Text: NITC Student Spotlight, Frank Boateng Appiah, Portland State University. Images: Frank Boateng Appiah in a grey hoodie next to an image of a rectangular rapid flash beacon at a crosswalk.

Student Spotlight: Frank Boateng Appiah, Portland State University

posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Frank Boateng Appiah is a graduate student and research assistant in civil engineering at Portland State University, working with Chris Monsere and Sirisha Kothuri on best practices for the installation of Rapid Rectangular Flash Beacons with or without Median Refuge. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with Bsc. Civil Engineering in 2013. Frank is interested in how transportation improves life by increasing productivity, efficiency and other aspects of mobility.
 

Tell us about yourself?

I come from a small town in Ghana called Adamsu but spent most of my formative years in Accra, the capital city. Living in Accra, a city where road transport has been the primary mode for several decades, I came to appreciate how a disintegrated transportation system affects a nation’s economic growth and therefore requires effective and efficient planning and design to increase productivity. This informed my decision to read civil engineering during my 4-year undergraduate study at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology. At Tech I was much involved in student groups such as CESA (Civil Engineering Students Association), where I held some leadership positions. In PSU I am an active member of...

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NITC Advisory Board, Jen Duthie, Ask Me Anything. Left image: Green traffic lights at Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas during mid morning with storm clouds in the sky. Right Image: Jen Duthie with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a dark jacket with blac

Last month we hosted another online student event in our new series, "Shape Your Transportation Career" with NITC Advisory Board Member Jen Duthie of the City of Austin. Our first event featured Cameron Kergaye of the Utah DOT. Students on NITC campuses get the opportunity to ask our board members about their careers, experience at university, and advice on how to succeed in the transportation industry.

Jen Duthie, PE, PhD leads the Arterial Management Division (AMD) of the City of Austin Transportation Department. AMD is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of traffic signals and related systems, as well as managing traffic in real-time through the Mobility Management Center. Dr. Duthie is a Professional Engineer and has a doctorate in Civil Engineering. Prior to working at the City of Austin, she led a research group at The University of Texas at Austin Center for Transportation Research that specialized in building innovative models for current and forecasted traffic flow.

When you were new in your role, and felt like you...

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Courtney Crosson and UA architecture students facilitate a mapping activity to identify current flooding challenges at a neighborhood meeting.
Photo by Eugene Lee
Courtney Crosson, University of Arizona

Short-term flooding from extreme storm events poses a serious transportation challenge in U.S. cities. This problem—which is anticipated to grow over the next century with our global climate crisis—is often hardest on vulnerable populations, including low-income and minority neighborhoods. The latest report from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), led by Courtney Crosson of University of Arizona (UA), advances national research methods for assessing flood vulnerability and prioritizing transportation improvement investments to ensure that no community is left stranded when the next flood occurs.

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View of North MLK Boulevard in Portland, Oregon with a pedestrian crossing near a mural.
MLK Boulevard in Portland, OR. Photo by Cait McCusker
Steven Howland, Portland State University

The historically Black district of Albina in Portland, Oregon, due to racist real estate practices, faced multiple displacement events between 1960 and 1990 with the construction of Interstate 5 through the heart of the neighborhood as well as wholesale destruction of hundreds of homes to make room for the Memorial Coliseum and various other urban renewal projects. Gentrification in Portland saw a mass displacement of Black households from Albina, largely to East Portland, a suburban area that was unincorporated county land...

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Red restaurant tables and chairs stand in the place of former curbside parking on a Seattle street
Photo by Dongho Chang, Seattle Traffic Engineer
Benjamin Clark and Anne Brown, University of Oregon

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will challenge cities in ways that are difficult to fully predict, and yet critical...

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Right: Kayla deHoop in a black shirt posing in front of a brick wall. Left: Rural highway in Oregon. Text: NITC student spotlight, Kayla deHoop, Oregon Tech.
Photo by ChrisBoswell, iStock

Kayla deHoop recently completed her bachelors degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon Tech and is currently a masters student. Her graduate project will focus on the safety impacts of raising the speed limit on rural two-lane highways in Eastern Oregon. During her time at OIT, she has been actively involved in many of the engineering student clubs on campus including the American Society of Civil Engineers-Associated General Contractors (ASCE-AGC), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and Tau Beta Pi. Kayla has also had the opportunity to hold several internships in the transportation field including working with ODOT and WSDOT as a field intern on highway reconstruction and paving jobs and Kiewit Infrastructure Engineering as a roadway design intern.

