APWA PWX 2022 Call for Presentations

August 12 – October 29, 2021

Charlotte, NC

Proposal Submission Deadline: Friday, October 29, 2021

Questions? Email us at cfpquestions@apwa.net for further assistance.

The American Public Works Association provides education, advocacy, and solutions for public works and infrastructure professionals worldwide. More than 5,000 public works professionals – from both the public and private sectors – converge each year at APWA’s premier Public Works Expo (PWX). This highly anticipated annual event features 125 education sessions, keynote opportunities for collaboration and networking. PWX also attracts more than 300 exhibitors providing information about state-of-the-art technologies, products, and services.

2022 APWA Theme: Ready and Resilient
The 2022 Theme is multifaceted and communicates the many responsibilities that rest on public works’ shoulders. At its heart, it represents two things: (1) Ready – those everyday responsibilities and first responder efforts that keep communities safe; and (2) Resilient – the incredible toughness and character displayed by public works in recent times due to Covid, natural disasters, and other hardships. With those two concepts in mind, the theme manages to be both positive and prideful while also being humble and reflective.

Four Easy Steps to Submitting Your Proposal:

  1. Read this page for Call for Presentations info and instructions
  2. Click the “Submit Proposal” button below
  3. Login or create your unique Call for Presentations account
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your proposal

What Do APWA Members Want to Learn About?

Primary Education Tracks: APWA members and committees were recently surveyed in a Call for Ideas about the topics they would expect to be included in a solutions oriented, trailblazing PWX. Review the topic suggestions below as you begin framing your proposal submission. Please note that the themes for the 2021 Public Works Stormwater Summit are listed under the Water Resources: Stormwater track. The document can be found here.

Technology uses and trends:
  • Software and database solutions, mobile technologies, web-based tools, cloud technology, 3-D modeling, enterprise solutions for reporting.
  • Data collection technologies: unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), LiDAR mapping, GIS, GPS, telematics, time-phased photographic inspection, robotics, AVL, RFID.


  • Leveraging asset management into daily public works operations – solutions for small city, large city, county systems.
  • Dealing with siloed operations / departments, determining what to measure and how to use the data, communicating with the public and stakeholders about asset management, getting buy-in from officials and staff.
  • Explaining the foundational components of a good asset management system. Success stories that demonstrate the process, challenges, and solutions. Where to begin and how not to be overwhelmed.
  • Examples! Tools, templates, road maps and sample documents.
  • Workforce issues: the skills public works professionals need to implement asset management, maximizing productivity with minimal staff
  • Funding/budgeting: cost-effective asset management; creative budgeting, grants, and other financial options to implement asset management; funding solutions for small cities.
  • Asset management as a tool for disaster response, recovery, and obtaining FEMA reimbursement.
  • Data Collection, Management, and Decision Making (Planning)

Future Trends:

  • Asset management in the Internet of Things (IoT) era
  • Less field work and more desktop reconnaissance
  • Asset management for green infrastructure
  • Smart cities, smart assets
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) based asset management
  • State governments requiring asset management plans from public agencies.
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Integrated Asset Management Planning

Technology uses and trends:

  • Emergency management software, tablets and phones replacing desktop solutions
  • GIS mapping, use of drones in post-disaster inspection
  • Traffic Incident Management: Automated Flagger Assistance Devices, portable traffic signals
  • Role of smart cities technologies in emergency management
  • Cybersecurity – what are the threats, what are the best solutions?


  • Crisis communications for Operations staff
  • Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning
  • Public Works as First Responders
    • Collaborating with Police and Fire
    • Psychological First Aid for Public Works staff
  • National Incident Management Command (NIMs)
  • Tracking the right data for FEMA reimbursement, FEMA pre-certification
  • Mutual aid programs
  • Risk assessment and resiliency planning
    • Factoring climate change into emergency management planning and preparedness
    • Dam safety requirements, flood preparedness and response
    • Rapid damage assessment, post disaster condition assessments, cleanup, debris management
  • See something, Say Something – Public Works role in threat identification
  • Active shooter training
    • Outlines and templates for Active Shooter tabletop exercises or drills

Future Trends:

  • Trends and new developments in cybersecurity programs.
  • Mobile alert systems – targeting devices by physical location rather than area codes
  • Increased focus on cybersecurity tactics and solutions.

