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APWA Announces the 2020 Jennings Randolph International Fellows

The Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program is a unique international study and professional exchange opportunity that promotes collaboration and sharing of public works best practices, knowledge and innovation, both internationally and with public works colleagues in North America.

Douglas Singer
Principal Civil Engineer
City of Eugene, OR

Mr. Douglas K. Singer, PE, Principal Civil Engineer for the City of Eugene, Oregon, has been selected to travel through Sweden and Denmark. Mr. Singer’s tour will focus on Sweden and Denmark’s implementation of asset management technology for ecosystem services planning of flood control, stormwater management and parks. Mr. Singer states, “In urban planning, it is challenging to establish the value of nature as compared with economic or social values, and to consider natural areas in asset management systems. Eugene is embarking on an initiative to use asset management tools with an ecological services perspective to establish values for natural assets in balance with social and economic factors.” Sweden and Denmark have developed the ecosystem services perspective, using asset management tools for establishing new values and balance for human wellbeing and natural systems in urban planning.

The study tour will visit three Swedish cities and Copenhagen, Denmark. The Stockholm Resilience Center at Stockholm University is a global leader in the research of resilient sustainable development. The Center has developed asset management and GIS tools to measure the benefits of natural, social and economic assets to improve the resiliency of urban development to climate change. Also, in Stockholm, Campus Albano is the redevelopment of an industrial area connecting Stockholm University, Karolinska Institute, and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology into a cohesive campus for learning and research. Mr. Singer will visit Uppsala, which is a university town similar in size to Eugene. Uppsala created a Green Infrastructure Management Plan for the redevelopment of several urban sites with the goals of promoting human wellbeing and socio-economic needs and strengthening community.

Mr. Singer will attend the Swedish Public Works Association (SPWA) conference in Malmo. While in Malmo, he will study the development of a program for green infrastructure which created a thorough guide titled “Blue-Green Fingerprints in the City of Malmo.” In Copenhagen Mr. Singer will visit the Osterbro Climate Quarter, the world’s first purpose designed climate-resilient neighborhood which incorporate flood storage into green streets and pocket parks.

Spending time learning from local and national experts in Sweden and Denmark and experiencing first-hand their knowledge and insight into ecosystem services planning using asset management will allow Mr. Singer to bring valuable information to the City of Eugene and our APWA community.

Mr. Singer holds a BS in Civil Engineering and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Oregon. He holds LEED accreditation, a River Restoration Certificate from Portland State University, and certificates from APWA in Stormwater Management and Public Works Supervision and Management. He has 17 years of experience in various areas of public works.

Emily Tritsch
Asset Manager, Portland Bureau of Transportation
Portland, OR

Ms. Emily Tritsch, Asset Manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland, OR has been selected to travel through Sweden. With this study tour, Ms. Tritsch will focus on learning about socially- and environmentally-responsible infrastructure investments. APWA became particularly interested in Ms. Tritsch’s proposal because she wants to share her own experiences with our colleagues in Sweden through a “peer review” approach. In Ms. Tritsch’s own words, “I would love to share Portland's recent experience advancing a triple bottom line approach to optimize asset repair given community priorities, as well as our current efforts formalizing these into electronic calculators for more dynamic and responsive portfolio management.”

The study tour will start in Stockholm and will explore best practices in asset renewal optimization considering infrastructure data, as well as community priorities. Prioritization methods for asset reinvestment will be evaluated, including a triple bottom line approach looking at social, environmental, and economic targets as identified by the community and decision-makers. The tour also seeks to exchange ideas about community engagement, including how stakeholders are provided the opportunity to offer feedback on asset performance and desired service levels. As Ms. Tritsch’s states, “Together we will consider various approaches and develop a tool to evaluate, weight, and rank asset investments that can adjust with community and political priorities.”

In addition to strengthening existing partnerships and collaborations at a global level by connecting a US-West Coast innovator with a leading thinker and practitioner of asset management in Sweden, this program would support technology development in creation of a robust and responsive tool to aid local governments in portfolio management to optimize infrastructure outcomes. In Ms. Tritsch’s words, “We aspire to realize performance targets related to environmental and financial sustainability, as well as social outcomes, through this proposed asset renewal optimization technology. Finally, I propose the use of open source tools to make this solution accessible to all and support broad-ranging development and information sharing in favor of maximizing infrastructure outcomes despite resource constraints.”

Ms. Tritsch holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of California Santa Cruz, and an MPA from New York’s Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. She has 15 years of experience in Asset Management, Transportation, and Environment working with agencies including the World Bank, and the cities of New York, Austin, Hillsboro and Portland.

About the program

The Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program was established by APWA in 1987 and is administered by APWA's International Affairs Committee. The Fellowship is named after former West Virginia Representative and Senator Jennings Randolph, known as the "Dean of Public Works Legislators," who served as the Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee from 1966 through 1981.

Through the Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program, APWA strives to further these international principles:

  • To provide an opportunity for individuals to broaden their knowledge and exchange experiences and information on technologies and advances in public works through contact with APWA's international partners
  • To promote friendship and understanding among public works professionals on an international basis
  • To provide a venue for the exchange of information between APWA and APWA's international partner countries
Jennings Randolph photo
"Public works is a powerful instrument for understanding and peace."
- Jennings Randolph (West Virginia Senator, 1932-1985), known as the "Dean of Public Works Legislators"