As we move into the 2022-2023 year, the Boston Chapter of the Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI Boston Chapter) is looking forward to re-engaging with our members. Like with everything else, the last two years saw a disruption and shift from our normal programming. As an institute chapter, we took these challenges in stride and transformed our social events to Zoom happy hours, in-person technical presentations to webinars, and meetings to phone calls. We are now putting the finishing touches on plans for this year’s events where we hope to collaborate with other technical committees to provide more networking opportunities and encourage new membership while enhancing T&DI’s presence in the engineering community in a more personal way!
As the institute chapter that unites the disciplines of planning, design, construction, operations, maintenance, sustainable transportation research, infrastructure, and land development, T&DI considers a range of issues and topics beyond just cars and traffic signals. Consequently, our programming aims to be as diverse as our members’ interests.
The chapter holds bi-monthly meetings via Microsoft Teams. This year, our meetings will be held on the 2nd Thursday of every other month from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. We are always looking to increase our active membership, so if you are interested in joining in on T&DI’s planning efforts, please reach out! We are seeking members who are interested in planning or championing these events as a fun way to get involved. Our next virtual group meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 10 at 12:00 PM.
By the end of the last fiscal year, BSCES T&DI organized two webinar events.
On April 19, 2022, we hosted a one-hour webinar entitled “Programming is the Future of Transportation Planning/Engineering” where Federico Tallis, AICP (Transportation Planner, VHB) discussed “The Grind” associated with data analytics in transportation planning and engineering. The Grind was defined as several issues or challenges including dealing with program limitations (Excel), the need to run several things in quick order, the need to make changes, and the need to use multiple programs or features to accomplish a goal. Federico, self-taught in R and Python, walked through several lines of basic code and explained what they did and why they are important to combatting The Grind. After a short break, Federico walked through several examples from VHB projects where coding was used to develop web-based pages and maps.
On May 19, 2022, we hosted another webinar entitled “Use of ASCE 38-02 and Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) for Better Design, Cost Savings, and Damage Prevention in Planning and Design.” The focus of this webinar was to discuss ASCE/CI 38-02 and how it applies to projects where existing utilities will be impacted. The ASCE standard, how it applies, and how to best use the information in the standard was a topic as well as how to incorporate SUE into MassDOT projects. This webinar was co-hosted by the Utilities Engineering & Surveying Institute Boston Chapter.
Signature Event: Bertram Berger Seminar
The Bertram Berger Seminar is the signature event of the Transportation & Development Institute Boston Chapter’s yearly calendar. The seminar style event has traditionally featured panel discussions, networking, a keynote address, and presentation of awards and scholarships. The Berger Planning Committee worked diligently to convert this signature event to a virtual setting for 2021. However, the onset of “Zoom burnout” and the desire for in-person networking suggested a virtual event would not adequately serve the purpose and stature of the event.
The Legislative Update, typically an annual event, was postponed again due to logistical issues because of the COVID pandemic.
As of writing, the committee is hopeful to launch an in-person seminar for 2022 and has begun the planning stages of finding a venue and speakers. If you’d like to get involved or if there is a topic you’d like to see covered, please reach out to TDI@BSCES.org.
The Road Ahead
The group held our first meeting of the new fiscal year on September 8, 2022. During this meeting, the executive committee welcomed some new faces/voices, discussed the year’s planned T&DI Boston Chapter events, set meeting schedules, and re-evaluated goals.
In a joint effort with YMG, T&DI will be hosting a “Civil Engineering Trivia” social event at Trident Booksellers & Cafe on September 29, 2022, where we will reconnect with other BSCES members, network, and quiz each other’s trivia knowledge.
The planning committee is also actively planning and looking forward to hosting the first in-person Bertram Berger Seminar and Legislative Update in two years. These historically well attended events have unfortunately been postponed due to the pandemic, but we are excited to get these marquee events back on track in the new fiscal year!
To become successful in achieving our goals, we are looking to engage innovators, leaders, and motivated individuals in the transportation and development profession. It is through new ideas and an extensive knowledge base in engineering practices, social interactions, and event management that the T&DI Boston Chapter will contribute to enhancing the engineering community at large. This is your opportunity to stand out and show what you can do outside the day-to-day practices within your private company or public agency and to advocate for and help communities throughout the Commonwealth. If you are a transportation or land development professional looking for a group where you can discuss current happenings, exchange ideas, and strive to make a difference – you are invited to join the Boston Chapter of T&DI!
Be sure to review our newsletter for current news on events and meetings for the T&DI Boston Chapter.
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