Professional Capacity Building (PCB) for Communications Update - April 5th, 2017


UPDATE: Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Phase 4 of the Professional Capacity Building (PCB) for Communications project started recently with a Kick-Off Meeting on January 4th, 2017. Project team members agreed to hold a teleconference in lieu of an in person meeting.

The participants in the meeting were:

  • Jose Perez, Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information (DRISI); Project Manager
  • Sean Campbell, Caltrans DRISI, Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP)
  • Ian Turnbull, Caltrans District 2, PTAP
  • Jeremiah Pearce, Caltrans District 2, PTAP
  • Steve Hancock, Caltrans Traffic Operations, PTAP
  • Doug Galarus, Western Transportation Institute
  • Leann Koon, Western Transportation Institute
  • Gurprit Hansra, Caltrans DRISI

During the Kick-Off Meeting, the team discussed the project’s major tasks which include procurement, delivery, and evaluation of three courses, revising the Curriculum Scope and Sequence as needed, and updating the list of Identified Training Providers. The project will continue to have an educational focus with the intent of offering Caltrans ITS engineers and technicians high-quality, hands-on, in-depth technical training in rural ITS communications.

Course topics will be selected based on the needs assessments conducted during Phases 1 and 3 of the project, input from the Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP), and feedback from the prior courses delivered through this project. One of the courses will be procured and facilitated by the research team at WTI. Two of the courses will be procured directly by Caltrans in an effort to demonstrate the viability of this procurement process and to help transition the overall curriculum to a mainstreamed, internal Caltrans process.

The needs assessments and student feedback from earlier courses demonstrated interest and need for training in new areas as well as more advanced training covering topics addressed in previous courses. Given the discussion, three subjects/topics were identified for training development and delivery in Phase 4 of this project:

  1. Small Data Center Design as Related to Transportation Management Centers
  2. Intermediate IP Fundamentals with Emphasis on Machine to Machine Networks and Security
  3. Optical Fiber

The PCB training courses are designed to include interactive lectures as well as a significant amount of time spent working on relevant laboratory exercises and hands-on, practical problems. As examples, the pictures below are from previous courses delivered through the PCB project.

Course instructor Andy Walding shares a real world application as he explains a concept in the IP networking class. (Hands-On Ethernet and TCP/IP Fundamentals, 2013) Berhanu Zergaw works carefully on a fusion splice while the instructor observes his work.  Other students gathered around to watch.  Clockwise from left:  Steven Gee, Michael Mullen, Dave Le, Eric Pearson. (Mastering Fiber Optic Network Design and Installation, 2012) Loss testing during hands-on lab exercises.  Richard Montoya (left), Dave Le (right). (Mastering Fiber Optic Network Design and Installation, 2012) Students working together on lab activities. (Telecom Wireless Fundamentals, 2015)

Check back next quarter for an update on this project and the next course being planned.