Technology uses and trends:

  • Data collection and construction inspection using drones, GIS, tablets, and smart phones
  • Web-based tools for plan submission and reviews
  • Electronic bidding technologies, electronic plan reviews, submissions, and approvals
  • Use of innovative technology in public works during the pandemic
  • Project delivery and management software


  • Innovative budgeting and funding solutions for capital improvement programs (CIP)
  • RFP process, bid and contract management, consultant and contractor relationships
  • Project management skills / project tracking systems
  • How to use CARES Act funding for infrastructure improvements
  • Resilience in infrastructure
  • Cybersecurity of critical infrastructure

Future Trends:

  • 5G installation and capital improvement program management
  • 5G Policy
  • 5G vs. DSRC for transportation
  • Broadband deployment on public rights-of-way
  • UAS (Drones) for surveying and inspection for construction
  • UAS (Drones) for public works operations
  • Building Information Modeling
  • More use of 3D construction plans, 3D modeling, 3D printing
  • New CIP funding models to replace gas taxes and other funding mechanisms
  • Infrastructure communication network – transportation, water resources etc.
  • Staffing – filling open positions – alternative staffing models – recruitment – both public works and engineering

Technology uses and trends:

  • Energy efficiency: renewable energy production in buildings, distributed heat and power, solar, heat pumps, etc., smart meters to measure energy use, water conservation
  • Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM); Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
  • Drones related to facilities and grounds inspections
  • Smart Technology


  • Building security: risk assessments, workplace violence
  • Developing a municipal facility maintenance plan (maintenance, repair)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues and solutions
  • Green Infrastructure and green building products for new construction
  • Building Efficiency
  • Changes/Impact to facilities due to COVID

Future Trends:

  • Augmented reality for building management
  • Self-powered and smart buildings
  • Building security advancements, i.e. proximity door locks
  • Sharing economy – maximum use of facilities
  • Smart Technology
  • Low Carbon Concrete Standards for buildings

Technology uses and trends:

  • Fleet management software
  • On-board GPS, cameras for route optimization
  • Fuel station software
  • Fleet Management of autonomous and connected vehicles
  • Electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations


  • Data collection, interpretation, and use in decision making
  • Workforce solutions: technician recruitment and retention, performance measures for fleet professionals, essential skills and knowledge for new fleet managers
  • Fleet operations as part of the emergency response team
  • Vehicle and equipment replacement programs
  • Managing fleet budgets, internal services fund approach, lease/purchase pros and cons
  • Guidelines for ethical fleet management

Future Trends:

  • Right sizing your fleet
  • Car sharing vs. owning fleet
  • Converting fleets to electric
  • Biometric logins
  • Driverless truck technology
  • New fuel requirements, alternative fuels management
  • Impact of COVID on Fleets and Fleet Management

Technology uses and trends:

  • Tree inventory technologies: GPS systems, drones for canopy management
  • Internet of Things (IoT) relating parks and grounds management
  • Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
  • Smart Technology (ex. Smart irrigation technology)


  • Urban Forestry Plans: forestry practices and standards for maintenance
  • ADA accessibility for parks and trails
  • Utilities issues: canopy issues and underground utilities, tree trimming and above-ground utilities, tree species that can be planted near utilities
  • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB): strategies for obtaining funding for dealing with EAB; how are different agencies dealing with EAB?
  • Green infrastructure solutions for stormwater management, stormwater management through park design
  • Trail construction and management

Future Trends:

  • Advances in solar lighting options
  • Impacts of climate change, extreme weather, long-term droughts
  • Maximizing ecosystem services, passive park lands and educating users on their design and purpose


  • Strategic planning and decision-making, Bringing clarity to vision
  • Using the community approach to deal with pace of change/technology use and integration
  • Diversity and inclusion strategies: What is workplace diversity?
  • Managing and engaging staff from different generations.
  • How to stretch shrinking budgets by leveraging resources, shared services, shared equipment, mutual aid, shared facilities, grants
  • Breaking down silos (cross departmental/functional areas across city divisions (fire, police, etc.)

Professional Development:

  • Developing presentation and communication skills
  • Ethics for public works professionals at all levels
  • Educating future leaders in the functional aspects of public works

Workforce Issues and Solutions:

  • Succession planning: recruitment, retention, engagement
    • The Middle Management Gap
    • Identification and development of staff at all levels
  • Rethinking the performance management and evaluation process
  • Developing programs to transfer knowledge and skills from retiring boomers to new workforce
  • Balancing outsourced and in-house staff

Technology uses and trends:

  • Training software and technologies
  • Computerized workforce management programs
  • Asset management and benchmarking to inform levels of service
  • Data driven decision making
  • New uses for common technology

Future Trends:

  • Identifying, creating and/or rebooting workplace culture: framing and implementing the change process, building capability and engagement.
  • More emphasis on finding a trained workforce for public works functions that require specialized skills but not necessarily college degrees.
  • Shared services and positions across communities.
  • Educating and working with elected officials
  • Service Delivery Optimization

Technology uses and trends:

