Ben is an experienced transportation engineer with expertise in highway and cycleway design, safety analysis, traffic engineering, high-speed rail design, construction planning and speed data analysis. He worked in Miami and Chicago, USA before joining Abley in October 2018.
What made you decide to become a Transportation Engineer?
I’ve always been fascinated by the complexities of how people get around. Can’t really explain why, and I’m not sure why everyone in the world isn’t a transport engineer.
What did you do before joining Abley?
Prior to moving to New Zealand, I worked as a transportation engineer in Chicago, USA. Over four years I had the opportunity to design the civil plans for some of the region’s major highway expansions and improvements. My career in Chicago also included cycleway design, bus rapid transit design, crash analysis, traffic signal design, and construction planning for the Chicago Department of Transportation. Prior to Chicago, I worked in Miami, Florida on various roading design projects and the Miami to Orlando high-speed rail project. I also had the opportunity to work on some of the preliminary route analysis for Hyperloop Transportation Tech. I studied civil engineering at the University of Miami with a semester abroad at the University of Sydney.
What does a typical day in the office include?
Unless it’s raining torrentially, I bike to work, so my day begins with a quick shower. After chugging coffee, I’ll sort through the action items and get to work. I like to keep the range of my projects quite broad, so you might find me working on any one of Abley’s current projects.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s such a pleasure working with the true professionals here at Abley. Not only is there an incredible wealth of experience and knowledge here, but you can sense the passion people have for their work.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Apart from starting a life in a new country, I’m relatively new to transport planning, and it’s quite a challenge getting up to speed. I’ve always intended to shift from my design background to planning, and I’m glad to develop that amongst the supportive environment here.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
During my time in Chicago, I wrote a research report for the Illinois Tollway informing them on the accuracy of various speed data sources. The opportunity to conduct this industry-first research and develop advanced data manipulation processes was quite rewarding.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m obsessed with kitesurfing, sailing, and basically all water sports. If it’s windy, you can usually find me out on the Heathcote Estuary or some other unnecessarily beautiful spot. I’m also into music production, videography, and exploring new cities.