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Professional Capacity Building for Communications Systems, Phase 2

Project #: 4W3655
Start Date: 01/01/2011
End Date: 09/30/2012
Status: Completed

Transportation departments around the country are challenged to find, hire and retain engineers with sufficient, applicable, and up-to-date knowledge and training. Specifically, the area of rural ITS communication systems is compromised because of the lack of professional capacity. There is a pressing need for a comprehensive training course on communication systems that will build the professional capacity of rural ITS engineers and technicians. For example, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has identified numerous training topics for ITS communications engineers, such as Telco and Plant wired communications, next generation wireless systems, and IP networking fundamentals. However, there are limited existing course offerings in transportation communications related to these topics. Moreover, engineers and technicians must not only be aware of what technologies are available, but especially how to best select, implement, and maintain those technologies. In the needs assessment conducted in Phase I of this project, Caltrans ITS engineers demonstrated a significant need for professional capacity building for plant wireless technologies, including additional training on Radio Frequency (RF) system basics and microwave. To address these needs, WTI and Caltrans designed, facilitated and evaluated a pilot course on RF system design. Phase 1 also more clearly identified subject areas and specific topics for continuing training needs. Phase II will further develop training curriculums for plant wired ITS technologies. Through this project, WTI will determine the detailed content of a plant wired technologies course for ITS engineers, identify a suitable contractor to deliver the course, and evaluate the course. This effort is jointly funded by the California Department of Transportation and the University Transportation Center (UTC) program of the USDOT Research and Innovative Technologies Administration. This project represents the UTC portion.


The goal of this project is to develop, deliver, and evaluate a training curriculum on plant wired ITS communication technologies for rural ITS engineers and technicians.