InTrans / Apr 15, 2011

Peter Appel gets to know InTrans

During an April 8 visit to Intrans, Peter Appel, administrator of the U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), met with students and staff, spoke at a seminar about national transportation policies and priorities, and visited various facilities.

Appel was the guest speaker at the Tom Maze Transportation Seminar, a weekly course taken by all graduate students supported by the Midwest Transportation Consortium (MTC), a Tier 1, RITA-sponsored University Transportation Center. In addition to meeting several MTC students and discussing their research with them, Mr. Appel spoke with faculty and staff about their ongoing safety-related projects funded by the MTC.

Appel said he was impressed by “the passion that so many . . . students and faculty exhibited toward advancing research in transportation safety,” as well as the “insight and academic rigor” that students bring to their research projects.

During the fast-paced and, in his words, “uplifting day,” Appel also toured InTrans, meeting the directors of several centers and programs administered by InTrans, and getting an up-close-and-personal look at InTrans facilities and resources, including its mobile driving simulator.

He also met with Sandra Larson, director of the Bureau of Research and Technology at the Iowa DOT, as well as Steve Gent, Tim Simodynes, Michael Pawlovich, Steven Schroder, and Terry Ostendorf from the Iowa DOT Office of Traffic and Safety.

As the busy day ended, Appel noted with appreciation the breadth and depth of InTrans’s activities and of its partnerships and collaborations both within the university as well as with agencies such as the Iowa DOT and industry.

Photo (clockwise from top left):

Shashi Nambisan (at podium), director of InTrans, introduces Appel to a packed seminar classroom and remote attendees; MTC student Nicole Oneyear (left) describes her research to Appel and Shauna Hallmark, director of the MTC; Rema Nilakanta, program coordinator for Go! magazine, shows the latest issue of the online e-zine for teens to Appel (center) and Nambisan; Appel (right) hears details about MTC student Steve Lavrenz’s research, while Nambisan and Nadia Gkritza, MTC’s educational coordinator, look on.