Something’s Brewing in Arkansas

Celena Shepherd, Communications

June 28, 2022

Andy Brewer is an Olsson technical leader based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. At work, he focuses on all things transportation. He thinks about transportation after hours, too. In his spare time, he founded a professional organization for transportation engineers that was the first of its kind in Arkansas.

Andy noticed the national organization, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), lacked a formal, local Arkansas chapter for transportation professionals. He changed that.

Even after founding the ITE Arkansas chapter, Andy’s work was far from finished. He now regularly works with the ITE student chapter at the University of Arkansas, like helping aspiring engineers prepare for a regional student competition against other universities. This year, the team from Arkansas took home a lot of hardware.

The Arkansas ITE student chapter took first place in the student design competition and individual students earned accolades of Outstanding Poster Award Overall and Best Poster Award in the graduate-level category. The team also earned the Traffic Bowl victory for the second year in a row, which is a Jeopardy-style quiz game about transportation engineering-related topics.

We recently caught up with Andy to learn more about his community involvement.

Why did you create the Arkansas chapter of ITE?

“I was motivated to officially create the chapter because I recognized a need for an organization like this in Arkansas for transportation engineering professionals. People were interested in a transportation-specific networking and development opportunity. I was also able to get support from the Arkansas Department of Transportation, where I worked for 15 years before coming to Olsson, to dedicate time and effort to get this organization launched at the local level. More and more people attended meetings and it kind of took off. I was the first president and am the current administrator.”

How did you help the University of Arkansas ITE student chapter with their recent competition?

“We interact and support the student chapter in several ways, including preparation for the Missouri Valley District ITE (MOVITE) competition, which consists of members from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. The Arkansas student ITE chapter was tasked with generating transportation-related safety improvement solutions for downtown Overland Park, Kansas, for the student design competition. The team was looking for feedback from professionals who have experience in the field and with safety, so I attended their mock presentations and helped coach them and provided constructive feedback.”

What was your favorite part of helping the students?

“It’s been very rewarding working with the students at my alma mater. I always enjoy being able to interact with students, especially those interested in the transportation field. I recently moved to the Fayetteville area when I started with Olsson a couple of years ago, and it’s nice to be closer to the university and interact with the ITE student chapter more closely. It’s been great to see our ITE Arkansas chapter work with the student chapter, build relationships, and support the engineering students.”

 

ITE has over 15,000 members worldwide and provides a community for transportation professionals. For more information about the ITE organization visit here.

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