It is a pretty safe bet to say that TTI Researcher Carlos Chang-Albitres owes much of his career to the International Road Federation (IRF). Since 1948, the IRF provided graduate school scholarships to 1,150 transportation students from around the globe. In 1997, Chang-Albitres was a private sector employee in his home country of Peru, working in the field of materials and pavements. That’s when he was nominated and selected in a worldwide competition to be an IRF Fellow to attend Texas A&M University.
Since then, he received his masters degree, worked part-time at TTI, went back to work in Peru for three years, and came back to TTI full time. Chang-Albitres is currently an associate transportation researcher who is crafting international projects for TTI and is in the final stage to receive his Ph.D.
“Being involved with the Fellowship Program helped me grow substantially in my professional career,” said Chang-Albitres. “I would not have been able to accomplish these things without having received IRF support. So, yes, IRF made all of these things possible.” When TTI became a member of the IRF in October, it was a homecoming of sorts for Chang-Albitres. IRF’s Deputy Director General Michael Dreznes visited and toured TTI, while showing key employees how membership could benefit the Institute. Chang-Albitres was by his side.
“IRF really opens the door to worldwide transportation contacts with our members from 90 countries on six continents. It serves as a catalyst for public and private partnerships to organize, promote and develop international road programs,” Dreznes said. “And our crown jewel is the Fellowship Program.”
Meanwhile, Chang-Albitres will work with the IRF as its regional coordinator in Latin America for the Fellows Alumni Association. “I know first hand how the IRF can change the lives of people through the Fellowship Program. But the potential for TTI to grow internationally because of its partnership with IRF is just as promising.”