  • Advanced software for route planning, GPS routing systems, mobile apps for tracking in real-time
  • Landfill technologies: bioreactors, emission measurement using drones, bio-covers, waste to energy technologies


  • Diminishing markets for recyclables: impact of tariffs and China’s ban on contaminated recyclables, what are cities doing with their recyclables?
  • Circular economy strategies
  • Composting – food waste
  • Leaf pick-up programs
  • Post-disaster debris management
  • Managing solid waste contracts
  • Impact/Staff Safety and COVID

Future Trends

  • Bans on plastics – establishing public policy.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) impact on collection and management
  • Mining and reclamation in old landfills
  • Manufacturing with waste material
  • How to manage organic waste streams; Creating a higher value product with organics
  • Ensure social equity is considered/addressed in the SWM planning process

Technology uses and trends:

  • Electrification of fleets
  • Localized climate modeling to inform infrastructure decisions
  • One Water framework for sustainable water systems
  • Triple bottom line software


  • VMT Reductions (Transportation Emissions Reductions)
  • Sustainability Rating Systems (Envision)
  • Climate Action Planning
  • Climate Adaption – drought, erosion, sea level rise, extreme heat
  • Climate mitigation, Changing decision-making to reduce impacts
  • Creating the business case for sustainability/resiliency. Understanding the true life-cycle costs of implementing sustainability into projects vs. the costs of not doing so.
  • Incorporating social equity and environmental justice into decision-making
  • Impact of workforce diversity in building more sustainable solutions
  • Green Infrastructure (GI) / How do cities plan for resilient infrastructure
  • Permeable pavements as a resilience strategy

Future Trends

  • Use of “Green Bonds” for infrastructure
  • Using the Internet of Things - real-time data for decision-making
  • Regulation of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) to reach city livability goals
  • Building community resilience
  • Building learning communities (how do we educate our community members to reach more informed outcomes?)
  • Public Works and creating “circular economies”

Technology uses and trends:

  • Autonomous/Connected Vehicles and eVTOL
  • Air taxi services likely by 2024  Commercial operation of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft in the US could be a reality as early as 2024, experts say. The vehicles would first support cargo markets, but could soon provide city taxi services and support transportation in small communities.
    SmartTake: It might be time to incorporate landing pads in our transportation plans. Flying cars sound extraordinary, but required infrastructure already exists, albeit at a rudimentary level. The US boasts 5,000 public helipads and one eVTOL company already has needed approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration.   Full Story:
    SmartBrief/Infrastructure (5/17) 
  • UPS to add eVTOL delivery by 2024  UPS customers in small and mid-size markets could be getting serviced by electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft by 2024. The company plans to buy up to 150 eVTOL units from Vermont's Beta Technologies.   Full Story: ElectricCarsReport (4/14) 
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Next generation GPS, LiDAR
  • Smart cities technologies and apps
  • New technologies for making work zones safer, automated flagger assistance devices, portable traffic signal solutions.
  • Cybersecurity for traffic management systems and networks
  • UAS Applications for public works


  • Innovative funding options for transportation projects: options to replace gas taxes, public/private partnerships, economic development programs, transportation corporations, revolving funds, TIFIA, federal funding, project streamlining
  • Infrastructure readiness for connected and autonomous vehicles
  • Infrastructure for bikeable/walkable communities
  • Infrastructure for mass transit
  • Impact of Automated Vehicles on Local Transportation Systmes Covering the costs of roadway features to accommodate AV, impacts to transit systems by AV, etc. (ie. 6” striping)
  • Transition to automated vehicles by an agency
  • Impacts of the pandemic on transportation (commuting patterns, multi-model options, etc.)
  • Remote working opportunities and concerns with remote working

Future Trends

  • Autonomous/connected vehicles will change the face of infrastructure and how people live
  • How will a mostly electric vehicle (EV) fleet change American infrastructure?
  • More bicycles, e-bikes, e-scooters, hover boards
  • Will driverless vehicles impact mass transit?
  • Traffic engineering for low flying vehicles, delivery drones
  • Solar roads, bike paths, sidewalks
  • Data lanes in transportation corridors

  • Snow and ice control methods and technologies
  • Emergency management in severe winter events
  • GPS/AVL uses
  • Chemical, liquids usage and selection
  • Sustainable operations
  • Permeable Pavement in Winter Operations (innovative solutions to prevent clogging)
  • Advancements in deicing

Technology uses and trends:

  • Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)
  • Drones for mapping SUE
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Trenchless technologies
  • Small cell, 5G technology installations and their impact on the right-of-way
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality