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Tell us about yourself?

I grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon on a dairy farm and didn't really consider engineering until my senior year of high school. I took a personality and placement test and several times civil engineering came up as the top career for me, so that is what I pursued and I am so glad I did! At Oregon Tech I have become very involved with many student clubs including ASCE-AGC, ITE, and Tau Beta Pi, often taking on a leadership...

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A streetcar crosses a road with a bicycle signal, with a light rail train visible on an overpass overhead.

The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $1.14 million in total funding for eleven research projects spanning five universities. This year we focused funding on disaster resilience (including transportation in the era of COVID-19) and improving mobility in marginalized and underserved communities. Several projects examine how emerging technologies can be leveraged to create safer, more sustainable transportation systems for everyone.

Understanding Connections Between Mobility, Transportation, And Quality Of Life In Refugee Communities In Tucson, Arizona ($101,839
Led by Orhon Myadar, Maia Ingram, Nicole Iroz-Elardo and Arlie Adkins of the University of Arizona

Data-Driven Optimization for E-Scooter System Design ($67,619)
Led by Jianqiang Cheng and Yao-jan Wu of the University of Arizona

Understanding the Mobility Impacts of Decentralizing Homeless Services on Mobility in Salt Lake City ($100,206)
Led by Sarah Canham and Ivis Garcia of the University of Utah

Pedestrian...

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Cameron Kergaye of the Utah Department of Transportation

Earlier this summer we held our inaugural "Shape Your Transportation Career: Ask Me Anything" with NITC Advisory Board members. The guest speaker fields career questions from NITC transportation students about their career path and current role. Our next NITC Shape Your Transportation Career AMA, featuring Jen Duthie of the City of Austin, will be held on July 21 at 12 PM (PT).

Our first guest speaker was Cameron Kergaye, PhD, PE, PMP:

Cameron Kergaye is Director of Research & Innovation at the Utah Department of Transportation where he has nearly thirty years of project engineering experience. He was the Quality Manager for Utah’s $1.5 billion design-build project completed on time for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Cameron is a Professional Engineer in the State of Utah and a Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute. He holds a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Utah with a research focus on adaptive signal control, traffic simulation studies and transportation system...

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A bus coming up to a bus stop with a pedestrian nearby

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is proud to introduce our four Summer 2020 Dissertation Fellows, together awarded $60,000 in total funding. Read about their projects below, or learn how to apply for funding through the NITC Dissertation Fellowship Grant


Travis Glick, Portland State University

Travis Glick is a PhD student, graduate teaching and research assistant in civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University. He served for two years as president of Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), Portland State University's transportation student group. Travis is a NITC scholar and three-time Eisenhower fellow, and his ongoing research examines dwell times, bus-bike conflicts, and transit modeling. Travis's doctoral work tackles a new class of problem that... Read more
Robert Hibberd (headshot) alongside a photo of affordable housing near a transit station

Robert Hibberd is a Ph.D. student and Graduate Research Assistant in the University of Arizona's College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture. His research emphasis is on urban and transportation planning, demographics, Smart Growth and New Urbanism, housing affordability issues, and sustainable development. He has worked on multiple NITC projects including LRT/BRT/SCT/CRT Development Outcomes FINAL PHASE and Updating and Expanding LRT/BRT/SCT/CRT Data and Analysis with his advisor, Dr. Arthur C. Nelson. He is a 2020 NITC dissertation fellow.

LinkedIn | Twitter | NITC Researcher Profile


Tell us about yourself?

Robert E. Hibberd grew up in Syracuse, Utah, north of Salt Lake City. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Utah, and a Master’s degree in Historical Resources Management,...

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Bicyclists ride in a protected bike lane, buffered by planters
Photo by Cait McCusker
Marc Schlossberg and Heather Brinton, University of Oregon

Advances in transportation technology — e-scooters and bike share, Lyft & Uber, and autonomous vehicles — are beginning to have profound impacts on cities. New mobility is changing not only how we travel, but also urban form and development itself. In the near future, we can expect differences in what public transit looks like, the layout of cities, and the places we spend our time. In turn,...

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