Dr. Talvitie

Long before completing his Ph.D. in Engineering at Northwestern University, Dr. Talvitie was interested in Freud’s drive theory and saw its applicability to his line of work. While a visiting professor at MIT, he began to take courses in the BGSP Certificate program. He graduated in 2001.

During his 14-year career with the World Bank, first as a transport specialist and currently as a consultant, Dr. Talvitie has had many opportunities to apply his psychoanalytic expertise to assist in the successful implementation of complex infrastructure and institution building projects.

“One example of the power of modern psychoanalytic principles is evidenced in the rescue of a large engineering project under implementation. An experienced supplier, convinced that the project was going nowhere, was about to tell the client that it wanted to pull out. The client’s project manager was equally frustrated and wanted to fire the supplier. By understanding and applying the power of emotional communication we were able to break through the resistances. The project was completed on schedule. It is unlikely that this would have happened without the modern psychoanalytic approach.”

Dr. Talvitie has published several papers in transportation planning and policy journals. These papers underscore the importance of applying psychoanalytic principles in the planning process of engineering projects. He will be presenting his paper, “Theoryless Planning”, at the upcoming World Conference of the Transportation Research Society. Dr. Talvitie is in private practice in the D.C. area. “Psychoanalytic theories have wide applicability in many fields in addition to economics and engineering. Freud, later in his life, came to see the broader application of psychoanalysis; I learned from that view.”