(L to r): Rick Hoover, chairman of the Trine University Alumni Board, Ness, and Trine University President Dr. Earl Brooks, II.

Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness honored by alma mater

Trine University honored Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness, a 1980 alum, with an Outstanding Achievement Award. Ness was recognized for his achievements on Friday (Oct. 3), during a dinner and reception at Trine University based in Angola, Ind.

The award is given annually to alumni who have attained a high level of achievement in their profession, are well thought of in their community and who uphold the ideals of Trine University.

A lifelong transportation professional, Ness became director of the Idaho Transportation Department in 2010. He is responsible for an annual budget of more than $500 million and provides leadership for more than 1,700 employees. In his four years as director, Ness has presided over one of the most dramatic turnarounds of organizational culture in Idaho state government history. That shift is now serving as a nationwide model.

Under Ness' leadership, ITD is providing better customer service to the citizens of Idaho and the culture at ITD focuses on responsibility of employees and their professional achievements.

In 2013, ITD received 37 national and state awards, including more awards than any other state in the 100-year history of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) awards program. Under Ness, ITD has been recognized with 155 regional, national and state awards.

Ness earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Tri-State, now Trine University, and a master¹s degree in public administration from Western Michigan University. He is a graduate of the AASHTO Advanced Leadership Institute and also the vice president of the Western Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (WASHTO). Ness is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and Idaho.

Before assuming his position in Idaho, Ness worked for 30 years at the Michigan Department of Transportation.

"I am honored and humbled to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award," Ness said. "The recognition showcases how our entire organization at the Idaho Transportation Department is being viewed nationally, and I share this award with all of our employees."

For nearly 130 years, Trine University has been producing graduates who have changed the world for the better through their knowledge, innovation and work. Trine University is a member of the Midwestern Undergraduate Private Engineering Colleges (MUPEC), and its engineering, education and business programs are recognized nationally as among the best.


Published 10-10-14