InTrans / Sep 30, 2015

Two InTrans students win prestigious Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships

Two graduate students at Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation (InTrans) have received prestigious Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships from the Federal Highway Administration for 2015-16.

Ellen Nightingale and Patty Thompson are both masters of science students studying transportation in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. Both are 2015 graduates of Michigan Technological University.

“The Eisenhower graduate fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards given to graduate students in the field of transportation engineering,” says Peter Savolainen, associate professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering and the students’s major professor. “There are generally less than 60 such awards annually nationwide.”

The highly-competitive Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program is designed to attract outstanding students to the transportation field and advance transportation workforce development.

Nightingale has two research projects under way. She is evaluating the safety performance and costs and benefits of cable median barriers on divided highways. Her other project is analyzing the placement of driveways along roadway corridors to identity the factors affecting crash rates. Thompson’s major research project is creating crash prediction models for urban roads.

“Ellen and Patty have distinguished themselves as national leaders in shaping the future of our transportation system,” says Savolainen, also a safety engineer at InTrans. “These awards are reflective of their excellent combination of strong academic performance, practical work experience, and creativity.”

Savolainen adds that the fellowships also reflect well on the quality of ISU’s transportation engineering graduate program and the research conducted at InTrans.

Nightingale is receiving a $31,900 award and Thompson an $11,500 award. The funds go toward tuition, provide a stipend, and enable travel to make a research presentation at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.