TTI Wins Multiple Outstanding Paper Awards at TRB

Several employees have received Outstanding Paper Awards at this year’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, held in Washington, D.C., Jan. 13-17.

Charley Wootan Award winners Erik Sabina and Stacey Bricka pose with TTI's Katie Turnbull.

Charley Wootan Award winners Erik Sabina and Stacey Bricka pose with TTI’s Katie Turnbull. (Photo courtesy TRB)

Lead authors Stacey Bricka, Nauman Sheikh and Adam Pike were the respective winners of the Charley V. Wootan, K.B. Woods and Young Professional awards.

Established in 2004, the Charley V. Wootan Award is presented to the outstanding paper in the field of policy and organization. Wootan, who served as TTI’s director from 1976 to 1993, was active in TRB and served as its director in 1983. Bricka is the first TTI employee to receive the Wootan Award.

“This is the first paper award I’ve won and the first paper I submitted as a TTI employee,” Bricka, manager of the Mobility Management Program, says. “The fact that we won out of hundreds of submissions is a real honor, and the fact that it’s named after one of the early leaders of TTI is especially rewarding.” Bricka, who joined TTI in 2010, co-wrote Evaluation of Key Design Elements of Long-Distance Survey of Front Range Travel Counts with Erik Sabina of the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

The K. B. Woods Award, which this year was presented to Associate Research Engineer Nauman Sheikh and co-author and Program Manager Roger Bligh—both of TTI’s Roadside Safety Program—was established in 1971 for the outstanding paper published in the field of design and construction of transportation facilities. Woods was the 19th chairman of the Highway Research Board.

K.B. Woods Award winners John Holt, Nauman Sheikh, Roger Bligh pose with Katie Turnbull.

K.B. Woods Award winners John Holt, Nauman Sheikh, Roger Bligh pose with Katie Turnbull.

Their paper, Minimum Rail Height and Design Impact Load for Longitudinal Barriers That Meet Test Level 4 of Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware was part of a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) research project and co-authored by John Holt of TxDOT’s Bridge Division.

“I feel blessed to receive the award,” Sheikh says. “I think it’s an acknowledgement that the research was worthy of being published and recognized. I feel very fortunate.” Sheikh is no stranger to paper awards. Since beginning his professional career at TTI as a student employee, he’s received three other TRB paper awards, including his first K.B. Woods Award in 2007. Bligh has received three other major paper awards. This is his third K.B. Woods Award.

TRB officials say a total of 4,800 papers were submitted for seven awards named for pioneers in transportation research.

Adam Pike, assistant research engineer in TTI’s Signs and Markings Program, received a 2012 Young Professional Best Paper Award after being one of four that were nominated from the Maintenance and Preservation Section. The paper was entitled Evaluation of ASTM Standard Test Method E2177: Retroreflectivity of Pavement Markings in a Condition of Wetness. This award was the first Young Professional Award conferred under the Maintenance and Preservation Section.

TRB’s Annual Meeting attracted 11,700 transportation professionals from around the world and covered all transportation modes. More than 40 sessions and workshops addressed this year’s theme: Deploying Transportation Research — Doing Things Smarter, Better, Faster.