T&DI’s vision of the future will be prevalent in Seattle
Rule number one when writing a message to my T&DI colleagues is do not repeat what you have already said. Well, I am going to break that rule.
Last week, ASCE President Dennis Truax and I had the wonderful opportunity of speaking at the 2022 Spring Technical Conference of the Wisconsin Section of ASCE. President Truax provided the opening welcome and I had the honor of providing the plenary talk. Both of us took the opportunity to talk about ASCE’s Future World Vision. This virtual ASCE event was the third time in recent weeks I have had the opportunity to offer my thoughts on the Future World Vision topic. With these experiences in mind, let me say this - words cannot express how impressed I am with the Future World Vision content created by our ASCE colleagues.
I titled my 30-slide discussion, “Transportation Engineering Today, Tomorrow, the Future”. My goal was to highlight how fundamental research and activities commonplace today are leading us to the technological advances we will see tomorrow. Smart and autonomous transportation systems are one of many examples. Near-term advancements will also be foundational to the future world that we as civil engineers will create. Take a look at the online videos and consider downloading the “Mega City 2070” app to further develop your thoughts on how our activities today link to tomorrow and our future.
Automated vehicles and autonomous transportation are indeed part of the many technological advances taking place today and one of the six key future trends highlighted in Future World Vision. Other trends include smart cities, high-tech construction and advanced materials, alternative energy, and the regulation, innovation and equity challenges of policy and funding. What I find fascinating, but also quite troubling, is how all these areas are unquestionably intertwined with the sixth trend of climate change and the stresses on water, energy and natural resources. Climate change is undoubtedly transforming how we envision civil engineering needs in the future and is a key influencer on how we must transform our built environments.
I am now violating rule number two in message writing which is keeping messages short and to the point. Let me conclude this topic by repeating what I said previously. ASCE’s effort to inspire and engage thinking and conversation, and encourage current and future civil engineers to ‘dream big’, is exceptional and will hopefully become foundational to our daily dynamics that continue to shape our world.
Speaking of conversation, our wait is nearly over! We are closing in on the event we have all been waiting for - the International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD) in Seattle, Washington, on May 31 through June 3. Registration is underway and, in fact, I would like to think you have all registered and made your travel arrangements by now. Please see the preliminary program. Committees will also meet during our four days together providing many opportunities to share your thoughts and ideas through both formal and informal conversations. I very much look forward to seeing all of you in Seattle!
As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome. Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more or need assistance finding an active role in our Institute. Thank you for all you do and will do for this wonderful Institute we call T&DI. Stay healthy and safe!
David A. Noyce, Ph.D., P.E.
President, Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI)
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)