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Edward Wenk, Jr. Endowed Lectureship

portrait of Edward Wenk, Jr.

The Edward Wenk, Jr. Endowed Lectureship in Technology and Public Policy was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Edward Wenk, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and science policy adviser to the U.S. Congress and three presidents. Dr. Wenk built his career through bridging the gap between public policy and engineering. Through his generous gift, he continues to share his professional legacy with students and the academic community.


Upcoming lectures:

2019 Wenk Lecture

Featuring Laurie Johnson, internationally recognized urban planner specializing in disaster recovery

Tuesday, October 29, 3:30pm
Alder Hall Auditorium
Reception to follow in Alder 106
Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

Rebuilding for resilience 

Disaster experience informs future recovery efforts 

Drawing upon years of experience researching and practicing post-disaster recovery planning and management, internationally recognized expert Laurie Johnson will present key findings from her recent book, After Great Disasters: An In-Depth Analysis of How Six Countries Managed Community Recovery. Johnson will offer insight from her experiences following Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the 1995 Kobe and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch New Zealand, the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China and more.

Post-disaster community recovery offers opportunities to improve construction and design standards, renew infrastructure, create new land use arrangements, reinvent economies, and improve governance. If done well, rebuilding can also help break the cycle of disaster-related impacts and losses and improve the resilience of a city or region. The lessons presented can help communities and government leaders better organize and implement recovery after future disasters. A framework for planning, managing and retreating from future hazard-prone areas will also be presented. Learn more.


Previous Lectures

2018

Ann Rendahl
A powerful transformation: A revolution of change in the electric industry
Thursday, November 29
Lecture synopsis

From more options for generating power to accommodating customers who produce their own clean energy, changes are impacting all segments of the energy industry. The 2018 Wenk Endowed Lecture speaker, Ann Rendahl, offered insight into these changes during her lecture “A Powerful Transformation.” According to Rendahl, who was appointed to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, it is critical for civil and environmental engineers to understand how these changes will influence the design of electricity infrastructure, the forecasting of water supply for hydroelectric power, air quality needs and more.
 

2017

Alexandre Bayen
Road Work: Using Mobile Data to Alleviate Traffic Congestion
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Slower speeds and longer trip times are becoming the new normal. The fast-growing Seattle area, in fact, ranks 10th in the nation and 20th worldwide for traffic congestion*. To address this challenge, expert Alexandre Bayen proposes utilizing crowdsourced mobile data from drivers and passengers. This data, combined with optimization techniques and game theory, has the potential to enhance algorithms that control traffic estimations as well as infrastructure such as traffic light timing and variable speed limits.    * INRIX global data
Watch the Video

2016

Carlos Fábrega
The Panama Canal: Expanding One of the World's Engineering Wonders
Thursday, October 27, 2016

An in-depth look at the most notable component of the Panama Canal Expansion Program, the Third Set of Locks project, presented by Carlos Fábrega. Fábrega was a key player in the Third Set of Locks project, serving as a member of the Board of Representatives and Executive Committee of the Grupo Unidos por el Canal JV (GUPC), the contractor selected to build the new Locks.
Watch the Video

2015

David Sedlak
Malozemoff Professor, Co-Director of the Berkeley Water Center and Deputy Director of the NSF engineering research center for Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), University of California, Berkeley
A Path to the Fourth Urban Water Revolution
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 4:30 pm in Alder Hall Auditorium.
Sedlak Biography | Lecture Synopsis | Watch video

2014

Thomas DeLuca
Forest and Environmental Sciences and Sustainability: A Quest for the 21st Century
November 6, 2014
DeLuca Biography | Lecture Synopsis | Watch Video

2013

Kevin Hagen
Sustainable Business Advocate
Good news, we have to redesign everything
November 7, 2013
Hagen Biography |View Presentation | Watch Video

2012

Paula J. Hammond
Secretary of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation
Engineers in Public Service
October 25, 2012

2011

V. Setty Pendakur
UW Alum (MS ‘62, PhD ‘64) and Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia
A Billion Urban Chinese by 2025
October 20, 2011
Pendakur Biography | Lecture Synopsis

2010

Dale Jensen
Program Manager, WA Dept of Ecology Spill Prevention, Preparedness & Response Program
Striking a balance from competing values in setting public policies: A Case Study on Washington State Oil Spill Issues
October 28, 2010
View Presentation | Transcript

2009

Dennis McLerran
Executive Director, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Innovation and Collaboration Leading to Cleaner Air in the Puget Sound Region
December 3, 2009

2008

Daniel J. Evans
Former Washington Governor
Was This a Transformational Election? Challenges Facing a New Administration
November 6, 2008