  • Federal/State legislative proposals that preempt local zoning regulations allowing 5G “small cell” installation in the public rights-of-way or on public assets/facilities such as streetlights
  • Cost of replacing or upgrading aging infrastructure
  • Dealing with the jungle underground
  • Abandoned Utilities
  •   Managing individual utility systems in the right-of-way.
  • Dig Once Policies – multiple telecommunication companies accessing ROW at different times
  • Improving the quality of utility records
  • Utility tolerance zone – locating/excavation
  • Quality of utility locates by One Call
  • Emergency Management and Utilities

Future Trends

  • Changes in the role of utility coordinators.
  • Impact of drone technology and new right-of-way access laws flying beyond line of sight, flying over people and working at night.
  • Drones using LiDAR

APWA’s Water Resources Management Committee will select presentations for the Public Works Stormwater Summit portion of PWX 2022. The Public Works Stormwater Summit occurs in two 1/2 day sessions. The committee has selected its themes for 2022 and is looking for proposals on the topics listed below.  

Public Works Stormwater Summit Themes

Regulatory Compliance: A Community Perspective on National Requirements: Proposals should focus on lessons-learned on one or more of the following topics.

Day One

  • Experience and Prospective- Working with the Biden Administration
  • What about WOTUS?
  • MS4 Best Practices

Day Two

  • Nutrients, what’s the big deal?
  • Approaching it as “One Water”
  • PFAS and other Emerging Contaminants

Technology Uses and Trends:

  • Trenchless technology for pipe repair and replacement
  • Smart water meters
  • Technology Tracking

Issues in Need of solutions:

  • Climate change impacts on water quality
  • Waters of the United States (WOTUS): Impacts of WOTUS rules on local projects and political support, state reactions to WOTUS rule changes
  • Coastal management, sea level rise
  • Renewable water resources, aquifer storage and recovery
  • Crisis management – what to do when water isn’t safe to drink
  • Water meter replacement programs, including options for when residents own the meter
  • PFAS from a wastewater perspective
  • Water Theft
  • Wastewater Reuse

Future Trends:

  • Combined water treatment plants for sanitary and potable water systems
  • Aquifer storage recovery (ASR)
  • Expansion of water reuse technologies and approaches
  • Protecting water through infrastructure integration
  • The One Water Approach

Presentation Formats: Please click here to view the accepted formats

How Are Presentations Selected?

Review criteria

All submissions are reviewed and evaluated by the PWX Program Review Committee. The evaluation process is competitive. Your success in the selection process depends on how well your proposal supports these primary criteria:

  • Practical application – Information can be used in day-to-day work settings, lessons-learned, how-to-do-it strategies
  • Leading-edge – Addresses emerging trends and technologies, innovative concepts and approaches, solutions that provide improvements to the provision of public works services.
  • Relevance and clarity - Content is interesting and useful to a significant number of expected attendees. Learning objectives are clearly stated using active verbs that indicate how the participants will benefit from the information presented.
  • Balance - The PWX Program Review Committee will also review for balance to ensure that all public works functions are adequately covered in the overall education program, that any one topic area is not overrepresented, and that any one speaker or organization is not disproportionately represented among the final selections.

Click here for tips to writing a compelling session description.

Learning Objectives

Click here for instructions on how to write appropriate learning objectives.

All proposals must include three (3) learning objectives that indicate how the attendee will benefit from the presentation. The learning objectives must be worded in response to the phrase: “At the conclusion of this session, participants will be better able to________”.

What Are the Rules?

No sales-pitches please!

Direct promotion of a speaker’s/company’s products, services, or monetary self-interest are not appropriate for education sessions. The public works audience appreciates learning about technologies, services, concepts, and new approaches; but are sensitive to the sales promotion approach. We recommend that you describe in your proposal how the public works/end-user perspective will be featured in your presentation.

Speaker registration and travel expenses

Speakers at PWX are also considered attendees and are expected to pay their own travel expenses and the appropriate member or non-member PWX registration fee. If you plan to attend PWX only on the day of your presentation, you may qualify for a complimentary single day registration. However, if you plan to attend the entire PWX event or an additional day beyond your presentation day, you must register and pay the applicable registration fees.

When Will I Know?

Review process and schedule:

The review process involves reviewers and is lengthy. Submitters will be notified via email of the accept/decline status of their proposal by the end of March 2022.

How Do I Apply?

Attention: This is very important!

After clicking on the Submit Proposal button below, you will be prompted to create an account for proposal submission. This login is for proposal submission only and is not related to any other APWA account login you may have. All correspondence sent to you about your submission(s) will be to the email address you list in this account. If you have a highly restrictive work email account, please consider using a personal email address. You will receive notification of submission selection via email. above.


Email us at cfpquestions@apwa.net.

Submit Proposal

Exhibit questions please contact: PWX Exhibit Information
Education Program and Speaker questions please contact: cfpquestions@apwa.net