Committee on Design
Patricia Bush, Program Manager for Engineering
Adopted March 1, 2004
Revised 6-14-12; Revised 9-24-15
These Operating Guidelines are adopted by the Subcommittee on Design to ensure proper and consistent operation of the Subcommittee’s activities. They are supplemental to and intended to be fully consistent with the AASHTO Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, and operating policies, the provisions of which, in the event of any conflict, shall prevail over the content hereof. These guidelines are subject to review and revision when necessary to meet the needs of the Subcommittee.
Membership on the Subcommittee on Design is limited to the AASHTO member departments, which consist of the transportation departments of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The CEO of each member department, acting in his/her capacity as a member of the AASHTO Board of Directors, may appoint up to three members to the Subcommittee; however, only one vote is permitted from each member department on Subcommittee ballots.
Associate membership on the Subcommittee is open to federal, state, local, and international government agencies with current membership in AASHTO. Associate members shall have all rights and privileges of membership except that they will serve ex officio without the right to vote.
Membership records for the Subcommittee are maintained by AASHTO Headquarters and the Subcommittee Chair. Each member department should furnish contact information for their department personnel serving on AASHTO committees as soon as practicable after appointment and when any changes occur. This information is kept current on the AASHTO web site and is published annually in the AASHTO Reference Book.
The officers of the Subcommittee on Design shall consist of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and an AASHTO Staff Liaison in an ex officio role. The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be appointed by the AASHTO President and shall each serve a two-year term, renewable for up to two additional terms. The Chair and the Vice-Chair shall be from different AASHTO regions. The Secretary shall be appointed by the Federal Highway Administration for a two-year term, renewable indefinitely. The AASHTO Staff Liaison shall be appointed by the AASHTO Executive Director for an indefinite term.
Duties of the Chair shall include:
Duties of the Vice-Chair shall include:
Duties of the Secretary shall include:
Duties of the AASHTO Staff Liaison shall include:
The Subcommittee on Design shall maintain an Executive Committee composed of the Subcommittee officers, the Chair of each of the four Regions, the Chair of each of the technical committees (or the ranking Design member for joint technical committees), and the AASHTO Staff Liaison in an ex officio role. The Chair of the Subcommittee on Design shall serve as the Chair of the Executive Committee. The purpose of the Executive Committee is to provide a core group of experienced members to advise the Subcommittee Chair and to encourage all members to participate in activities to satisfy the Association’s charge to the Subcommittee.
The duties and responsibilities of the members of the Executive Committee shall include the following:
The Subcommittee on Design shall maintain four Regional Chairs, one from each of the four AASHTO regions. Appointments of the Regional Chairs shall be made by the Design Subcommittee Chair. A rotation as shown below will serve as a guide.
Region 1: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania
Region 2: Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico
Region 3: Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Indiana,
Region 4: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Washington, Montana, Arizona, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii
Regular appointments shall be for 2 year terms beginning on the last day of the Subcommittee’s annual meeting of the year appointed. If, for any reason, a Regional Chair must step down from his/her position, a new representative from that state shall be appointed. If no Subcommittee member from a given state is able or willing to accept the responsibilities of appointment to be Regional Chair, the next state in the rotation will be solicited. If a Regional Chair knows of travel restrictions that would cause him/her to miss the Annual Subcommittee Meeting, this member should step down and the next state in the rotation should be solicited.
The Regional Chairs’ duties and responsibilities shall include the following:
Technical Committee Chairs shall be appointed by the Subcommittee Chair based on recommendations from the technical committee members. The Chair shall be a member of the Subcommittee, or be appointed to Subcommittee by their state upon their appointment as Chair. Exceptions may be made by the Subcommittee Chair on a case-by-case basis. The Vice-Chair of a technical committee shall be appointed by the technical committee Chair and should represent a different region from the Chair. The Vice-Chair does not have to be a member of the Subcommittee.
Members shall be appointed by the Subcommittee Chair based on recommendations from the Regional Chairs. Subcommittee members shall submit nominees for appointment based on their recognized expertise in the subject area of the technical committee. Technical committee members do not need to be Subcommittee members, but Subcommittee members are encouraged to join Technical Committees. Technical committees should strive to be regionally balanced, since their members represent their respective regions. A technical committee may increase its membership, as proposed by the Technical Committee Chair, to be voted on by the Subcommittee. A size increase may be governed by the committee’s workload, but the preferred committee size consists of four members per region. When membership within a technical committee is increased, voting equity between regions must be maintained.
Some technical committees are “joint” technical committees in which some of the voting membership is appointed by other AASHTO committees. In some cases, membership includes representatives from groups outside AASHTO which, unless specifically provided for, do not have voting rights.
Attendance at meetings is crucial to the successful accomplishment of the technical committees’ work. If a technical committee member misses two or more consecutive meetings, the Technical Committee Chair may replace that member with a new member from the same region, following the procedures outlined above. Consideration should be given by the Chair to members under temporary travel restrictions and options made available for participating remotely.
Technical committees may be established or discontinued by a two-thirds vote of the subcommittee.
Technical committees shall submit an annual work plan and activity report to the Executive Council for review and approval as requested. The work plans shall cover activities planned for the coming year, a five-year plan for developing and/or updating publications and proposed research topics. The activity reports shall cover accomplishments of the past year, the status of on-going publication development, and a summary of current research projects.
