Judy Hawley Inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor
Judy Hawley was inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor on Feb. 7. Hawley has worked tirelessly to promote transportation infrastructure investments to benefit Texas, spearheaded the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge project, and served on the Port of Corpus Christi Commission for more than a decade. She retired in 2016 as commission chair. Under her leadership at the port, significant rail and ship channel expansion accommodated energy-related and military deployment transportation needs. As chair of the I-69 Advisory Committee, Hawley played a critical role in guiding future development of this essential trade corridor linking ports, waterways, rail, airports and highways throughout Texas.
Hawley served four terms in the Texas House of Representatives (1995–2003), serving as vice chair of the Transportation and Energy Resources Committees and chair of the Rural Caucus. She also represented Texas as vice chair of the Southern States Energy Board and as a member of the National Energy Council. In her post-legislative career, Hawley has continued to devote her energies to transportation issues, including serving on the Texas 2030 Committee, which assessed the state’s transportation funding needs; the Border Trade Advisory Committee; and the Texas Transportation Commission Corridor Advisory Board.
Ellis Receives Regents Fellow Service Award
TTI Senior Research Scientist David R. Ellis was honored with a Regents Fellow Service Award by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Jan. 16. The Board of Regents established this award in 1998 to recognize employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award. I have been blessed to work with so many incredibly talented people during my career at TTI — all of them a lot smarter than me,” says Ellis.
Ellis’ 38 years of public service experience include 32 years in leadership positions at TTI, Texas A&M University’s Center for Housing and Urban Development in the College of Architecture, the Texas State Data Center, the Texas Department of Commerce, and the private sector. He’s made significant contributions to the state in the area of transportation finance and tax policy, as well as the economic impact of transportation investment, while sharing his knowledge and expertise with Texas A&M University students as a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning in the College of Architecture.
“Everyone in transportation in Texas is aware of David’s impact on major state policy decisions, but few have witnessed his incomparable mentoring of dozens of professionals, whose impacts will be felt long into the future,” says TTI Agency Deputy Director Bill Stockton. “That is David’s legacy.”
Crawford Appointed Chair of ITE Coordinating Council
TTI Research Engineer Jason Crawford has been appointed chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Coordinating Council. Crawford’s two-year appointment began Jan. 1. The ITE Coordinating Council provides leadership and coordination across the technical and employer councils’ activities. The ITE councils “enhance professional collaboration and advance the technical body of knowledge through communities of common interests, providing value to the ITE membership at large,” according to ITE’s website.
“Being appointed chair of the coordinating council is a true honor,” Crawford says. “I view the councils as the heartbeat of ITE, providing the most value to members.”
Youth Transportation Safety Program Awarded Grant from Union Pacific Railroad
TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety (YTS) Program has been awarded a three-year grant from Union Pacific Railroad to deliver safety messages to Texas’ youth. Union Pacific is one of America’s leading railroad franchises with operations in 23 states. Through the Texas A&M Foundation, YTS secured $340,000 to help advance multiple safety initiatives within the program.
“One of our priorities is encouraging safe behaviors and preventing accidents through education and awareness,” notes Richard Zientek, director of public affairs at Union Pacific. “We believe TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety Program and its many initiatives are a great way to spread this important safety message.”
Young drivers experience the highest rate of transportation-related fatalities. This partnership with Union Pacific will help YTS expand current activities promoting safe driving behaviors among younger drivers, as well as develop new educational campaigns.
“We are very excited about this new partnership with Union Pacific,” says Russell Henk, YTS program manager. “This multi-year support is important to the sustainability of our program and ultimately will help save lives of America’s teen drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”
Geiselbrecht Receives Public Participation Certification
TTI Research Scientist Tina Geiselbrecht has become one of the first people in the United States to become a Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) as designated by the International Association for Public Participation, which promotes and improves the “practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the world.” An individual receives the CP3 designation after successfully completing a three-step assessment process based on five core competencies across 29 distinct criteria.
“Achieving this professional certification is a validation that I have the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively plan and execute meaningful public participation,” Geiselbrecht says.
TTI, FPInnovations Sign MOU to Work Together on Transportation Research
TTI and FPInnovations (FPI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Jan. 13 at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The MOU supports creating a framework for information exchange and collaboration to advance research opportunities, and will encourage collaborations on transportation research and testing projects in the areas of emissions and fuel consumption reduction, freight performance measurement and fleet efficiency, roadway safety and infrastructure, transportation data analysis, and development and testing of electric, automated, and autonomous vehicle technologies. Greg Winfree, TTI agency director, and Glen Légère, FPInnovations senior manager for roads and infrastructure, signed the agreement.
“We are looking forward to enhancing our partnership with FPI to address critical transportation needs,” notes TTI Executive Associate Director Katie Turnbull. “There are numerous opportunities to collaborate on research projects building on the strengths and facilities of TTI and FPI.”