Dec 02, 2019
Photo by Ruffnekgal/iStock
Damian Matzen is a masters student at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He is a 2018-2019 National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) scholar, and was selected by NITC's executive committee as the 2019 NITC Outstanding Masters Student. As a recipient of this recognition, NITC is supporting Damian's attendance at the 2020 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington, D.C. next month.

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Tell us about yourself?

I’m a third-generation college student from rural Oregon who has always had a passion for solving complicated problems and wading through numbers. My early days were spent with Camp Fire USA exploring local wilderness areas and teaching the younger kids about how to survive. As I grew older, my hobbies began to shift towards the virtual world. Video games became a big part of my life around middle school, with them becoming the dominant hobby during high school. As school became more intensive, video games had to take a back seat, becoming a weekend hobby. During school, I devoted time to helping my classmates and anyone else in the degree who needed it. I never went so far as to give the other students answers, but I would explain terms and equations and do my best to guide them towards the right process.

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Nov 26, 2019

Last week the Portland State University’s Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP-ITE) group competed in the 28th annual Bill Kloos Traffic Bowl Competition held by Oregon ITE.

Competition in this trivia-based challenge was fierce, but the PSU student team took first place against the ITE student chapters of Oregon State University, Oregon Tech, and the University of Washington. In addition to bragging rights, they won a $500 cash prize that will go towards supporting STEP student activities for PSU transportation students.

Portland State University 2019 Team

  • STEP President Nicholas Puczkowskyj | PhD Candidate, Urban Studies
  • STEP VP Finance Rohan Sirupa | Graduate Student, Civil Engineering
  • STEP VP Communications Katherine Keeling | Graduate Student, Civil Engineering
  • STEP VP Events Gabby Galvez | Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering
  • STEP VP Creativity Polina Polikahina | Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering

Photo Credit: Oregon ITE Chapter

In addition to this annual event, Oregon ITE...

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Julian Griffee next to a photo of e-scooter users in a green bike lane
Oct 25, 2019

Julian Griffee is a second-year masters student in urban and regional planning at the University of Arizona and a 2020 TRB Minority Student Fellow. He has worked as a planner, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Albania, and worked on bicycle and pedestrian transportation. He is currently a Climate Adaptation Outreach Assistant for the City of Tucson, Arizona.

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My name is Julian Griffee, a current 2nd year M.S. Urban Planning Candidate and Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow at the University of Arizona. Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, I received my B.S. in Geography with a concentration in land use planning from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Professionally, I have worked as a Planner I, have embarked on a Peace Corps service as an Urban and Regional Planning Volunteer to Albania, have interned within the City of Tucson Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program as well as the Burlington-Graham Metropolitan Planning Organization in North Carolina, and now I am working with the City of Tucson’s Planning and Development Services Department where I research climate adaptation policies. During my time with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, I assisted in the development...

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Byron Head
Oct 09, 2019

Byron Head is a masters student in the department of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah. His focus is on active transportation and transportation demand management, and he is joining the University of Utah's sustainability office as the first Sustainability Graduate Assistant. Prior to beginning the masters program at UU he worked for the Tennessee Department of Transportation as a transportation program monitor. 

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Tell us about yourself?

It’s been quite a winding road for me to end up in the world of transportation planning. I went to Ole Miss for my undergrad in International Studies and Arabic because I thought I wanted to join the Peace Corps. Then I thought I wanted to be an English teacher, then a biologist. Eventually, I stumbled across a TDOT job posting in the Division of Multimodal Transportation Resources and thought to myself, “Multimodal? That means, like, bikes and buses and walking, right? I like riding my bike!” And that’s how I ended up working for TDOT, which eventually led me to the University of Utah.

I’m in my first semester of the Master of City and Metropolitan Planning program at the University of Utah. Outside of work and school, I enjoy cycling and playing Ultimate Frisbee. Since I’ve moved to Utah, I’m trying to get better at cycling up mountains because we don’t have those in Tennessee. I’m also...

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A view of the ballroom with attendees eating lunch during the Summit keynote
Oct 09, 2019

The 11th annual Transportation and Communities Summit 2019, held at Portland State University (PSU) on September 19–20, drew attendees from 14 states across the U.S. Over 250 people joined us for the Summit day, and nearly 60 took part in the deep-dive workshop day. We hope the event offered new opportunities for collaboration and synergy between researchers, practitioners, and community members.

Peter DeFazio, the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district, kicked off the day with a video welcome message for the summit attendees, followed on the main stage by TREC director and urban planning faculty Jennifer Dill. 

At lunchtime Ben Wellington, the data storyteller behind the popular quantitative analysis blog...

