TTI Center for Transportation Safety Director Robert Wunderlich received the prestigious Burton W. Marsh Award at the 2019 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Annual International Meeting in Austin, Texas, which occurred July 21–24. The Marsh Award is presented to an ITE member who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of ITE over the years.
In his acceptance speech entitled “Make a Difference!” Wunderlich praised friends, colleagues and mentors who helped him do just that: “I think about the incredible colleagues I have shared my career with, collaborated with, and depended on. No person achieves much by themselves, and I have been blessed with an array of competent and caring people to work with everywhere I’ve been. And through it all, there is the one person who made it all possible, my wife, Fran. This is an award to many, not to one, because I could not have done much without them.”
Wunderlich used the podium as a bully pulpit to encourage everyone to do more to improve safety—from integrating safety analyses into all aspects of transportation studies and projects to thinking outside the box of accepted practices. He also urged the audience to give back to the profession in whatever manner befits the individual. His theme of thankfulness for the opportunities he’s had came full circle when he suggested folks should mentor their younger colleagues and help them achieve their aspirations.
“When we take the time to make others in our profession better, it enriches us as individuals,” Wunderlich said. “Small acts add up over time into large paybacks, for you and for us as your colleagues.”