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Engineer candidates help stage conference

Aspiring Idaho Transportation Department engineers learned from each other and from their professional mentors last week when they participated in the annual two-day Engineer In Training conference in Pocatello.

A dozen ITD employees, representing nearly every part of Idaho, met informally on April 5 for a no-host dinner. It was a prelude to a full day of presentations on April 6 and a half day on April 7 at Pocatello’s Holiday Inn. All 12 of the engineers in training gave formal visual presentations about projects they have been involved in or experiences they have gained the past year.

District 5 Engineer Ed Bala welcomed conference participants and introduced ITD Director Dave Ekern who spoke about the department’s process of transforming transportation. Chief Engineer Jimmy Ross and Matt Farrar, who coordinates the mentoring program for engineers in training, also spoke before turning the program over to presenters.

Ekern and Ross both addressed transportation issues and challenges and “the need to find 21st century solutions to the problems of growth and funding,” Bala explained.

In a mid-morning address on the second day, State Sen. Bob Geddes spoke about how constituents viewed ITD services and how the department will begin to address funding challenges in the future.

Attorney Mitch Brown talked about defense and documentation strategies for tort and civil litigation.

The conference included a tour of Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center under construction in Pocatello, and team bowling and billiards at Idaho State University.

Topics covered by engineers in training during the conference were:

  • Jesse Schuerman – Railroad Road Underpass and Deep Creek to Utah projects
  • Monica Crider – Playing in Traffic within State Rights-of-Way
  • Thomas Brown – My Adventures with Silica Fume
  • Kyle Radek – Origin-Destination Study and Chinden Blvd. Widening (Boise)
  • Jayme Coonce – Setting the Stage for Success with Context Sensitive Design
  • Josh Jacobson – Concrete Profilographing/Depth Testing
  • Dan Gorley – Glenns Ferry to King Hill
  • Chad Clawsen – Preliminary and Construction Surveying
  • John Mortenson – Spalding Bridge Rehabilitation

Three other engineers in training also participated – Jon Ogden, Jerry Wilson and Todd Tuckett. Schuerman and Brown took the lead role in arranging and hosting the conference.

“It was a great opportunity for the EITs to spend some time with the management of the Highway Division,” Bala reported. “It also provided an opportunity to showcase projects and procedures they have had a chance to be involved with over the past year.”

Photo caption: Current engineers in training are (back row, left to right): Matt Farrar, P.E. (coordinator of the mentor program), Chad Clawsen, Jon Ogden, Jerry Wilson, Jayme Coonce, Tom Brown, Dan Gorley, Josh Jacobson and Monica Crider; (front row): Todd Tuckett, John Mortensen and Kyle Radek.

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