The Subcommittee shall hold a meeting at least once per year at such time and place as designated by the Chair, based on recommendations from the Executive Committee. Meeting locations will typically rotate among the four AASHTO regions unless there is a reason to deviate from this pattern.
Technical committees shall meet at least once, but not more than twice, per year to conduct their work. Technical committees are strongly encouraged to hold one of their meetings in concurrence with the Annual Subcommittee Meeting at least once every two years. Total meeting duration for each technical committee shall be no more than 6 (six) days annually, not including travel time to and from the meeting(s), unless approved by the Subcommittee Chair. Interim meetings conducted through the use of conference calls, video conferencing, internet conferencing, or other electronic means are encouraged to reduce meeting-related travel and time away from the office.
The Subcommittee or Technical Committee Chair should coordinate meeting dates through the AASHTO Staff Liaison to avoid meeting conflicts and to ensure posting on the AASHTO web site meeting calendar.
Technical committees may establish their own operating expense revolving funds to assist the host state in making advance meeting arrangements and financing “up front” commitments. It is imperative that these funds not be deposited in interest-earning accounts in the name of AASHTO, since AASHTO is a non-profit organization, and AASHTO staff cannot exercise any management control over such accounts. These accounts should be sustained at minimal levels. The host state can elect to have AASHTO Headquarters handle its financial and other meeting arrangements.
AASHTO Headquarters maintains and publishes a listing of all AASHTO publications, and has a review process to maintain the credibility of its publications. Each technical committee shall review the publications for which they are responsible and propose a five-year “Publication Update Plan” as part of their annual work plan to the Executive Committee for review and coordination with the other technical committees. Each technical committee’s review should include recommendations for each publication to: retain it “as is”; revise/update it (including a proposed update schedule); drop/archive it; or reassign it to a different committee as appropriate due to changes in committee responsibilities. The Executive Committee will make revisions to schedules and/or publication responsibilities as needed to ensure the best and most logical production of technical guidance and standards for the Association. Technical committee publication responsibilities are included in the “objective and scope” statement for each technical committee.
Research assistance for developing or updating technical publications may be available through NCHRP Project 20-07, which is administered by the Standing Committee on Highways. These funds are very limited and are reserved for high-priority projects. When this appears to be an appropriate course of action, the Technical Committee Chair shall develop a research proposal for submission to the NCHRP 20-07 Chair. All NCHRP 20-07 proposals must be endorsed by the Subcommittee, and shall be submitted to the Technical Committee on Research in accordance with deadlines established to facilitate review and ranking.
Technical Publications may also be updated through regular NCHRP projects. When this appears to be an appropriate course of action, the Technical Committee Chair shall develop a research proposal for submission. Any NCHRP proposals to be endorsed by the Subcommittee shall be submitted to the Technical Committee on Research in accordance with deadline established to facilitate review and ranking.
Publications produced by the Subcommittee on Design or its technical committees may become official AASHTO guides through a balloting process consisting of approval by at least two-thirds of the membership of the appropriate technical committee, the Subcommittee on Design, the Standing Committee on Highways, and, where appropriate, the AASHTO Board of Directors. Comments received as part of this balloting process must be addressed and responded to by the developing committee before proceeding to the next stage of balloting.
Past Award Winners: https://design.transportation.org/awards/
The Subcommittee on Design National Award may be bestowed upon a present or former member of the Subcommittee on Design or one of its technical committees deserving recognition for outstanding service to the Subcommittee during the preceding year or over some period of years. The recipient’s qualifying achievements should be based on AASHTO-related work that would be recognized throughout the Subcommittee as an exceptional contribution toward the Subcommittee’s accomplishment of its assigned responsibilities.
The Subcommittee Vice-Chair and the Regional Chairs will solicit nominations from the Subcommittee members and Technical Committee Chairs annually and determine the award recipient. The award shall consist of a plaque containing the AASHTO logo, the name of the recipient, the year of the award, and the title “AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Design – National Award.” The AASHTO Staff Liaison will ensure that the plaque is produced prior to the Annual Subcommittee meeting. The award will be presented by the Subcommittee Chair, or his/her representative, at the Annual Subcommittee Meeting.
A Subcommittee on Design Regional Award may be bestowed annually by each region of the Subcommittee to a member of the Subcommittee or one of its technical committees deserving “recognition for outstanding achievement in the field of highway and transportation design.”
The recipient’s qualifying achievements should be based on AASHTO-related work or work of such extent that it would be recognizably known and outstanding to the Subcommittee as a whole during the preceding year(s). Consideration should be given to those who have made significant contributions to the design field with an emphasis on quality, originality, or response to an important problem or issue.
Each state within a region shall be entitled to submit one nomination annually (not later than two months prior to the Annual Subcommittee Meeting). Each Regional Chair will solicit nominations from the Subcommittee members in their region and the Technical Committee Chairs annually. The Regional Chair will review nominations and any supporting information and select the award recipient.
The award shall consist of a plaque containing the AASHTO logo, the name of the recipient, the year of the award, and the title “AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Design – Region “X” Award.” The AASHTO Staff Liaison will ensure that the plaque is produced prior to the Subcommittee’s annual meeting. The award will be presented by the Subcommittee Chair or his/her representative at the Annual Subcommittee Meeting.
Amendments to these operating guidelines may be proposed by any Subcommittee member and, if agreed to at any regular Subcommittee meeting by at least two-thirds of those present, shall become effective upon the approval by letter ballot of two-thirds of the Subcommittee members.