Dick speaks frequently and has published articles in such diverse journals as Public Works magazine, Water Conditioning & Purification magazine, and the British Medical Journal.

Dick responded to where he thinks the committee should be going with, "I believe the TRB T2 Committee can render valuable service by helping other TRB Committees understand the principles of technology transfer and training that will enable them to 'market' their findings, conclusions, syntheses of practice, etc. and help users of this information understand both how it can be used for their operations and how to quantify the benefits of their offerings. Part of this task is to help providers of such technology transfer and training initiatives (e.g. LTAP centers) to understand their role in identifying customer needs and marketing to them."

Meet new member - Jon Makler

Jon Makler, AICP is the Education and Technology Transfer Program Manager for the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), a National University Transportation Center. He has approximately 10 years of professional experience with public, private and academic organizations. His areas of subject matter expertise include transportation planning, air quality, transportation operations and ITS, environmental justice, homeland security and metropolitan planning organizations. He holds a Master of Science in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College. A native of Philadelphia, Jon spent about 7 years in the Boston area before moving to his current home in Portland, Oregon.

When asked about his views on technology transfer, Jon responded, "In the first few months in this position, I've learned that technology transfer has many different meanings. The focus on commercialization and intellectual property seems to be the traditional meaning and is foremost to some, though it is hardly mentioned in my office. Our focus at OTREC is on pushing knowledge from our researchers to practitioners, especially around the state. I usually say that I'm "in the import/export business" and it's only half a joke.

I'm acutely aware that while I'm busy pushing and pulling information for other people, I'm under-investing in my own methods and techniques. I'm counting on this committee to be my primary conduit to how others are succeeding or struggling with my plight."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Introducing Committee member Steven Jones

Steven Jones is an Associate Director and the Manager of the International Business Unit in the Dublin, Ireland office of the Waterman Group plc. Steven is responsible for project management, business development and client relations for all civil engineering projects in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Steven has worked on transportation engineering projects in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

Steven holds a Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of Virginia as well as Masters and Bachelors degrees in Civil Engineering from Auburn University. Prior to joining the Waterman Group, Steven was an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alabama. During this time, Steven served as the Technology Transfer Director for the University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA) which is a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) administered by the United States Department of Transportation through its Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). In this role, Steven conducted T2 outreach via a research newsletters, specialty conferences and an annual research symposium all highlighting UTCA associated research.

Steven is interested in continuing efforts to deliver transportation research results into practice. He is particularly interested in the dissemination of academic and institutional research intended to improve analytical methodologies currently used by practitioners. He is also very interested in continuing to develop and improve channels for the international communication and sharing of technology transfer and lessons learned.

Twittering in all sorts of places

A recent article in Time, "Twittering in Church, with the Pastor's O.K," discussed several congregations' use of Twitter during services. Pastors trained congregants to use Twitter, upped the bandwidth at their churches, and encouraged those attending services to react in 140 characters or less to what was going on in the service. At one church the Twitter feed was displayed behind the preacher. Tweets ranged from the silly to the sublime. Often pastors would follow up with church goers after services when they asked questions or wanted help.

Adults usually learn better when they reflect on what they have learned or they are able to use the knowledge being taught immediately in their job, or their lives. Tweeting their reactions to a sermon can serve that purpose. Instructors, or pastors, can also get immediate feedback on what participants are learning or not learning. They can also follow up with individuals or in future instructional sessions.
Got thought? Comment below or tweet me at @ lhpogue.

Friday, May 22, 2009

TRB's Education and Training Committee news

The Transportation Education and Training Committee plans to issue a call for papers on the following topics:
They also plan to organize a panel session and a workshop on:
  • Workforce Development Experience from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) – Lessons Learned for Reauthorizations
  • Building the 21st Century Workforce: Focus on MPOs and Local Jurisdictions

The future of conferences?

This is a great "podcast" of a radio program, Future Tense, from Australia. In it three conferencing professionals explore conferences past and future and the way the industry is adapting to meet changing consumer expectations. Are conferences still synonymous with bad food, hard chairs and boring speakers. Is "sage on the stage" still the model for providing education? Do we really get the most from networking opportunities at conferences? And, what does the current economic climate mean for the way we plan and execute conferences?

The speakers compare the current climate for conferences to recent changes in the music business, which has dealt with changes in technology, financing and sharing of products. The speakers discuss:
  • bar camps, world cafes, open space and unconferences as models
  • the use of technology, such as Twitter, to create interaction and education
  • the importance of building a sense of community before, during and after a conference.
Lots to think about. Have a listen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Go to university for free

Have you ever wanted to attend Oxford, MIT or Yale for free and without applying for admission? You can catch lectures from some of the most respected and noted professors at these and lots more institutions of higher learning online. Check out iTunes U or YouTube Edu for lectures on all sorts of topics. I looked up “transportation” on both of these sites and found some interesting and informative lectures from UC Berkeley, Northwestern, George Mason University and international universities. Another source of university lectures is iTunes, which I originally used for orientation to online learning and class lectures at Drexel University. A recent article in Time magazine piqued my interest in the visual side of audio-visual. By making lectures available online, universities can use this as a recruiting tool, professors can distribute their lectures to students, and most importantly, students can catch up on their class work instead of getting notes from someone who actually attended the class.
How could we use this new technology in technology transfer? Several scenarios come to mind:
  • Raise awareness of transportation, and transportation research results
  • Certificate programs using educational videos online
  • The ability to comment on videos could spark conversations about transportation
  • And, of course, using this technology to teach students.
Anyway, check these out and I hope they spark some ideas in you.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Welcome to new committee member - Jennifer Sheldon

Jennifer Sheldon is program manager for Transportation Northwest at the University of Washington, which is a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) administered by the United States Department of Transportation through its Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Jennifer joined TransNow in July 2006 and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the center. She assists the Director and Associate Directors in maintaining the center’s research, education, and technology transfer programs. She oversees the center's fiscal operations and serves as center representative to internal and external university academic departments, research centers, and government agencies.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). Prior to joining TransNow she worked as a Content Acquisition Supervisor for a subscription-based content provider of opportunities, spending, tracking and budgeting data for commercial, residential and government projects.

Jennifer is interested in the T2 Committee in order to network with others and keep up with current T2 practices and needs of the transportation research community, explore new ideas and best practices, and learn useful tools to help maintain a successful T2 plan within her organization.