Specifically Speaking with Roger Rueda
Tell me about your role at AECOM and how it fits into AECOM’s global security and telecom engineering group?
My primary role at AECOM is to provide support for the transportation business line within the New England district. Given our business-line focus on the transportation sector projects, we recognize that the vast majority of these projects include a security component of some sort. AECOM has a very significant and robust security consulting and engineering capability within the technical services business line, serving projects and clients worldwide. At the same time, we want to ensure that we can efficiently support the security needs of our regional clients on small- to mid-sized projects. My role is to maintain close relationships with our long-term regional clients’ security and telecommunications professionals, and stay current with their design and organizational standards in order to support their security needs as efficiently as possible.
What are the benefits for AECOM of having a dedicated architecture and engineering specialist in Boston?
Agility is the major benefit. We find significant benefit in the ability to support our regional clients’ needs more efficiently by having a local presence and maintaining up-to-the-minute knowledge of their design standards and operational needs. Very large organizations sometimes have a tendency to outgrow the small to mid-sized project needs of their clients. However, support for such projects is critical to maintaining important long-term client relationships. The headquarters of the two most significant long-term clients served by the Boston AECOM office are each located within 15 minutes of our location. We are able to respond very quickly to sudden or unforeseen client needs, which are not uncommon in the aviation and mass-transit sectors.
What can you tell me about the nature of the projects you work on?
My work is generally related to transportation infrastructure, including highway, mass-transit and aviation. The more significant projects I am involved with tend to be large-scale facility design and construction projects, of which security is a small, yet important component. Many of these projects are subject to rigorous fiscal time constraints, which are common in public sector work. Some projects often necessitate more efficient delivery models, such as Construction Management at Risk (CM at Risk), and LEAN design and construction principles. Integration of security design throughout the design and construction cycles is critical to maintaining the pace of these projects. As a security designer, I need to be as concerned about supporting the phasing of construction, as I am about the final security design.
What do you think is the most interesting new security technology and why?
I find the integration of social media inputs for situational awareness to be a promising new technology. If employed as part of a properly planned and configured command and control operation, this technology could be a powerful tool for enhancing monitoring, detection, assessment, and response to security incidents on a wide-scale. Public safety and security agencies and professionals have always advocated for the public’s help in reporting unusual events and/or suspicious activity. The problem has always been the reluctance of the public to report events due to uncertainty, and inefficiency in communications. This technology has the potential to largely eliminate both of these concerns.