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. The Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program was established by the American Public Works Association in 1987 at the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, now the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, and is administered by APWA through the 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. Senator Randolph stated, “Public Works is a powerful instrument for understanding and peace.” Through the Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program, APWA strives to further these international principles:
- To provide an opportunity to broaden knowledge and exchange experiences and information on trends and advances in public works through contact with our international partners.
- To promote friendship and understanding among public works staff on an international basis.
- To provide a venue for the exchange of information between APWA and our international partnering countries including Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Slovak Republic, and Sweden.
The 2019 Jennings Randolph International Fellows are:
Douglas Sarkkinen, P.E., Senior Project Manager/Principal, Otak, Inc., Vancouver, WA, has been selected to travel through Sweden. He will investigate a GIS-based bridge inventory and interactive system. He will present an overview of his study tour and the basis of the ATC-20 training and relate some occurrences on how the private engineering industry has assisted public agencies in response at the Swedish Public Works Association Conference in Luleå, Sweden, in September 2019. He will also discuss next steps including incorporating bridge load ratings and implementing automated checks for overload permits.
Agencies throughout the U.S. are seeing heavier and more frequent truck overloads and super-loads on roadway infrastructure due to large transformers, wind turbines and towers, and heavy equipment. Special hauling permits take considerable effort to review and provide routes based on bridges’ load carrying capacity. A long-term goal is to develop a bridge management system that contains information which is easily retrievable and adaptable for use by local agencies. The Swedish Ministry of Transportation has recently developed such a bridge and tunnel management system that contains all the structures in the country in an interactive map with hyperlinks that allow the user to access needed information. Sarkkinen will visit Swedish Transportation Ministry headquarters in Borlange to learn about the origin of the system, how it was initially set up and how it is maintained. He will also visit district offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Karlskrona to talk with local users including bridge inspectors, maintenance staff, engineers and planners. The information gained will be used to start a task force to develop a similar system in the U.S.
Sarkkinen is a senior project manager and principal with over 28 years of experience in structural engineering and bridges. He has his BSCE from Michigan Tech University and MSCE from the University of Washington. He is a registered professional structural engineer in Oregon, Washington and Arizona and professional engineer in Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and West Virginia.
Nora Daley-Peng, Senior Transportation Planner and Landscape Architect, City of Shoreline, WA, will travel through Finland. Her public works study will examine aspects of Helsinki’s mobility plan to encourage a wide variety of transportation offerings that do not depend on personal vehicle use. She will attend the Finnish Association of Municipal Engineering (FAME) Congress in Jyväskylä, Finland, in May 2019, to portray how the City of Shoreline, Washington, is seizing the opportunity to rapidly transform itself from an auto-oriented suburban city to a people-centered urban city with the opening of two light rail stations by 2024 and the growth of transit-oriented development.
The benefits to liberating a community from auto-dependency are numerous, including increased safety, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved health through increased physical activity and increased amount of community gathering space. However, changing human behavior can be difficult. In 2015, Helsinki made a bold proclamation to make car ownership pointless by 2025. To achieve this goal, Helsinki is blending smart mobility technology with policy changes and multimodal transportation infrastructure improvements to offer a comprehensive door-to-door transportation system that will be so affordable, easy to use and fun that it will eliminate the need and desire to own a car. Daley-Peng will use this study tour to learn how Helsinki is progressing toward the goal as they approach the midway mark. She will meet with several agencies, including Helsinki Regional Transport Authority, Helsinki City Transport Agency, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and Helsinki City Bikes to learn how their plans, programs and services are being implemented.
Daley-Peng has 20 years of transportation and landscape architecture experience with expertise in multimodal transportation. She has a BS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a licensed landscape architect in Washington, a certified member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is LEED AP BD+C credentialed.
John Butler, P.E., Director of Public Works, Ashland, WI, will travel through Finland, with a focus on the use of asset management by Finnish water utilities. Trends and data from Finland will provide information on how to best advance the use of asset management by U.S. utilities by reviewing industry approaches. He will also attend the FAME Congress in May 2019, to gain a broader understanding of the condition of distribution systems across Finland and to present an overview of the condition of U.S. distribution systems, the application of asset management in the U.S. and the existing framework for pipeline replacement prioritization.
Data indicate that smaller U.S. utilities are challenged with effectively implementing horizontal asset management programs that focus on risk of failure (probability x consequences) calculations to prioritize pipeline renewal and replacement in distribution system management. Studies suggest that greater success may be achieved using alternative simplified methods that include pipe age, break history and leakage. With assistance by Dr. Tapio Katko and associates at Tampere University of Technology in Finland, Butler will interview select Finnish utilities, investigate previous research and policies impacting water distribution system management in Finland, and compare the results to an identical study completed on U.S. utilities. The results could further support the need to advocate for simpler approaches in the U.S. in order to support better application of asset management principles.
Butler has 10 years of engineering experience with Indian Health Service in both Michigan and Washington, the City of Bremerton, Washington, and now Ashland, Wisconsin. He has participated in Engineers Without Borders in El Salvador. He has a BS in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an MSCE from Colorado State University with an emphasis in water resources planning and management. He is a registered professional engineer in Washington and a National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) registered sanitarian.
In addition to their studies abroad and presentations at partner countries’ public works conferences, the three Jennings Randolph International Fellows will share their experiences through presentations to local and regional organizations and at APWA’s PWX and in future APWA publications.
For more information about the Jennings Randolph International Fellowship Program, contact Lillie Yvette Salinas, APWA Marketing & Outreach Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-848-2792 ext. 5253.