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Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series - Past Speakers


Speakers and Presentations - Fall 2009/Spring 2010

April 19, 2010: Managing Change, Challenges and Other Things

Mal Kerley, Chief Engineer with the Virginia Department of Transportation and Chairman of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges & Structures, shared his ideas about what it takes to make an agency excel in the current environment in his presentation "Managing Change, Challenges and Other Things." He used specific examples of VDOT's forward thinking in the areas of innovative financing, design-bid-build, design build, build-operate-transfer; Public-Private Partnerships.

Presentation Slides | Speaker Flyer


April 12, 2010: Leadership in the Context of a Public Agency

Harry CapersHarry A. Capers, Jr., Vice President and Corporate Bridge Engineer with Arora and Associates, P.C., provided a presentation on managing organizational change and other aspects of leadership in the public arena. Mr. Capers shared his knowledge and ideas on a wide range of skills necessary for effective staff management including goal setting, technical and supervisory training, project team management, leadership development, recruitment, civil service constraints, succession planning, promotions, handling grievances, and consultant selection and management.

Presentation Slides | Speaker Flyer


April 5, 2010: AASHTO Bridge Design Specifications

Kevin ThompsonKevin Thompson, State Bridge Engineer and Deputy Division Chief of Structure Design with the California Department of Transportation, explained the collaborative process used by the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures’ technical committees to develop and maintain bridge design specifications and other guidance available to the bridge engineer through its coordination with FHWA, the research community, and industry.

Presentation Slides | Handouts | Speaker Flyer


March 29, 2010: Learning From Bridge Failures

George ChrstianGeorge Christian, Jr., Director of Office of Structures, New York State Department of Transportation, and Chair of the AASHTO Technical Committee on Bridge Security (T-1), returns to the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series. In this presentation, Mr. Christian reviewed historic events and drew on his personal experiences to explore some causes of past bridge failures, what engineers and policy makers have done to mitigate risk, and what information can be gleaned from bridge failures.

Presentation Part 1 | Presentation Part 2 | Speaker Flyer


March 22, 2010: The Rehabilitation Alternative: Huey P. Long Bridge Case Study

Bruce PetersonBruce Peterson, Project Manager at Modjeski and Masters, presented a “Case Study – Widening of the Huey P. Long Bridge” and discussed the considerations used to determine if a structure is replaced versus rehabilitated. The presentation featured a case study of the widening of the Huey P. Long Bridge, which is a long span cantilever truss crossing the Mississippi River in the New Orleans, Louisiana region. It carries both rail and vehicular traffic. It is currently being widened to provide additional highway traffic lanes and lane width. The case study discussed project background, including overview of design and sequence of construction considerations followed by the current status of the various elements of the project.

Presentation Slides | Speaker Flyer


March 15, 2010: Bridge Maintenance

Peter Weykamp

Peter Weykamp, Bridge Maintenance Engineer, at the New York State Department of Transportation, presented a two-part session as the most recent guest in the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series on March 15, 2010. The session was divided into discussions on aperational actions and management approaches used in bridge maintenance programs focusing on in-service bridges. The operations component explored the activities, equipment, materials, and delivery vehicles used in daily operations. The management component discussed identifying repair needs, candidate selection and prioritization, program validation, research suggestions, and state and national initiatives concerning bridge preservation.

Presentation Slides | Speaker Flyer


March 1, 2010: Accelerated Bridge Construction Practices Employed after Hurricane Katrina

GharaHossein Ghara, Bridge Design Administrator in the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, described the bridge damage that resulted from Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster that caused widespread disruption of transportation services across South Louisiana. He explained the actions which were taken by LA DOTD to minimize the negative impact, in particular the accelerated bridge construction practices that were employed to restore serviceability in an unprecedented fashion. The history of accelerated construction in Louisiana which dates back to the sixties will be examined. AASHTO’s new guide specifications on design of bridges in coastal zones for hurricane wind and wave Action will also be briefly reviewed.

