Bert Beukers


An ITE member since 1969, Beukers resides in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and since 1988 has served as dean of faculty of civil engineering of Delft University.

Beukers received his master’s in science from the University of Delft and a certificate in transportation engineering from Yale University. He joined the National Department of Public Works of the Netherlands (the Rijkswaterstaat) in 1965, and in 1971, he became the executive director of the division for transportation research and transportation engineering. This division’s responsibilities included traffic engineering, traffic management, transportation studies, waterway traffic, and economic and financial affairs; he headed a staff of more than 150 engineers with baccalaureate degrees or higher and with an annual research budget of more than $20 million and a total budget of more than $130 million. His accomplishments during his tenure there included: the first long-range master plan for the Primary Highway System; the first integral national transportation study; the initiation of a freeway control system using state of the science technology, which also served as a research test bed for new technology for the European community; and the formation of design policy groups for freeway, highway, and urban streets.

Beukers has an extensive list of publications to his credit. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Engineers and president of the Transportation Engineering Department; he has served as District 8 representative to the ITE International Board of Direction and as Dutch delegate to PIARC.

At the Annual Banquet, Beukers addressed the gathering, saying, “This year exactly 30 years ago I acquired the certificate of the Yale Bureau of Highway Traffic and that same year I became a student member of ITE. The world was much larger then, and we knew much less about each other….what would have been impossible 30 years ago – this afternoon (my wife) Diny flew in from Amsterdam to share with me this very special moment….

“From the start I have been hooked by the unique combination of social, economic, human, and technical sciences that form the base of our profession. What has also fascinated me is that social and economic needs and goals of our society, but also the social acceptance of traffic and of different modes of traffic, keep changing. Which makes it not only necessary to adapt plans and ideas almost continuously, but also keeps us on our toes to develop new techniques and new approaches to deal adequately with nowadays and future transportation problems.

“The adverse environmental aspects of traffic were of course always there, but they were either accepted or they only became apparent because of the growth of traffic. And no matter how ill and arbitrary the criteria for a sustainable society still might be, it is clear that meeting these requirements forms one of the major challenges for our profession in the years to come. But there are also exciting developments at the technical and operational side. The Prometheus and Drive programs in Europe and IVHS program in the United States promise a whole set of new tools to deal with the congestion problems that threaten to choke our cities and to keep our economies on hold. I am very pleased that there has not only been a growing exchange of knowledge between the United States and Europe, but that we are moving towards more joint research efforts on IVHS and related topics.

“I guess I made it clear that this profession has also been my hobby for the past 30 years. Surprisingly the Dutch government not only paid me a salary for it, but also provided me with several hundreds of people to work with and a budget to employ ever more people on outside research contracts. That way it could really make a difference and many of my ideas and dreams could become true.

“But I must confess that I never ever had the slightest idea that my peers in ITE would honor my work and my efforts with this splendid recognition. I am truly delighted. Thank you all.”


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