ITE Journal April 2018 - 21

member to member |

Sammy Xiaoming Chen, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE, PTP

S

ammy Xiaoming Chen, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE, PTP is a principal associate at Traffic
Engineers, Inc. (TEI), an award-winning transportation planning and engineering firm
based in Houston, TX, USA. Sammy leads TEI's traffic modeling work and many traffic
signal and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) projects. He is a professional engineer
licensed in Texas, Ohio, and Colorado. Sammy's work spans across almost every spectrum of
traffic engineering, from planning to design to operations. He is currently certified by the Texas
Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in 11 categories including traffic signal design, timing,
ITS and traffic control systems, highway-railroad crossing design and evaluation, and minor
roadway design, and he is a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE) and Professional
Transportation Planner (PTP). Sammy has designed nearly 50 traffic signals in the greater
Houston, TX, USA area, including two signals as part of Walnut Bend Drive, which will become
one of the most premier complete streets in Houston.
ITE JOURNAL: How did you first become
interested in a career in transportation,
leading to your work today?
SAMMY CHEN: I grew up looking at
blueprints of the railroad bridges that my
grandfather designed. I was also amazed to
witness how transportation infrastructure
helped my hometown in Northeast China
prosper during the late 1980s. I am proud
to be the second transportation engineer in
my family!
ITEJ: How have the projects you have
worked on enhanced livability and quality
of life for residents?
SC: Being able to make a direct impact on
livability and quality of life, I always feel the
great responsibility to practice engineering
with care. Before making engineering
decisions, I remind myself that our work
should not only make engineering sense
but also provide a great user experience
through safe, accessible, efficient, aesthetic
designs. Along with my colleagues at TEI,
I have designed traffic signals that make
travel more efficient for drivers and improve
comfort for pedestrians crossing the street
to reach shops and other destinations,
while improving safety for both. I have
developed traffic simulations which inform
implementation strategies to improve
frequency and reliability of Houston
METRO's 82, the highest-ridership bus
route in Texas. Because of the Uptown

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor traffic
simulations I developed, traffic signal
priority is being considered to improve
reliability and travel time for transit riders.
Sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA)-compliant curb ramps that I
have designed allow students and seniors
to access a bus stop, walk to a store, or get
to school in Houston's historic East End.
It gives me the greatest pleasure to drive
around the town and see how the projects
I was involved with help people, improve
quality of life, and reshape the community
in which we live.
ITEJ: How long have you been a member
of ITE, and what has your experience
been like?
SC: My earliest association with ITE dates
to 2004 when I began reading the ITE
Journal issues borrowed from my college
library. I have been a member of ITE for
five years and was awarded the TexITE
2015 Technical Paper Award. ITE and its
local districts provide a wonderful social
platform for transportation professionals
to share ideas, exchange opinions, promote
technical advancements, and make friends.
ITEJ: What prompted you to seek PTOE
and PTP certifications, and how have they
set you apart professionally?
SC: My mentors at TEI are PTOEs and/
or PTPs. They are creative and critical

thinkers, with the goal of every project to
improve the community in which we live
and work. My PTOE and PTP certifications
are a testament to the examples set by my
mentors. Having the two certifications is a
great honor-as they are well established
industry standards that reflect my qualifications-but more importantly, they
complement each other. Traffic engineering
and planning should never be set apart:
great designs and traffic operations need
to be context-sensitive and reflect the
principles of planning, and great traffic
planning needs to be feasible at the traffic
operations level. Having both certifications
shows that I have a deep understanding
of both fields and the interrelationships
between the two disciplines.
ITEJ: What advice do you have for professionals interested in seeking to advance
their career through certification?
SC: The certifications are not a destination
but a very great start. We should all realize
transportation is transforming. The
advent of autonomous vehicles, connected
vehicles, and transportation network
companies requires all PTOEs and PTPs to
continually expand their knowledge base
and be ready to embrace and advance the
new era of transportation. itej
w w w .i t e.or g

Apri l 2018

21


http://www.ite.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal April 2018

President’s Message
Director’s Message
People in the Profession
ITE News
Technical Programs Division Spotlight
Get Ready for Minneapolis!
Ethics Column: Responsible Engineer
Member to Member: Sammy Xiaoming Chen, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE, PTP
Where in the World?
Calendar
Industry News
New Products
Love My Hood: Kitchener’s Resident-Led Traffic Calming Program Advances Safety and Placemaking
Placemaking through a Traffic Signal Box Art Project: Effect of Artist Wrap to Cabinet Temperature
Shared Parking: Effective and Simple
Relationship between Geometric Elements and Wrong-Way Crashes at Partial Cloverleaf Interchange Terminals
Professional Services Directory
ITE Journal April 2018 - 1
ITE Journal April 2018 - 2
ITE Journal April 2018 - 3
ITE Journal April 2018 - President’s Message
ITE Journal April 2018 - 5
ITE Journal April 2018 - Director’s Message
ITE Journal April 2018 - 7
ITE Journal April 2018 - People in the Profession
ITE Journal April 2018 - 9
ITE Journal April 2018 - 10
ITE Journal April 2018 - 11
ITE Journal April 2018 - ITE News
ITE Journal April 2018 - 13
ITE Journal April 2018 - Technical Programs Division Spotlight
ITE Journal April 2018 - 15
ITE Journal April 2018 - Get Ready for Minneapolis!
ITE Journal April 2018 - 17
ITE Journal April 2018 - Ethics Column: Responsible Engineer
ITE Journal April 2018 - 19
ITE Journal April 2018 - 20
ITE Journal April 2018 - Member to Member: Sammy Xiaoming Chen, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE, PTP
ITE Journal April 2018 - 22
ITE Journal April 2018 - Calendar
ITE Journal April 2018 - New Products
ITE Journal April 2018 - 25
ITE Journal April 2018 - 26
ITE Journal April 2018 - Love My Hood: Kitchener’s Resident-Led Traffic Calming Program Advances Safety and Placemaking
ITE Journal April 2018 - 28
ITE Journal April 2018 - 29
ITE Journal April 2018 - 30
ITE Journal April 2018 - 31
ITE Journal April 2018 - Placemaking through a Traffic Signal Box Art Project: Effect of Artist Wrap to Cabinet Temperature
ITE Journal April 2018 - 33
ITE Journal April 2018 - 34
ITE Journal April 2018 - 35
ITE Journal April 2018 - 36
ITE Journal April 2018 - 37
ITE Journal April 2018 - 38
ITE Journal April 2018 - Shared Parking: Effective and Simple
ITE Journal April 2018 - 40
ITE Journal April 2018 - 41
ITE Journal April 2018 - 42
ITE Journal April 2018 - 43
ITE Journal April 2018 - 44
ITE Journal April 2018 - Relationship between Geometric Elements and Wrong-Way Crashes at Partial Cloverleaf Interchange Terminals
ITE Journal April 2018 - 46
ITE Journal April 2018 - 47
ITE Journal April 2018 - 48
ITE Journal April 2018 - 49
ITE Journal April 2018 - Professional Services Directory
ITE Journal April 2018 - 51
ITE Journal April 2018 - 52
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