About Us

PacTrans WDI

PacTrans Workforce Development Institute (WDI) is a demand responsive and flexible program to provide training services to working professionals in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The WDI focuses on short-term training about transportation specific topics, management and communication skills, software and modeling.


Our Mission

Region 10

PacTrans WDI aims to benefit PacTrans and Region 10 in the following three aspects:

(1) It allows Region 10’s busy working professionals to access desired training materials and courses at their convenient time and locations, and at their own pace; (2) It provides a forum for working professionals and university researchers to jointly investigate on challenges and opportunities associated with the new technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) technologies and their potential impacts, so that transportation agencies and companies can be proactive in incorporating the new technologies into practice; and (3) It directly addresses the continuing education needs of Region 10 working professionals’ and thus is critical for enhancing local transportation agencies’ organizational strength and local companies’ competitiveness.

Our History (TRANSPEED)

With support from WSDOT, other transportation agencies, and the former form of the Region 10 University Transportation Center (UTC), the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at the University of Washington (UW) had operated a very popular continuing education program called TRANSPEED until 2010. Administered through the UW’s Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) programs, TRANSPEED brought transportation engineering’s professional training and continuing education to governmental agencies and private firms. It generated huge national influence by conducting 50 workshops annually that serve over 1,400 students. Instructors of the TRANSPEED courses were typically working professionals with real-world experience and national reputation. Each course was designed to address some specific challenges in engineering practice.

Although the TRANSPEED program was popularity and far-reaching, it was badly hit by the most recent financial crisis. After WSDOT and other agencies stopped their funding support, TRANSPEED closed in 2010. Since then, working professionals have lost their easy access to continuing education and local needs for workforce development accumulated. With the recent technology development and applications in transportation practice, such as Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), smart cities technologies, the demand for continuing education and workforce development is getting even stronger. In 2016, a new dialog started between transportation agencies and PacTrans to re-establish a new workforce development program to address the increasing workforce development needs of transportation agencies and companies in the Pacific Northwest. Some transportation agencies, such as WSDOT, have secured some funds to help PacTrans start the development of this new continuing education program.

Operations Team

Meet the team behind PacTrans WDI


Yinhai Wang, Ph.D
Office: (206) 616-2696

Administrative Manager

Wei Sun, Ph.D
Office: (206) 221-9199

Program Cordinator

Melanie Paredes
Office: (206) 685-0395