Professional Capacity Building (PCB) for Communication Systems

The goals of this project are to develop a comprehensive curriculum and conduct training for Rural ITS communications. Rural ITS engineers may lack the critical skills for designing and maintaining reliable and robust communication networks for rural ITS field equipment. This project has an educational focus and its primary objective is to have leading subject matter experts provide a hands-on, “nuts and bolts” learning experience for rural ITS engineers and technicians. Learning outcomes are centered on understanding the various communication technologies available and how to best select and implement these technologies, particularly in a rural environment.

California Department of Transportation engineers are participating in the development of this curriculum, were students in the initial pilot module, and will participate in subsequent course development and implementation.

Professional Capacity Building for Communication Systems

Recent Updates:

PCB Project Update, 4/5/2017: Phase 4 Begins PCB Project Update, 2/8/2016: Phase 3 Completed PCB Project Update, 4/6/2015: Telecom Wireless Fundamentals training course a success! PCB Project Update, 1/8/2015: Phase 3 – Telco Wireless Technologies PCB Project Update, 10/3/2014: Presentation at the 2014 National Rural ITS Conference PCB Project Update, 11/12/2013: Hands-On Ethernet and TCP/IP Fundamentals training course
Phase 4 Begins
April 5th, 2017
Phase 3 Completed
February 8th, 2016
Telecom Wireless Fundamentals training course a success!
April 6th, 2015
Phase 3 – Telco Wireless Technologies
January 8th, 2015
Presentation at the 2014 National Rural ITS Conference
October 3rd, 2014
Hands-On Ethernet and TCP/IP Fundamentals training course
November 12th, 2013

Check back soon for more PCB for Communications updates.

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)

Photos by Leann Koon and Douglas Galarus.

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


Project Contacts:

Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP)

Caltrans Past Project Manager:

Sean Campbell, P.E.
Chief, ITS Special Projects Branch
Caltrans, Division of Research, Innovation,
and System Information
PO Box 942873
Sacramento, CA 94273-0001
(916) 227-6259
(916) 657-4580 (fax)
sean_campbell "at"

Caltrans Project Champion:

Jeremiah Pearce, P.E.
Chief, Office of ITS Engineering and Support
Caltrans District 2
1657 Riverside Drive
Redding, CA 96001
(530) 225-3320
(530) 225-3255 (fax)
jeremiah.pearce "at"

Caltrans PTAP Member:

Steve Hancock, P.E.
ITS Functional Manager
Caltrans, Office of Technology, ITS Support
1120 N Street, MS-36
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-6007
(916) 654-5452 (fax)
steve.hancock "at"

WTI Past Principal Investigator:

Douglas Galarus
Assistant Professor
Utah State University
4205 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-4205
(435) 797-4136
(435) 797-3265 (fax)
doug.galarus "at"

WTI Co-Principal Investigator
and Course Coordinator:

Leann Koon
Research Associate
Systems Engineering, Development & Integration
Western Transportation Institute (WTI)
Montana State University - Bozeman
PO Box 174250
Bozeman, MT 59717-4250
(406) 994-7643
(406) 994-1697 (fax)
leann.koon "at"

Caltrans Project Manager:

Jose Perez
Caltrans, Division of Research, Innovation,
and System Information
1727 30th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 227-7676
jose_d_perez “at”