Five Year Road Map
In 2008 the Governing Board approved a five year road map for AUTC. That document is available as the FY2009_Roadmap.pdf.
Amit Armstrong, Ph.D., P.E., is a technology deployment engineer at FHWA’s WFLHD in Vancouver, Washington. He has been with FHWA for 7 years, coordinating deployment of new, innovative, emerging, and underutilized technologies in design and construction of roads on Federal lands projects. He has more than 15 years of experience in numerical simulation and visualization of natural systems and is a licensed professional engineer.
Armstrong received his doctorate in civil engineering from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
Mr. Carr has been employed by the Alaska Railroad since 1980 in a number of senior management positions, most recently as Director, Strategic Planning in the Executive Office. After purchase of the Railroad by the State of Alaska in 1985, he led the newly formed Corporation through its first successful independent audit while converting previous manual accounting, supply and logistic systems into an integrated automated system. Mr. Carr successfully negotiated the first lines of credit for the new Corporation establishing a base of financial credibility in the local Alaska banking industry as well as national financial markets. Other accomplishments include converting the former federal-based procurement system to a more business-based driven system while maintaining compliance with mandated State regulations. Mr. Carr was part of a team of local planners and other government officials establishing a regional transportation planning organization comprised of elected officials in the Mat-Su Borough, Municipality of Anchorage, Assemblies, and other senior officials in government and industry. Mr. Carr represents the Railroad in a number of local transportation planning organizations including Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Most recently, he represented the Railroad as a member of the bi-lateral working group comprised of officials from the State of Alaska and Canada responsible for investigating the potential rail link between Alaska and Canada to connect the Alaska Railroad with the Lower 48 rail system.
Mr. Carr holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Campbell University and a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and economics from Chapman University. Mr. Carr was honored as an outstanding member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Anchorage Association (now Downtown Partnership), and Junior Achievement. He has been a Cub Scout leader and is active in his community church.
The AUTC needs to establish its credibility and need in the public’s mind by producing concrete, relatable results to the citizens of Alaska. Meaningful research results in tangible benefits. Those benefits must be appreciated by the public in order for the AUTC to be viewed as something more than just an academic institute.
Michael Downing is a Senior Vice President and Department Manager for HDR Engineering in Oregon. Mr. Downing spent ten years with the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, seven as an Assistant Commissioner and Chief Engineer and two as the Marine Engineering Manager for the Alaska Marine Highway System. Prior to joining the Alaska DOT&PF, Mr. Downing was a Superintendant with Kiewit Construction Company. While Chief Engineer for the Alaska DOT&PF, Mr. Downing had oversight for the Department’s research functions and chaired the Department’s Research Board.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University.
Gary Gustafson works at British Petroleum, where he is responsible for the regulatory approvals that will be needed for the proposed Alaska Gas Pipeline, the largest private construction project ever proposed in North America. He is part of the BP negotiation team working to achieve a fiscal contract on the pipeline with the State of Alaska. Mr. Gustafson is also Chair the ROW team composed of the oil and gas producers, Alaska DNR and DOT/PF, BLM, FERC and other regulatory agencies working to prepare for the gas pipeline.
Mr. Gustafson notes that he would like to see the AUTC work on projects that will assist the oil and gas industry in Alaska and other northern climates. Acting as a liaison with the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, He would like to see focus placed upon the planning, designing, construction and operation of pipelines and related infrastructure in northern regions. The placement of pipelines in permafrost is a particular issue of interest. In addition, the influence of climate change on our northern region transportation system needs attention.
Mr. Rick Kessler has a dual role as the President and CEO of Horizon Services Group (HSG) and as a VP and CIO of their parent company, Horizon Lines. Horizon Lines is the largest Jones Act Ocean Carrier and HSG is their third party IT development and research and development group. Mr. Kessler is responsible for all of Horizon Lines back office and inland operations of “Order to Cash” services, sales and marketing, and information technology.
