Despite an impressive, 60-year partnership between the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the relationship has never been formally celebrated…until now.
On August 5, members of the ITE Executive Committee and International Board of Direction arrived in College Station to hold their annual board meeting in advance of the organization’s annual meeting and exhibit in San Antonio, August 9-12. While at Texas A&M University, ITE management conducted business and toured TTI — which included a visit to the Riverside Campus for a crash test.
“This commemoration is overdue,” says TTI Agency Director Dennis Christiansen. “Since the Texas Transportation Institute was formed 60 years ago, we have had a strong and productive association with ITE. It is time we properly acknowledge the accomplishments that have been possible because of this historic affiliation.”
ITE Executive Director Tom Brahms, who has held the position since 1976, agrees. “TTI has had a huge impact on ITE because of its active leadership within our organization,” he said, pointing to the numerous TTI employees who are members of, or who have had appointments to, ITE leadership positions.
Founded in 1930, ITE is an international association made up 17,000 transportation professionals from around the world. But, as Brahms notes, “TTI is the single most active organization within our association. When TTI was formed, ITE was still young, so we kind of grew up together. It’s been a great relationship.”
Christiansen, who served as ITE’s international director from 1991 to 1993, says the ITE/TTI relationship is responsible for numerous transportation advancements, especially in the field of education. “Together, we have written best practices, authored text books and prepared journal articles,” he told current International ITE board members. “We have undertaken committee activities to improve the transportation industry and the profession. We have devoted significant time and resources to attracting talent to transportation engineering and in training and educating the next generation of transportation professionals.”
Currently, there are about 60 TTI employees who are members of ITE and 450 ITE members who are Texas A&M University (TAMU) graduates. At the international level, five people with TAMU/TTI ties have served as International president. In addition, TTI staff were founding members of the state chapter of ITE, called TexITE, in 1954. And about 10 years ago, TTI was instrumental in forming the Brazos Valley Section of ITE.
“The need for what we do has never been greater,” Christiansen said. “I am confident that ITE and TTI will remain leaders in our profession as we face the difficult challenges ahead, and we will walk that walk together.”
TTI presented a plaque to Brahms, during the visit. It read:
In Recognition of
60 Years of Partnership
In Research, Education and Outreach
To Solve Transportation Challenges,
Improve the Transportation System and
Produce the Next Generation of Transportation Professionals