What does it mean to be a member of the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI)? First, it means you made an excellent decision to be a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and focus your interest in transportation and development. Approximately 16,000 civil engineers join you in this excellent decision and are members of T&DI. But let’s explore further.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines Society as, “a large group of people who live together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done.” An Institute is defined as, “an organization where people do a particular type of scientific, educational, or social work.” A Member is defined as, “a person who is part of a group.” Finally, a Volunteer is defined as, “a person who does something, especially helping other people, willingly and without being forced or paid to do it.”
These dictionary definitions provide some insight as to what T&DI is all about. We can warm-heartedly debate whether T&DI members actually ‘live’ together or provide ‘social’ work. What is not debatable is, as T&DI members, we are part of a wonderful group of professionals who have committed to work together in a large organizational structure and as a society of global leaders to provide sustainable transportation and development. Together, we:
- Monitor, engage, influence, and collaborate in all aspects of transportation and development while looking for opportunities to take the lead from a Civil Engineering and/or systems integration perspective.
- Position Civil Engineers not only as the leaders in providing sustainable transportation and development, but also as the master integrators in applying emerging technologies and trends to transportation and development.
- Support ASCE in the area of public policy and play a proactive role in identifying areas in need of new policies while leading the push for developing those policies through ASCE’s policy development process.
Each of these key strategies, and to grow T&DI in stature and influence, requires members who are active volunteers – by definition - members who do something to become engaged and involved, especially helping other members and the society, willingly and without mandate or compensation.
Our Institute cannot reach its full potential without the collective voluntary support from each and every one of our members. There are endless ways to become active (definition - busy with a voluntary activity). Begin by taking a look at the T&DI website and then:
- Find a Council and Committee that best suits your interests. Volunteer and get involved.
- Participate locally in ASCE and T&DI Section and Chapter activities.
- Work with civil engineering student chapters and local student groups.
- Agree to review documents and manuscripts as part of our technical journals.
- Be part of the many ‘special initiatives’ highlighted on our web site.
- And certainly, attend and bring your colleagues to our annual International Conference on Transportation & Development, the next scheduled for May 31 through June 3, 2022 in Seattle, WA. Network and get to know as many of your fellow T&DI members as possible.
Hopefully one of the activities mentioned has caught your interest – perhaps the reason why you initially joined T&DI.
I challenge you to volunteer and participate in at least one T&DI activity this year. If all of our T&DI members from around the world volunteered to actively participate in just that one T&DI activity, just one, our collective contributions will be endless.
Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome. Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more or find 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!