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NITC Student Spotlight: Farah Naz, University of Texas at Arlington
Sep 11, 2019

Farah Naz is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). She earned an M.S. in Transportation Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts where she conducted transit related research. She worked with the Oregon Department of Transportation in the Rail and Public Transit division where she assisted in developing the Transit Network Analysis (TNA) software tool in collaboration with Oregon State University. She is currently the Vice President of the ITE student Chapter at UTA. On September 19th she will be presenting in two sessions at the 11th annual Transportation & Communities Summit in Portland, Oregon.

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I am a doctoral student and work as a teaching and research assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington. I have worked on numerous research projects focused on shared mobility, social media data-based performance measures, cost optimization modeling, and travel characteristics of transportation disadvantaged population in collaboration with social workers, environmental engineers, computer scientists and industrial engineers. This year I am planning to showcase my research findings at numerous national and international conferences.

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NITC Student Spotlight: Catherine Rohan, University of Oregon
Aug 14, 2019

Catherine Rohan, University of Oregon

Catherine Rohan is a masters student at the University of Oregon. She earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Austin, has worked as an environmental inspector, a ground truth surveyor, a GIS technician and a Fleet Response Specialist, and is now working toward a masters in community and regional planning. In July 2019 she studied abroad - see her blog about bicycle-focused planning in the Netherlands - and this September, Catherine will present her work on "Planning for New Mobility in Gresham, Oregon" in a poster session at the 2019 Transportation & Communities Summit in Portland, Oregon.

LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself?

I am a community and regional planning masters student at the University of Oregon. Born and raised in Houston, I came to Oregon via Austin, Texas, where I completed my undergrad in environmental science. While I love Eugene I do miss the Tex-Mex and live music in Austin (unfortunately Oregon-Mex is not a thing). In my free time I like to get outdoors, read, and hunt through vintage and thrift stores. I just finished up an amazing...

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Jul 09, 2019

Darshan Chauhan, Portland State University

Darshan Chauhan is a graduate research assistant in civil engineering at Portland State University. He currently serves as the treasurer of STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning), PSU's transportation student group, and generously volunteers his time at a variety of transportation-related events via PSU's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). He will defend his masters thesis on network flow problems this year, and plans to continue on to earn his PhD. In the 2018/2019 academic year, Darshan earned a Walter H. Kramer Fellowship from Portland State University.

LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself?

I am a second-year Masters student in the civil engineering program with a transportation focus at PSU. I have been training with Prof. Unnikrishnan here to understand, model, and tackle uncertainties in different transportation networks. Before coming to Portland, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus, working as an undergraduate researcher in areas like fracture mechanics, optimization, and alternate cementitious materials through my junior and senior years. After completing my masters, I am continuing for my Ph.D. in transportation at PSU. Apart from school, I really enjoy...

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TREC Director Jennifer Dill speaks to TURF fellows
Jun 13, 2019

Our Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship (TURF) program is in its second year, and we're excited to introduce our 2019 cohort. The TURF program advances critical thinking and research skills under the guidance of a PSU transportation faculty mentor. This year's fellows are working on various research initiatives at TREC, including e-scooters, bicycle and pedestrian count data, multimodal trip generation, pedestrian safety and equitable transit.

TURF is funded by an education grant through our U.S. DOT funded program the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). Students were selected through a competitive application process; we had 103 applications from 23 U.S. states and 4 countries.

The TURF fellows will spend six weeks during the summer of 2019 at Portland State University, tackling transportation engineering and planning research questions.

MEET THE 2019 TURF FELLOWS

Anaisabel Crespo - Leiva, SUNY Plattsburgh

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Student Spotlight Banner, Daniel Iwicki next to an automated bus
Jun 04, 2019

Daniel Iwicki, Oregon Institute of Technology

Daniel Iwicki is a civil engineering student and Oregon Tech's ASCE-AGC Student Chapter President. He won a nationwide essay competition in 2018 related to effects of autonomous vehicles on rural areas and was invited to present his work at the National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation. Daniel has been a NITC Scholar and has represented Oregon Tech and NITC at several events including the TRB Annual Meeting.

LinkedIn | Oregon Tech Profile


Tell us about yourself?

I am a senior civil engineering student at Oregon Institute of Technology. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, I moved out to Oregon to finish school in 2016. Before arriving at Oregon Tech I wanted to build bridges; I quickly found out that transportation was more my passion. During my first summer in Oregon, I worked as a research assistant on a NITC-funded project and was a co-author for a study on vibration modal analysis of bridges titles Development of RDSETGO: A Rapidly Deployable Structural Evaluation Toolkit for Global Observation. The following school year I took on the role as president...

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