Two Gannett Fleming transportation engineers were selected to be the first young professionals profiled in the Southeast Transportation Workforce Center's (SETWC) “Transportation Spotlight.” The series showcases individuals from a range of transportation occupations to help attract future generations to the field.
Catalina Echeverri, PMP, a transportation operations project manager based in the firm’s Miami office, and Jason McCartney, PE, a senior transportation operations engineer based in Philadelphia, discussed their career stories and the reasons they chose to pursue positions in the transportation industry. See excerpts below or read their full interviews.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of your job?
A: Traffic operations is an exciting field to be in right now with all the upcoming connected and automated vehicle technologies and smart cities. I enjoy participating in the discussions of how technology can change the world that we live in now.
Q: What makes you get up each morning excited about your profession?
A: It feels good to contribute to the quality of people’s lives. Traffic is something that we experience every day, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the transportation system.
Q: What was the biggest influence in your selection of a career pathway?
A: I chose to focus on traffic operations because I like the idea of trying to get the most out of our current infrastructure before we build more.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing you have been able to do in your professional career?
A: I had the opportunity to live in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar for a full year, where I worked on large-scale ITS/traffic designs to help prepare their small country to handle the massive traffic demand caused by their booming economy and population.
The SETWC is part of the National Network for the Transportation Workforce initiative, which aims to stem the looming national labor shortage expected in the transportation industry within the next 10 years. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.