Presentation Slides: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Speaker Flyer


February 22, 2010: Social, Economic, and Environmental Challenges of Engineering in the 21st Century

Ron Klinczar headshotThe Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series hosted Ron Klinczar, Principal Project Manager/Senior Associate at Hatch Mott MacDonald, on February 22. Klinczar presented "Social, Economic, and Environmental Challenges: Meeting People’s Needs Beyond the 21st Century." In the last half century, society has dramatically changed its outlook with respect to the use of the planet's limited resources. There exists a terse debate over what actions we should take to counter the imbalances we face. Klinczar examined the role engineers play with respect to protecting the earth and human inhabitance, and looked at stresses on the environment and society's rapidly changing philosophy and practices in an attempt to reach a sustainable planet.
Speaker Flyer


February 15, 2010: Emergency Response and Recovery to I35W Collapse

Dan DorganDan Dorgan, of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, presented "Emergency Response and Recovery: I35W" on Monday evening as part of the Bridge Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series. Using the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge as a case study, Mr. Dorgan explained how the Department of Transportation handled the initial response, how an agency communicates with the public, media, and NTSB, and how the subsequent bridge replacement construction project was delivered in record time.

Presentation Part 1 | Presentation Part 2 | Speaker Flyer


February 8, 2010: Evolution of AASHTO Bridge Design Specifications

John KulickiJohn Kulicki, Chairman & CEO of Modjeski & Masters, Inc., traced the decisions that led to the development of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. He described the major changes and additions since the initial adoption. He also talked about how lessons learned from natural disasters and bridge failures have influenced bridge design and evaluation specifications and policies.
Presentation Part 1 | Presentation Part 2 | Speaker Flyer


February 1, 2010: Capital Project Delivery: An Overview

Bruce Johnson

Bruce Johnson, State Bridge Engineer from the Oregon Department of Transportation, presented an overview on the capital project delivery process. Johnson described the stages of the process: planning and program development, preliminary design, final design, bid and award, and construction. He covered several topics in regard to the stages, including public involvement, basic design criteria, preliminary engineering, cost estimating, and involvement of regulatory agencies.
Presentation Part 1 | Presentation Part 2 | Speaker Flyer


January 25, 2010: Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Building and Preserving our Nation’s Highway Bridges

Myint LwinMyint Lwin; Director, Office of Bridge Technology, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); presented "Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Building and Preserving our Nation’s Highway Bridges." Lwin discussed the FHWA’s mission, jurisdiction, organization and programs established to provide the stewardship and oversight necessary to assure safety of the nation’s highway bridges. He also explained the federal government’s relationship with states and local agencies, and opportunities that are presented by these challenging times.
Presentation | Speaker Flyer


January 11, 2010: Overview of the Bridge Infrastructure Enterprise

Benjamin Tang Benjamin Tang, Preservation Managing Engineer with the Oregon Department of Transportation, gave a presentation titled an "Overview of the Bridge Infrastructure Enterprise." Tang talked about career alternatives in infrastructure management, explaining means used to assure that our nation's highway facilities are safe. He covered stages of a bridge project life cycle, from planning through operation, maintenance and preservation.
Presentation | Speaker Flyer


November 30, 2009: Funding Reauthorization

Jim Kolb headshotJim Kolb, a University at Buffalo alumnus and Democratic Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representative Highways and Transit Subcommittee, delivered a presentation entitled "Development of Federal Surface Transportation Funding Authorization." Kolb is a key player in the drafting of a new bill for reauthorization of transportation funding.
Presentation | Speaker Flyer


November 23, 2009: Bridge Inspection

Sreenivas Alampalli HeadshotDr. Sreenivas Alampalli, P.E., F.ASCE; Director, Bridge Evaluation Services Bureau, New York State Department of Transportation presented “National and New York State Highway Bridge Inspections.” He discussed the evolution of national bridge inspection practices and standards, including the history and status of New York State Bridge Inspections, reasons for inspecting bridges, views on the possible future improvements to bridge inspections, and ongoing state and national efforts due to Minnesota bridge failure.
Presentation | Speaker Flyer


November 16, 2009: Bridge Security

George ChristianGeorge Christian, Jr., P.E., Director, Office of Structures, New York State Department of Transportation and Chair, AASHTO Technical Committee on Bridge Security (T-1), provided an overview of the strategies being used by the bridge engineering industry to address bridge security, including risk assessment, mitigation strategies and response planning. A brief introduction to analysis and design concepts for blast loadings on bridges was also presented.
                        Presentation | Speaker Flyer