#EngineersWeek Spotlight: Paul Basha, PE, PTOE

By WTS International

It’s #EngineersWeek and we celebrate our members who are professional engineers. We are spotlighting the accomplishments, thoughts, and motivations of a few of those members who inspire us – including Paul Basha, PE, PTOE with Summit Land Management. 

Paul has 47 years of Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning experience, with approximately half as a consultant and half as a public servant. He also has been a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University for 25 years. Paul served on the Evaluation Committees for the Parking Generation Manual, 5th Edition; the Trip Generation Handbook, 3rd Edition; the Trip Generation Manual, 10th and 11th editions; and the ITE Warehouse Trip Generation Expert Panel. Paul has written six articles published in the ITE Journal, the most recent in the October 2021 issue. He has also spoken at 31 professional meetings – including a Poster Presentation at the 2021 ITE International Annual Meeting – and full presentations at the 2010 and 2014 ITE International Annual Meetings.

How did you decide on your career path?

In childhood, I enjoyed and excelled in mathematics. From a very young age, I solved puzzles. My mother said I had a simple set of blocks that I would play with for hours on end, rearranging them. So, civil engineering was a natural fit for me. I enjoyed the transportation classes in my sophomore and junior year of college and chose transportation engineering.

How did you get your start in traffic engineering?

After earning my master’s, I moved to western Washington State. I had been a teaching assistant at Michigan State, so I was able to get a position at a college teaching transportation engineering. I only taught for one semester because I didn’t know enough to teach. One day after kayaking on Puget Sound, still wearing saltwater stained jeans and a flannel shirt and full of self-confidence, I walked into the Washington State Department of Transportation and knocked on the door of the human resources director’s office, and said, “I hear you have engineering positions.” He said they required a degree, and I responded that I had a couple of those. At the end of the conversation, I had six job offers and chose the one in Port Angeles.

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