Walter H. Kraft


   

Walter H. KraftWalter earned two degrees from the Newark College of Engineering: a B.S. in civil engineering in 1962 and an M.S. in civil engineering in 1965. In 1975 he graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology with a D.Eng.Sci. His dissertation was entitled, “An Analysis of the Passenger Vehicle Interface of Street Transit Systems with Application to Design Optimization.

Beginning as an Assistant Engineer in 1962 at Edwards & Kelcey Inc., Walter held several positions and then became Partner/Senior Vice President. During his 32 years at the firm, he was the Principal-in-Charge, Technical Consultant or Project Director of numerous study and design projects.

He managed the planning, study and design of improvements to reduce congestion and increase roadway capacity, including SMART corridors, alternate modes of transportation and various transportation planning systems. His work was at the leading edge of meeting the demands of regional mobility. As the needs of the public changed, his focus changed from traffic, parking and site-access plans for major developments to plans for mitigation of traffic congestion.

In 1994 Walter joined PB/Farradyne as Senior Vice President. To this position, he brought his concerns for mobility and has become an international leader in the development and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). He has lectured at many international events, including a number of conferences in China.

Walter has clearly demonstrated that he has taken to heart the goal of the profession: Safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Walter understood the importance of mobility, whether translated through traffic studies, parking plans, or congestion mitigation of major new developments. He showed how the solutions to the mobility problem have had to change with the times by always being willing to investigate new tools and new approaches. The current manifestation of that attitude is his leadership in the ITS field. Walter embraces ITS because of his engineer’s insight that this is a tool, or a toolbox full of tools, that responds to today’s mobility and safety needs with the best we have available.

Walter has been an Adjunct Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Polytechnical Institute of New York and has lectured at several other universities. He is a registered professional engineer in many states as well as a registered professional planner in New Jersey and a registered traffic engineer in California. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Transportation Research Board (TRB), American Society of Highway Engineers and National Society of Professional Engineers. Walter has been very active in ASCE and TRB. ASCE awarded him the Metropolitan Section Robert Ridgway Award in 1962 and the Frank Masters Award in 1982. He chaired TRB’s Committee on Intermodal Transfer Facilities and served as a Member of the Committee on Highway Capacity and Quality of Service and the Committee on Freeway Operations.

Walter’s service to ITE is immeasurable, as was noted when he received the Burton W. Marsh Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Besides this award, a few special contributions stand out. The first is the fact that Walter has always been a mentor to young professionals. He not only brought new people into ITE, he challenged them to contribute, and to lead, and counseled them on how they might best do it. Many of the leaders of the N.Y. Metropolitan Section, District 1 and even the International Board of Direction are people who accepted that challenge. Walter continues to accept challenges himself. After serving as International President in 1987, he was not content to fade into the woodwork. When President Alan Gonseth decided ITE needed to look at the future of ITE in a rigorous way, he asked Walter to chair the Future Directions Advisory Committee. The constitutional amendments that were overwhelmingly approved are a tribute to his work on that effort. When ITE leadership had a new vision of how the technical side could be better organized and operated, they turned to Walter to chair the Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems/ITS Council and make that council the model for the new approach. He eagerly rose to the task.


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