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Civil Engineering Student Selected for International Transportation Scholarship
Author: Cindy Bernert-Coppola
Posted: March 30, 2006

MCECS_Hwang_Award.jpgThe Portland Chapter of Women in Transportation (WTS) has announced that River Hwang, senior in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University, has been selected for the 2006 Sharon D. Banks WTS International Scholarship. She will receive the award at the WTS Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas in May.

Sharon D. Banks was General Manager of AC Transit (Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District) in Oakland, California from 1991 to 1999. She was the first African American and second woman to hold the post of chairwoman of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, as well as the first African American and the first woman to become General Manager of AC Transit. Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Rodney E. Slater, stated that “Sharon insisted that any conversation about transportation in the 21st century must include the social environmental and economic implications of innovation, ensuring that all of our people become connected to an inclusive, world-class transportation system.”

River Hwang is pursuing a B.S. in civil engineering with a transportation emphasis. “River is an outstanding engineering student,” said Professor Robert Bertini. “She enjoys the opportunity to tackle difficult problems, and is dedicated, resourceful, and thoughtful.”

River serves as an undergraduate research assistant in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory, developing hardware in the loop simulation for transit signal priority evaluation. She has also volunteered for the Center for Transportation Studies Light Rail Design Course. Other volunteer/leadership roles have included PSU Student Ambassador, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter Member, and PSU Alumni Association Committee Member. During summer 2005, River worked as an intern for the Federal Highway Administration on the Williamsburg Bridge Rehabilitation Project in New York City.

Following her graduation in June 2006, River plans to continue at Portland State with her master’s in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis in transportation.