DON WITTMER, PE
HNTB Corporation | Senior Technical Advisor
What is your current or most recent position held on the Illinois Section board?
Engineers Week Committee Chair, Current
What Section positions have you held in the past, including any technical groups and committees?
– Committee on Accreditation, Member 2021-Present
– Member Communities Committee, Chair 2018-2021
– Leader Training Committee, Chair 2015-2018 / Member 2012-2015
– Public Policy Committee, Member 2010-2011
– National Engineers Week Committee, Chair 2010-2012 / Member 2009-2018
– Codes and Standards Committee, Member 2009-2011
– State Government Relations Committee, Chair 2007-2009 / Member 2004-2007
– Governor, 2007-2010
Illinois Section – Board
– President, 2003-2004
– President-Elect, 2002-2003
– Secretary, 2000-2002
– Director, 1999-2000
Illinois Section – Committees
– 150th Anniversary, Awards, Annual Dinner, Newsletter Editor, Communications Chair
Illinois Section – Technical Groups
– YMG Chair, 1996-1997
Are there any other professional associations or organizations that you have been involved with?
– Western Society of Engineers Member and Chair
– ACEC Illinois Committee Member
– Future City Competition Illinois Regional Chair
What has been your most rewarding moment or contribution to the Civil Engineering profession?
Ten years ago, I had the opportunity to lead the Maintenance of Traffic Design for the I-95 / I-395 HOT Lane System P3 project in Northern Virginia/Washington DC. This project converted existing HOV lanes to high occupancy toll lanes. The design expanded the existing reversible 2 lane HOV cross section to a 3 lane HOT cross section to facilitate traffic going to/from northern Virginia to Washington DC. I worked for about 6 months out of our office in Arlington, Virginia and worked side-by-side with several of the P3 contractors that worked with us during the design. I was fortunate to work on this unique project and think P3 / design build is a great way to design and construct projects.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time, when you’re not working or volunteering for ASCE and other organizations?
I know most of you don’t want to hear this, but I am an Iowa Hawkeyes fan from when I was a little kid growing up in Iowa and especially after going to college there. I go back to many football games with a group of college friends to tailgate before and after the game and catch a football game in between tailgating. I have traveled to see them throughout the Big Ten and the country. I am a huge college football fan and watch games whenever I can.
What is one piece of advice you would give to Student or Younger Members as they start their careers in civil engineering?
My advice is to get into a discipline you like doing and become an expert in that field. It is good to be diverse in your civil engineering talents, this makes you be a more valuable member but having strength in one to two areas makes you the technical expert that everyone seeks out to work on their project or help when others need it. And most importantly, have fun! I can’t think of a better career than being a Civil Engineer.
Don has worked at HNTB Corporation in Chicago since he graduated from the University of Iowa in 1990. He currently serves as a Senior Technical Advisor and, for the last 2 years, has worked at the Illinois Tollway Program Management Office (PMO) to help deliver the Elgin O’Hare Western Access program. He resides in Aurora, Illinois.
If you know someone from within the Illinois Section that you feel is deserving of the spotlight, please send any suggestions to Tom Borges, Membership Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.