Engineering and Technology Committee a resource for chapters and communities

Alan W. Garcia, P.E.
Director, Water and Wastewater Engineering Division
Broward County, Florida
Chair, APWA Engineering and Technology Committee

The Engineering and Technology Committee encourages "application of modern technologies that will assist public works agencies to better fulfill their missions." It is a resource for local chapters and communities to solve engineering and technology problems of public works. Areas of focus include emerging technologies, value-based delivery systems and qualifications-based selection of consultants. The committee has relationships with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to inform APWA membership on state-of-the-art, value-based delivery systems. Additionally, the committee shares information with the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) to expand our knowledge of delivery systems. Committee members have reviewed APWA's Selection and Use of Engineers, Architects and Professional Consultants publication and are coordinating reviews by ACEC and AGC in final revisions to this publication. The committee presents several technical sessions at the annual Congress and plans future technical sessions in areas such as value-based delivery systems, trenchless technologies and maintenance management technologies.

In the future, the committee will focus on the aging infrastructure crisis from an engineering and technology perspective. With the nation's infrastructure grade at "D" based on the 2005 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card, and considering an estimated $1.6 trillion in needed improvements, the committee will consider roles for APWA's membership and the public works community on this important issue. Already, the committee has focused on technologies for infrastructure renewal and replacement and will continue to address the technology needs of the public works community in order to "raise America's infrastructure GPA."

The Engineering and Technology Committee looks to continue to strengthen relationships with AGC, ACEC and DBIA during the coming year so that state-of-the-art construction and consultant procurement methods can be presented to the APWA membership, thus providing our members with efficient and effective methods of value-based delivery systems and qualifications-based selection of consultants.

Another mission of the committee is "to influence public policies that will strengthen the application of engineering principles and management of public works." Advocacy, funding, and support for pro-infrastructure candidates are all areas that will be considered in strategic planning efforts of APWA and the Technical Committees. Coordination among other Technical Committees is an ongoing goal so that the Engineering and Technology Committee can be an effective resource of technical knowledge.

The committee is studying ways to address the future of public works from succession planning to inspiring young students to enter the public works profession. One focus of this goal is to provide training opportunities in the campus setting and possibly partnering with higher educational institutions to provide public works training at the academic level. This outreach to the academic institutions should be an attempt to groom the future public works leaders and will help introduce students to the roles of the public works professionals. The Engineering and Technology Committee is excited about the potential to build further relationships with the academic community and to provide training which will help to recruit our future public works leaders, thus strengthening the role of the public works professionals and providing for future leaders that will be available for succession planning.

The Engineering and Technology Committee looks forward to the first winner of the "Professional Manager of the Year - Engineering and Technology Award." The Professional Manager of the Year Award in the Engineering and Technology category seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in the private and public sectors by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of engineering and technology professionals. This year's winner will be recognized as an exceptional leader and manager in the area of engineering and technology. With the acknowledgement of the vital role that engineering and technology plays in the success of public works agencies in fulfilling their missions, the committee looks forward to the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the individual who inspires excellence in the field of public works engineering and technology.

As the Engineering and Technology Committee looks to the future, it is our hope to serve as a resource to a broad spectrum of the APWA membership from the largest to the smallest communities. With a diverse committee makeup which includes representation from large to small cities in both the private and public sector, as well as representation from the academic arena, it is our sincere hope to be able to provide answers to your questions and serve your needs through our future business plans. As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.

Members of this year's committee include: Alan Garcia, Chair, Pompano Beach, FL; John German, At-Large Director; and members Paul Cooley, Encinitas, CA; Kurt Corey, Eugene, OR; Gordon Daring, Middletown, CT; Neil Grigg, Fort Collins, CO; and Ken Buccilli, Farmington Hills, MI. The APWA staff liaison is Carol Estes.

Alan W. Garcia, P.E., can be reached at (954) 831-0903 or at

The APWA Engineering and Technology Committee. Front row: Paul Cooley, Gordon Daring and Carol Estes. Back row: John German, Ken Buccilli and Kurt Corey. Not pictured: Alan Garcia and Neil Grigg.