Internationally known leaders and scholars will speak at Bradley conference

March 22, 2012

Peoria, IL (March 20, 2012) Bradley University’s Center for Emerging Technologies in Infrastructure and the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction will host the 25th annual Innovations Conference on Asphalt and Transportation on April 3 and 4 at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria. An estimated 500 policymakers, engineering executives and business leaders from around the world are expected to attend.

“We are proud to welcome executives and professionals of such distinction and expertise from around the world to speak at our conference,” said Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction and conference founder. “Internationally renowned scholars, business leaders and government officials participating in the conference will provide unique opportunities for our students, faculty and business community to learn and network.”

Douglas Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. and honorary chair of the conference, will give welcoming comments during the opening session on April 3 at 8 a.m. Following his remarks, the Heartland Sustainability Award will be presented to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton.

Minister Sam Pitroda, knowledge minister and adviser to the Prime Minister of India, will speak after the award presentation. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will address the conference at 10 a.m. on April 3.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will lead a discussion focused on public-private-partnerships during the 2012 Executive Summit on April 3. That exclusive event will be attended by 35 VIPs representing some of the largest building and highway contractors in the world.

Secretary LaHood also will open the second day of the conference at 8 a.m. Among the other presenters are Kristi Lafleur, executive director of the Illinois State Tollway Authority; Rosemarie Andolino, commissioner of aviation for the City of Chicago; Dr. Jalal Nafakh, chief transportation planner, Arriyadh Development Authority; and Ann Schneider, secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation.

Other highlights include presentations on the World’s Tallest Cable Stay Bridge, the World’s Tallest Building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Case for Tolling Existing U.S. Interstates, and Travel Forecast Models for the Saudi Capitol of Riyadh. The $1 trillion infrastructure strategic plan for India, and national and international challenges facing the infrastructure industry will be discussed.

Several VIP breakfasts, lunches, and special events will permit many community leaders to connect and partner with major organizations with global influence. This will include meetings between minority and prime contractors and Illinois policymakers and government officials.  In addition, a special presentation by Secretary Schneider for 20 minority high school students will be held.

The purpose of ICAT is to develop a network of business executives, policymakers and scholars from around the USA to promote business partnerships, align and leverage new alliances, explore new funding sources, and address major challenges facing the infrastructure industry.

Bradley is a private, independent university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 6,000 students the choice of more than 100 academic programs. Bradley links academic excellence, experiential learning and leadership development with an entrepreneurial spirit for a world-class education. Our size provides students with extensive resources not available at most private colleges and the personal attention not commonly found at large universities.