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Winners of the 2009 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards are (from left to right): Peter Wong, supervising transportation electrical engineer, District 7 Division of Operations, received the Karl Moskowitz Award; Kevin Harper, senior bridge engineer, Division of Engineering Services, received the James E. Roberts Award;  Caltrans Director Will Kempton (center); Ruby Louie, Deputy District 4 Director, External Affairs, (retired), received the Emerson Rhyner Award; and Kenneth Terpstra, project manager, District 4, received the Charles H. Purcell Award.

Peter Wong Chosen to Receive Transportation’s Moskowitz Award
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 07/2009

The 2009 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards are handed out those who have made a distinct impression on California’s transportation goals and vision.

Three of the transportation industry’s most prestigious awards were handed out by the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) at The Tranny Awards Banquet held on June 3 in Sacramento.

Caltrans Director Will Kempton announced the winners of the 2009 Outstanding Management and Engineering in Transportation Awards. They are: Peter Wong, supervising transportation electrical engineer, District 7 Division of Operations, received the Karl Moskowitz Award; Ruby T. Louie, Deputy District 4 Director, External Affairs, (retired), was the recipient of the Emerson Rhyner Award; and Kevin J. Harper, senior bridge engineer, Division of Engineering Services, went home with the James E. Roberts Award.

This year marks the 20th anniversary that the CTF, along with Caltrans, has recognized the contributions to the transportation field by Caltrans’ registered engineers and engineering and non-engineering managers.

Peter Wong, the District 7 Moscowitz award-winner, has been at the forefront of electrical and technological systems design and development. His 31-year career has been devoted to the Department’s Division of Operations, most notably in the Offices of Traffic Design and Intelligent Transportation Systems, where he is often called “the chief technologist” by his co-workers.

“Peter has made contributions to ITS innovation in District 7, statewide and nationally,” said Frank Quon, Deputy District 7 Director, Division of Operations. “He has helped to plan, innovate, design and deploy major ITS projects -- through smarter management tools -- that help gain more efficiency in our freeway system.”

For three decades, Wong’s work has helped Caltrans evolve electronically and technologically to address smarter and more efficient scientific advances to improve congestion and mobility. According to Quon, he has been involved in hardware and software development for traffic signal controllers which has helped to improve traffic safety and travel times, conserve energy, and save maintenance costs.

Last year, Wong was part of the District 7 team that won the 2008 Best Practices Award from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for their work on the Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center (LARTMC) project. The team included District 7 Director Doug Failing, Frank Quon, Allen Z. Chen, senior transportation electrical engineer, ITS; Amaha Dimiru, senior transportation electrical engineer, ITS; and Terry Wong, transportation engineer, who recently retired after 43 years of service.

The new LARTMC facility, which opened in October 2007, uses innovative information gathering and communication technologies that enhanced the Los Angeles freeway system into a world-class Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). The LARTMC encompasses a broad range of wireless and wire line communications-based information and electronic technologies. For the motorist, this means making a safer, smoother and less congested commute a reality. Conceived in 1971 when it was called a “national model,” the LARTMC now serves as a worldwide resource for other states and countries working to improve transportation management.

Wong has been involved in statewide traffic signal committees since the late 1970’s and provided many ideas that have improved California’s traffic signal systems. In addition, he was a member of the National Data Dictionary Committee and served on the Caltrans Electrical Management Board.

The Karl Moskowitz Award recognizes contributions by Caltrans’ registered engineers to the field of transportation engineering. Moskowitz was a 27-year veteran traffic engineer for Caltrans who is said to have conceived the idea of computer-controlled lane metering systems. Much of his work in freeway design and traffic flow appeared at the outset of the interstate highway program, which was used extensively by planners and engineers nationwide and eventually became a national engineering standard.

“I humbly thank my mentors who came before, my team of co-workers, the Department for its support and everyone responsible for the opportunities presented to me. This recognition is a result of strong and supportive partnerships between public and private sector transportation professionals, said Wong. “I am honored and most grateful; thank you.”