Parsons Brinckerhoff Professionals Speak to Students About Their Work

Friday, February 13, 2015

Engineering and transportation students at Morgan State University enjoyed a chance to speak with representatives from Parsons Brinckerhoff - a global consulting firm that helps public and private clients plan, develop, design, construct, operate and maintain critical infrastructure - at a transportation panel on Feb. 12, 2014.

Tracee Strum-Gilliam, a senior supervising environmental engineer, speaks to students.In a presentation entitled "Working in the Transportation Industry," panel members Steve Plano, vice president; Tracee Strum-Gilliam, senior supervising environmental engineer; Elizabeth Andrew, traffic engineer; and Kyle Nembhard, a transportation planner, detailed not only the firm's local projects, but also the roles the various professionals played in them.

The projects discussed included the I-95 express toll lanes between Baltimore and White Marsh, a joint venture with the Maryland Transportation Authority; the Red Line, a proposed east-west light rail transit line in Baltimore; the Intercounty Connector, a state-of-the-art toll road between U.S. 1 and I-270 that links Prince George's and Montgomery counties; and the NEC FUTURE, a study and planning effort that is a joint venture with the Federal Railroad Administration for the existing 460-mile rail corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Students asked questions about the influence of politics on the projects that resulted  in a lively discussion. Another question posed by a student led toStudents listen to professionals from Parsons Brinckerhoff at Morgan State University. clarification of the role of transportation planners and engineers. Environmental justice and the challenge of finding transportation routes in heavily developed areas were also discussed.

"All of the easy projects were done before we came along," Plano joked.

The panelists also offered advice on entering the profession and about working as a young engineer or planner.

Andrew, who has been with Parsons Brinckerhoff for just under three years, told the students, "You really want to keep your mind open to trying different aspects. Anything that's thrown at you - 'Hey, can you try this?' - say yes."