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Six PSU transportation graduate students receive national recognition
Author: Julie Rutherford
Posted: June 23, 2014

Portland State University has long been a recognized leader in promoting sustainable communities and livable cities.  With a spate of high-profile commendations in transportation research, PSU is living up to its reputation.

 In recent weeks, graduate students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science have been recognized with national awards, including one Eno National Parks Scholarship, one Eno Fellowship and four Eisenhower Fellowships.

 Each student is involved in research at the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), a university transportation center that is based at Portland State University and houses the National Institute for Transportation and Communities and the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation.

Eno Center for Transportation Awards
The Eno Center for Transportation was founded in 1921 by William Phelps the “Father of Traffic Safety” and pioneer of in the field of multimodal transportation engineering in the United States and Europe.  A non-partisan think tank, the Center recognizes excellence in transportation engineering through the Eno National Parks Scholarship Program and Emerging Transportation Professionals Leadership Development Conference.

Alexander Bigazzi, a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, was selected to attend the 22nd Annual Eno Leadership Development Conference in Washington D.C. held in early June.  Only 20 of the nation's top graduate students in transportation were invited to learn about policy-making from national transportation leaders at the week-long event.  

“It was an amazing experience, said Bigazzi. “I gained new insights into how transportation policy is made, met some amazing people, and was reinvigorated with the charge of public service. It was an honor to be selected, and a privilege to participate.”

Joel Barnett, a Forest Grove native, received one of five awarded twelve-month Eno National Parks Scholarships to explore ways to increase bicycle safety along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tupelo, Mississippi, a 444-mile scenic byway that traces across Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.  As a Transportation Scholar, Barnett will capture bicycle data, identify conflict areas between motor vehicles and bicycles and suggest improvements to make this popular recreational destination safer for cyclists. 

“Simply put, biking is different down here.  Mississippi provides an excellent opportunity for me to challenge everything I think I know about transportation and how the bicycle is involved.  I am looking forward to exploring the different perspectives and providing the National Park Service with some useful data to make well informed facility decisions.

Barnett holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering at Portland State University. Barnett’s assignment is one of four awarded this year by the National Park Foundation. 

Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program
The Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program awards annual fellowships to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines. In 2014 four Civil and Environmental Engineering students, Matthew Downey, Katherine Bell, Bryan Blanc and Patrick Singleton each selected for this honor and will receive generous stipends to support tuition, fees, research and travel to the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington D.C.  Their advisers are PSU research faculty members Rob Bertini, Miguel Figliozzi, and Kelly Clifton.