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Member Profile: Casey Barrett

Casey Barrett, EIT, ENV SP
Civil Associate II in Michael Baker’s Civil-Highway Department

I earned my BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College in 2015. I went on to work for Michael Baker in their Civil-Highway department, where I worked on a variety of projects from streetscape improvements to bridge replacements. My project tasks include Maintenance and Protection of Traffic designs, and Traffic Control and staging plans, which is how traffic patterns are maintained during construction. In addition to being an active YPT member, I’m also involved with Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) and I’m co-chair of the college outreach committee. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, hiking, doing puzzle, and baking/cooking.

What do you most enjoy about YPT? I’ve really enjoyed the virtual tour series, specifically the old NYC subway lines aerial imagery tour by Rayn Riel. I find it fascinating to see how New York’s mobility has changed (or has not changed) over time. I joined YPT in February 2020 and was looking forward to all the upcoming events. I have enjoyed the topics about NYC’s infrastructure and the networking opportunities YPT has hosted while in quarantine, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s your preferred transport mode and why?

At the moment, my preferred mode of transport is walking. I’m still working from home, so I take walks around my neighborhood in order to get some fresh air. I take a different route so I’m constantly seeing something new every day.

What are you working on that you’re most passionate or proud about (transit-related)?

I’m still waiting on that passion project, but it would be some type of sustainable infrastructure project using the Envision framework.

What is the biggest transit-related problem that you’d like to help solve?

Carbon-Neutral Transportation. The transportation sector generates the largest portion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The solution to get to a carbon- neutral transportation sector is multifaceted issue, but I will only touch on a couple topics here. In order to cut carbon, we need to get people to drive less. That means getting people out of their personal vehicles and on to mass transit. This would require a reliable multi-modal mass transit system serving all communities. The mass transit fleet would need to be fueled by clean, renewable energy sources. Best management practices in sustainable transit will require research and development, and knowledge sharing across the industry. Another factor to consider in achieving carbon neutral transportation is the physical infrastructure: highways, roads, bridges, airports, etc. Our nation’s infrastructure is built out of concrete which contributes to 8% of global carbon emissions. Therefore, future infrastructure improvement projects will need to be sourced from sustainable resources with a low carbon output. 

Do you have any tips (career advice) for YPT’ers interested in your career path?

Young professionals should join YPT (or any professional society) because it allows you to grow your network outside of the people you work with. Sometimes professional societies offer opportunities, such as tours or training, that your employer doesn’t offer. 

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