AASHTO Journal, 12 July 2013
Longtime Iowa Department of Transportation official and AASHTO information systems leader Norman H. Baker died July 5 in Ames, Iowa, at the age of 77.
Baker was born in Cambridge, Iowa. He graduated from Cambridge High School in 1954 and attended college for two years. Baker served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War, and then went on to work for the Iowa DOT (formerly called the Iowa State Highway Commission). He served that agency as Deputy Director of Information Technology and then became the Director of Iowa’s Department of Personnel. He retired in 1998.
Baker served as the chairman of AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Computer Technology (now the Subcommittee on Information Systems) in 1984. He proved to be instrumental in considerably expanding the scope and significance of AASHTO’s cooperative software joint development efforts during that decade.
Baker’s accomplishments included serving as a founding member of AASHTO’s Task Force on Joint Development, which was created during that time as a part of the Subcommittee on Computer Technology to provide management and supervisory functions with respect to the association’s software program. At present, transportation employees of all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Canadian transportation agencies use AASHTOWare products to help users meet various software demands on a daily basis.
Baker also worked closely with the Federal Highway Administration to improve the working relationship between AASHTO and the Highway Engineering Exchange Program on information systems issues of mutual concern.
Baker is survived by his wife Linda; his son Mark and daughter-in-law Gina; his daughter Torie and son-in-law Randy; and four grandchildren.