Five years ago, I stumbled across PTRC in the run up to the Seventh Annual Transport Practitioners Meeting at Reading. One of my colleagues, a Smarter Travel practitioner, was involved with the TPM Committee, assisting with the shortlisting of papers and chairing a number of sessions at the conference. In order to take full advantage of the “2-4-1” Local Authority rates offered, and get the most out of the numerous relevant topics, our team attended the conference en-mass. The planning of session logistics, to cover as wide aspread of topics as possible and avoid doubled-up attendance at anypresentation, proved a real challenge with the sheer number of interesting sessions running in parallel. Much horse-trading took place to ensure we all had a fair mix of sessions directly relevant to work as well as interesting “peripheral”topics.
To this day, I’m not entirely sure what happened to my colleagues the night before the conference or the night of the conference dinner. Maybe they took advantage of different pre-conference events, maybe they were networking with different groups ofpeople. What I do remember is that we came away from the conference stuffed full of great ideas, with new contactsfrom across the industry, and high levels of motivation for the months ahead. Unsurprisingly, next year, there was stiff competition within the team as to who would be amongst the chosen few to attend TMP. I wasn’t taking any chances and circumvented the selection process by joining PTRC’s team of volunteer session chairs forthe 8th TPM…
After three years without my mid-year TPM booster, I’m going to be able to attend the event again (hurrah!), but this time with a very different perspective. There have been a number of changes at PTRC in the last 12 months, and I’ve just joined the team as the Head of Technical Development (or “the new Ian” as some people are calling it). One of my first tasks will be to sift through abstracts for this year’s TPM with the committee, to pull together another really fascinating conference.
If you’ve recently been involved in something we could all learn from; be it a project at work, academic research, even development of a curious theory; that’s interesting and relevant to professionals in the transport planning, policy, traffic and highway sectors, it would be great to hear from you. This conference really is all about sharing knowledge within the profession.
At this stage, all we need is a short summary. And with the TPM call for papers deadline extendedby two weeks, why not seize this opportunity to promote your work?
Head of Technical Development, PTRC