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Erin J. Flanigan

Erin J. Flanigan
BSCE 1987
Principal
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.

“Work hard. Be Proactive. Think ahead. Be a good person.”

Growing up in Fort Wayne, Erin only considered attending Purdue.  Her father was a mechanical engineer so she naturally came to enjoy math and science and developed her attention to details.  Her mother was the first person to recommend a career in engineering and enrolled her in the Magnavox Explorers program – her first opportunity to crack the glass ceiling by being the only girl enrolled in the program (circa 1980).  She attended Purdue University in civil engineering and received her Bachelor’s degree, specializing in structures, in 1987.  Her first job had her crawling inside the cooling towers at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Generation Station in Texas while designing cable tray hangers.  With enough experience to secure her PE license, Erin then returned to graduate school where she specialized in transportation engineering.

Most of Erin’s career consisted of working in the consulting engineering industry on a variety of projects and with a range of public sector clients throughout the United States.  These projects have included multi-year interstate design projects, multi-jurisdictional traffic signal systems, and statewide transportation planning efforts.  As her career progressed, she focused on the use and application of technology for more effective roadway network operations using technology solutions as a replacement to building additional travel lanes.  In 2004, her company relocated her to Washington, DC to lead that office and focus on federal level transportation programs.

Erin is a national expert in the field of management and operations of transportation systems.  As lead author, she reported to congress on the use and application of fiber optics in interstate highway rights-of-way, and has worked directly with over 30 State Departments of Transportation to advance their transportation systems.  Erin has also worked closely with the Federal Highway Administration, the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the National Highway Institute on various technical, research, and planning efforts.

In 2014, Erin led a workshop with over 17 State DOT Secretaries of Transportation on how the autonomous vehicle would influence future transportation systems.  She is currently working on a pilot program in New York City for Connected and Automated Vehicle technology which will be deployed in Manhattan.

Erin is a Principal at Cambridge Systematics and manages the company’s largest contract with the FHWA, valued at over $120 million.  This project entails managing a team of over 35 large and small companies, universities, and consultants.  She is responsible for over 40 concurrent tasks and ensures that all deliverables meet the government’s expectations for quality.