Session No. 8E

Public Involvement Tools in a Digital World

Providing virtual public involvement is a necessity for our clients and agencies given the changes and restrictions we all face in this COVID-19 environment. This session will present on various tools and methods to provide a successful virtual outreach and public involvement plan to meet the needs of our clients.

Moderator: Jennifer McCracken, P.E., PTOE, AECOM

  • Virtual Consultation Platform, Andy Thomas, head of Visualization & VR, EMEA, AECOM       
  • SPC’s Virtual TIP Update, Andy Waple, AICP, director of Transportation Planning, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission                     
  • When the Open House Is Closed, Theresa McClure, vice president, Strategic Communications, HDR, Inc.       


Andy Thomas is responsible for leading AECOM’s Visualisation & VR teams in Europe, Middle East & Africa, and has more than 18 years of experience delivering high-end visualisation on large, complex infrastructure projects. He has expert knowledge of the VR industry; and is a digital solutions innovator. Thomas develops all aspects of AECOM’s visualization and immersive technology practice processes, incorporating the latest advances and trends in digital technologies and bringing the consistency, structure, collaborative processes and technical practices that will future-proof AECOM as an industry leader in this field. His core skill is leading teams to successfully deliver visualization, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) projects in a multi-disciplinary environment, and his teams work across most sectors within AECOM, providing Immersive & digital solutions on projects or bids, for clients, stakeholders and public consultations.

Andy Waple has more than 18 years of diverse transportation and community planning experience. He has been employed with SPC since 2015 and in his current role as the Director of Transportation Planning since January, 2018. Waple oversees an interdisciplinary team of planners and engineers to deliver a multifaceted transportation planning program that serves and supports the 10 county SPC region. Waple serves on the Board of Directors for The Local Government Academy, the Oakland Transportation Management Association and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities. Prior to joining SPC, Waple worked in various capacities at the George Washington Regional Commission in Fredericksburg, Virginia, most recently as the director of Transportation Planning. He has also previously worked in private sector, as a municipal planning consultant. Waple is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in urban and regional planning and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

As the Eastern region manager for Strategic Communications at HDR, Theresa McClure assists and leads development and implementation of project-specific outreach plans for major infrastructure projects. She brings a decade of experience in both strategic communications and public relations and excels in finding clear ways to educate the public on complex transit and transportation issues that have the potential to change the way they live. Her passion is in storytelling and her goal, always, is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. She is an expert in reputation management and public relations practices and is committed to improving transit and mobility for future generations. She has a Bachelor of Arts in geography and sociology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a master’s degree in strategic public relations from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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Dec. 11, 2020

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.







The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) attracts professionals from throughout Pennsylvania, the mid-Atlantic region, and the country. It is an authoritative source of information on pressing issues from some of the foremost experts in transportation today.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-1891