APWA PWX 2019 Call for Presentations

September 8-11, 2019 | Seattle, WA
Theme: It Starts Here!

Washington Chapter Deadline: October 26, 2018 by Midnight (Pacific Standard Time)

(There will be no extensions to this deadline)

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

The American Public Works Association provides education, advocacy, and solutions for public works and infrastructure professionals world-wide. More than 5000 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.

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

Important FYI

After clicking on the Submit Proposal Button, you will be prompted to login or create an account. This login is for abstract submission only and is not related to any other APWA account login you may have. If you have already submitted a proposal to either the 2019 Snow Conference or PWX, you may use the same login information. If this is your first submission for 2019, please click on the “Need to create an account?” hyperlink on the bottom of the login page. For username, use the email address to which you want all correspondence sent. Be sure to make note of the password you choose.

PWX 2019 Theme: It Starts Here!

What start’s here? Building strong and healthy communities starts with public works. The key components for business growth and innovation begin with leading-edge, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure and public works services. Quality of life is based on access to:

  • clean drinking water, wastewater treatment, stormwater/flood control
  • all forms of mobility (safe roadways and bridges, efficient transit, walkable and bikeable pathways)
  • parks and green spaces, a healthy urban forest canopy
  • first in and last to leave emergency preparedness, response, and cleanup
  • public buildings, facilities, and gathering spaces
  • solid waste collection and management

What starts here? It all starts here! Share Your Knowledge, Experience and Vision for the Future!

The education program at PWX provides a dynamic forum for information exchange, problem-solving, and collaboration. The speakers are public works professionals, just like you, who are eager to help their public works colleagues more successfully lead their organizations, manage operations, take advantage of emerging technologies, understand and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead; and provide better service to their communities.

What Do APWA Members want to learn about?

Primary Education Tracks: APWA members were recently surveyed about what topics they would expect to be included in a must-attend, solutions-oriented, trailblazing PWX. For each of the public works functions listed in the attached document, the top survey responses are listed. While you may submit a proposal regarding any operational facet of the primary public works functions, the selection committee will give consideration to whether a proposal addresses any of the top issues, technologies, or future trends identified in the survey. 

Also, please note that the APWA Water Resources Management Committee has selected themes for each day of the 2019 Public Works Stormwater Summit. The themes and proposal topics they are looking for are included in the Primary Education Tracks document.

Please review the attached Primary Education Tracks document before you submit your proposal. 

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


  • Leveraging asset management into daily public works operations, dealing with siloed operations / departments, determining what to measure and how to use the data, getting buy-in from officials and staff.
  • 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; solutions for small cities

Future Trends:

  • Asset management in the Internet of Things (IoT) era
  • Less field work and more desktop recon
  • Smart cities, smart assets

Technology uses and trends:

  • Emergency management software, tablets and phones replacing desktop solutions
  • GIS mapping, use of drones in post-disaster inspection
  • Electronic bidding technologies
  • Role of smart cities technologies in emergency management


  • Public Works as First Responders
  • National Incident Management Command (NIMs)
  • Tracking the right data for FEMA reimbursement, FEMA pre-certification
  • Mutual aid programs
  • Rapid damage assessment, information sharing
  • See something, say something
  • Active shooter training

Future Trends:

  • Risk assessment and planning for resiliency: preparing for potential large-scale earthquake events (Cascadia, Yellowstone, New Madrid.); preparing for changing storm types and frequencies; flooding; drought
  • Mobile alert systems – targeting devices by physical location rather than area codes

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
  • Project management software


  • Innovative budgeting and funding solutions for capital improvement programs (CIP)
  • Project management skills / project tracking systems

Future Trends:

  • 5G installation and capital improvement program management
  • More use of 3D construction plans, 3D modeling, 3D printing
  • New CIP funding models to replace gas taxes and other funding mechanisms


Stormwater Summit Themes 2019 Seattle PWX

Day 1 – Maintenance & Management of Sustainable Stormwater Infrastructure Submissions for Day 1 of the Stormwater Summit should focus on lessons learned on one or more of the following topics:

  *   Post Construction BMPS & Green Infrastructure designs, installation and maintenance;
  *   Impacts of climate change and/or development on stormwater infrastructure;
  *   Closing the gap in technical knowledge loss within the public works industry and/or stormwater     certifications;
  *   MS4 program management;
  *   Capital Improvement projects for new, replacement, and restorative infrastructure options.
  *   Utilizing Asset Management Technologies

Day 2 – Technical and Regulatory Shifts in Stormwater Submissions for Day 2 of the Stormwater Summit should focus on lessons learned on one or more of the following topics:

  *   Impacts of current national environmental policy changes for public works;
  *   Successful watershed approaches to stormwater across multiple political boundaries;
  *   Advances in LIDaR, drones, satellite space technology, aerial mapping, 3D mapping, & GIS mapping;
  *   Scalable technology for different sized entities;
  *   Old and new water quality pollutants and water quality innovations to address them 

Presentation Formats: Please click here to view the accepted formats for PWX 2019

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.

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 of the accept/decline status of their proposal by the end of March 2019.

How do I apply?

Attention: This is very important!

Please compose and save your abstract title, description, and learning objectives in a Word document first. Then you may cut and paste them into the online submission form. This form does not save any of the information until the full form is completed and you click on submit.

Submitting your proposal is easy! You must use the official abstract submission button found on the bottom of the page after following the directions listed above.

Important FYI: Abstract Account

Please read this before clicking the Submit Abstract Button.

After clicking on the Submit Abstract Button, you will be prompted to create an account for Abstract Submission. This login is for abstract submission only and is not related to any other APWA account login you may have. All correspondence to you about this submission will be to the email address you list when you set up this account.

If you are submitting more than one abstract proposal for the 2018 Public Works Expo (PWX), you may use the same login account to submit all of your NASC proposals. If you plan to submit abstracts to both PWX and NASC this year, you can have the same passwords and login account.


Email us at cfpquestions@apwa.net.

Submit Proposal

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