When Assistant Professor and Assistant Research Engineer Dominique Lord received word that he had won a major award that would be presented at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 89th Annual Meeting, it was a big surprise. After all, he didn’t know he was in the running.
Without his knowledge, Associate Professor and Research Engineer Gene Hawkins recommended Lord for the 2009 New Faculty Award presented annually by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). The award recognizes “outstanding teaching and research contributions to the transportation field.”
According to Hawkins, Lord “is a valuable faculty member that excels at research and teaching.” Judges with CUTC/ARBTA agreed.
“The New Faculty Award is quite prestigious, and I am obviously honored,” Lord said. “It was a big moment for me and my family. It was a career highlight to be recognized like this.”
Director of the University Transportation Center for Mobility Melissa Tooley said the award represents the “best of the best,” and is a great recognition for TTI and Texas A&M. The award presentation took place at the CUTC annual banquet, held during the TRB Annual Meeting.
Word of Lord’s recognition made its way to his boyhood home of Saint-Lambert, Canada. As a result, the town honored him with another honor: the city’s Lambertois Award.
Another prestigious award, the 2009 Patricia Waller Award for outstanding paper in the field of safety and system users, was presented to Senior Research Engineer Kay Fitzpatrick and Associate Research Scientist Eun Sug Park. Their paper, “Safety Effectiveness of HAWK Pedestrian Treatment,” evaluated the safety performance of the HAWK beacon device, a pedestrian safety treatment that significantly reduces pedestrian and intersection-related crashes where it’s installed.
“We are pleased that TRB felt it was worthy,” says Fitzpatrick of the honor. The award was presented to Park and Fitzpatrick on Jan. 11.
The Patricia Waller Award was established in 2004 and is named in memory of a former researcher and clinical psychologist.
Assistant Agency Director Christopher Poe received a Committee Service Award from the TRB Freeway Operations Committee. Poe was recognized for his work with the committee in planning the Freeway and Tollway Operations Conferences over the last three years.
Also recognized was Research Engineer Tim Lomax who was made chair of the National Transportation Data Requirements and Programs Committee, and Associate Research Engineer Mark Burris was named chair of the Transportation Economics Committee.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Abu Dhabi, UAE and TTI was signed Jan. 12. The director of Abu Dhabi’s Main Road Division, Faisal Al Suwadi, and TTI Director Dennis Christiansen signed the document during the TRB Annual Meeting.
Regarding additional research possibilities, TTI and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport signed an MOU during a private meeting between the Institute and the director of the emirate’s Main Roads Division.
“The MOU helps to strengthen our relationship with Abu Dhabi,” says Associate Agency Director Ed Seymour, who has been leading TTI‘s effort in obtaining research with other countries. “We have done some work with the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi in the past, including a street sign project being conducted by Paul Carlson. We hope this MOU leads to more research in that region.”
The MOU details cooperation between the parties in the field of road construction, planning and management. Any specific projects would be detailed in separate contracts.
Edwards Honored by TTI for Transportation Efforts
In a ceremony at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) recognized Rep. Chet Edwards for his ongoing efforts to champion transportation research.Edwards, the U.S. representative from Texas’ 17th District, was presented with the 2010 TTI Director’s Research Champion Award at the Institute’s Jan. 10 reception at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. The Director’s Research Champion Award recognizes individuals at the national level who have been strong and effective advocates for transportation research.
“The real research champions are the people in this room who make our roadways safer, our air cleaner and our transportation system more efficient,” Edwards said in receiving the award, which is sponsored by Trinity Industries. “I will treasure this award because of my deep respect for TTI and all that you do.”
Rep. Edwards has made transportation a priority during his 18-year tenure representing 12 counties in his district, which includes Texas A&M University and TTI, located in College Station.
“We are honoring Rep. Edwards because he has secured vital federal investments to improve our nation’s transportation system and save lives on our public roads,” TTI Director Dennis Christiansen said in announcing the award. “He is a true champion of university research and over many years has been, and continues to be, an outstanding supporter of TTI.”
Edwards is the first elected official to receive the award, which TTI established five years ago.