The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents named Shawn Turner, Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) senior research engineer, a 2020–2021 recipient of the Regents Fellow Service Award. Turner is nationally recognized for his expertise in mobility analysis, multimodal travel data collection and analysis, and performance measures and monitoring. Turner has spent more than 30 years at TTI developing, conducting and managing applied research.
The Regents Fellow Service Awards program, one of the highest A&M System-wide honors, began in 1998 “…to recognize employees who have made extraordinary contributions to their university, or agency, as well as to the people of Texas.” In more than two decades, the board has honored 164 agency professionals with the award, and this year seven professionals received the distinction.
In 1991, Turner joined TTI as an undergraduate research intern. He has served as principal investigator on numerous funded research projects and helped grow a research area of particular interest — using big data to improve the efficiency, safety and reliability of the transportation system. Fast forward to today, and Turner works in a strategic development and coordination role for big data and data analytics for the Institute.
“I’m humbled and honored to receive this prestigious Regents Fellow Award,” says Turner. “I’m also grateful to the wonderful people at TTI who have done so much to support me over my 30-year career here. My TTI and Texas A&M colleagues (researchers and support staff) have mentored, encouraged and helped me along the way in too many ways to count. I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without them.”
In the past 10 years, Turner has led or been involved in national performance monitoring efforts including the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) National Performance Management Research Dataset, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act System Performance Measures, and FHWA’s Urban Congestion Report. Turner has also been involved in developing and implementing the Texas Department of Transportation’s Bike and Pedestrian Count Program, which involves monitoring bicyclist and pedestrian activity statewide, as well as partnerships with local and regional governments across Texas.
TTI Agency Director Greg Winfree notes, “Throughout his career, Shawn has advanced the role of walking and bicycling as eco-friendly transportation modes. In particular, he has sought to improve the safety of walking and bicycling on streets and highways. His contributions have, quite literally, saved lives.”