Rick first joined the CSX corporate family with Sea-Land in March of 1996, where he handled multiple positions within the Information Technology organization, including Global IT Director of Terminals. Mr. Kessler holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of South Dakota and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Now that Mr. Kessler is running the inland budget for Horizon Lines, $120 million out of a $170M budget expense, he has brought his technical vision to focus on solving the biggest gap that exist within ocean container management: inland container visibility. Without visualization equipment, the inland group struggles to minimize empty mileage and optimize matching of inbound deliveries with empty pick-up, not to mention the problems shippers have with knowing what containers are incurring Detention and Demurrage at their stores and container yards. Since Mr. Kessler has taken over Horizon’s inland budget, he has focused all his energy on finding a variety of solutions to solve the inland visibility gaps. These have included RFID implementations on containers, working with Alaska DOT on readers on the highways, GPS and Wireless on high end refrigerated boxes, and web based trucker access to Horizon systems to allow them to update events.
Jeff Ottesen is the Director of Statewide Planning for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF).
Captain Bob Pawlowski
Captain Bob Pawlowski is the Legislative Liaison to the Denali Commission. In this position he represents the Alaska State Legislature on common program interests with the Denali Commission.
Captain Bob has spent the past 36 years in fishery science, environmental management, business development and public policy. As a NOAA Corps Officer, he commanded two NOAA research vessels; served as Navigation Advisor for Alaska to the Office of Coast Survey; Regional Planning Officer, Northeast Regional Office, NMFS; and Director, Alaska Ocean Service Center. After completing a career with the NOAA Corps, he worked in port development for Port MacKenzie, Survey Project Manager for Thales GeoSolutions, General Manager, St. George Chadux Corporation and Executive Director, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation. Outside of his work responsibilities, he teaches coastal engineering at the University of Alaska and served as an advisor to the Alaska Legislature and the Governors Sub-cabinet on climate change. Captain Bob has a Masters in Engineering Management and an MBA from UAA and a USCG Masters License.
Lance Wilber began his current duties as the Public Transportation Director in January 2011. He is responsible for the overall management of the public transportation system in the Municipality to include the People Mover, Share-a-Ride and AnchorRIDES/paratransit services. He provides oversight of transit planning, marketing, programming of capital and operating funds as well as the maintenance & operations of the People Mover system. The position provides the conduit for individuals to have input on various transportation issues effecting transit services while proving leadership to 150 employees.
Mr. Wilber served as the Central Region Director for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities in 2010. Responsible for the overall management of the region to include oversight of the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operations and the administrative services for the region.
Prior to his position at DOT&PF, Lance worked for the Municipality of as the Director of the Traffic Department for 8-years and with Planning Department for 8 years where he served as the Transportation Planning Division Manager. In that capacity, he was the Coordinator for the Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions (AMATS) organization.
He has served as the Chair of the AMATS Policy Committee and the AMATS Technical Advisory Committees. The organization is comprised of local and state representatives responsible for the development of transportation plan elements for roads, trails, freight, transit, and congestion management as well as the programming Federal Transit and Federal Highway funds for the Anchorage area.
Lance has been a resident of Alaska for over 40 yrs. A graduate of Dimond High, he attend Oregon State University and received his Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning in 1992 in Washington. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Currently, he serves on the Alaska University Transportation Center Governing Board and has been fortunate to serve on several other national and statewide efforts to enhance transportation systems.
He has been a member of the Anchorage East Rotary since 2001 and currently serves at the club’s Community Service Chair. Other professional affiliations include American Public Works Association, American Institute of Transportation Engineers, American Planning Association, and (Alaska Chapter – past president).
Lance is married to Wende and has two children. He lives in Anchorage and enjoys everyday in Alaska.
Zhaohui (Joey) Yang is Associate Director of AUTC and an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
He is currently Chair of the M.S. C.E. and M.C.E. graduate programs of Civil Engineering Dept., UAA. Dr. Yang received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Civil and Environment Engineering at University of California, Davis and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Sichuan University, China.
He has expertise in geotechnical and earthquake engineering and has been active in conducting research on in geotechnical and earthquake engineering, particularly on cold regions-related issues. He has published more than 50 papers, including 20 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has received research funding in geotechnical/earthquake engineering and cold regions-related research from NSF EPSCoR, U.S. Geological Survey, Dept. of Interior, Alaska University Transportation Center, State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Municipality of Anchorage.