The 103rd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will be held January 7–11, 2024 in Washington, D.C., and NITC transportation faculty and researchers will be sharing their expertise at the world's largest transportation conference. The TRB annual meeting attracts thousands of transportation professionals from around the globe to address transportation policy, practice, and plans for the future.

Below are a few highlights of research being presented by transportation experts from our participating NITC-funded campuses: Portland State University (PSU), University of Oregon (UO), University of Utah (UU), University of Arizona (UA), and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Check out our full NITC guide for all of the sessions:


*Due to the evolving status of speaker attendance and TRB programming, please check your TRB schedule for the most current information in the event of changes.*

NITC Research Highlights at TRB 2024

University of Texas at Arlington

Monday, January 8 - Older Adults, Travel Options, and Barriers to Accessibility

In this lectern session, Juana Perez, Mohammad Rashidi, Jobaidul Boni and Kate Hyun of the University of Texas, Arlington...

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Leif Tuel is an undergraduate student at the Oregon Institute of Technology, studying civil engineering. He is a general member of the ASCE-AGC Oregon Tech Chapter, and has served for two terms as President of the ITE Oregon Tech Student Chapter. During Leif's tenure as the Student Chapter President, Oregon Tech has won two Oregon ITE Traffic Bowl championships. Leif has also worked as a laboratory technician for Carlson Testing, Inc and as a wildland fire suppression specialist for the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

Connect with Leif on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Leif Tuel, I will be graduating with my bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Oregon Tech this March 2023. I love to spend my spare time in the outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, camping or just exploring. Traveling to countries like Germany, Japan, France, and Greece helped expand my view on the world, later guiding me to the world of civil engineering. I am excited to enter the professional world of engineering here shortly!

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

I always loved the engineering world and knew I wanted to follow that path with my future career. Having grown up in Tillamook, Oregon, where every year we are faced with the summertime tourism traffic along Hwy 101....

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In the latest instance of taking research to practice, researchers at Oregon Tech have completed a pilot section of trail using a NITC-developed sustainable paving method. A quarter-mile section of the Klamath Geo Trail, just east and up the hill from the Oregon Tech Klamath Falls campus, has been successfully resurfaced using volcanic ash from Mount Mazama. Learn more in a free webinar on February 23, 2023: Applying a Mt. Mazama Volcanic Ash Treatment as a Trail Accessibility Improvement.

The researchers explain and demonstrate the process in this NITC research video:

Applying a Mt. Mazama Volcanic Ash Treatment as a Trail Accessibility Improvement

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Caroline Schulze is a masters of science in civil engineering (MSCE) student at Oregon Tech, with a focus in transportation and community development. Her transportation interests include pavement condition analysis techniques and asphalt concrete mix design. She completed an internship in summer 2021 with GRI Engineering in Beaverton, Oregon, where she worked extensively in geotechnical testing and pavement engineering. Caroline is the past-president of the ITE Student Chapter and is also a recent recipient of scholarships from WTS Portland, the Oregon Chapter of ITE (the Institute of Transportation Engineers), the Asphalt Pavement Association of Oregon (APAO), and the National Institute of Transportation and Communities (NITC).

Connect with Caroline on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

I'm originally from Loveland, Colorado but I'm happy to have called Oregon home for the last four years. I'm proud to say I am a graduate student at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) studying civil engineering and expecting to graduate with a bachelors and masters degree by June 2023. Not only do I love visiting big cities and admiring the infrastructure but I'm also passionate about the outdoors! In my free time you can find me hiking the nearest mountain or canoeing down the Klamath river!

What (or who) has influenced your...

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Three students from partner universities in the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) have been awarded WTS Portland scholarships. Congratulations to Caroline Crisp of Portland State, and Cynthia Roe and Caroline Schulze of Oregon Tech!

The WTS Portland Chapter, established in 1985, offers six annual scholarships to high school seniors, junior college, undergraduate, and graduate students to support women seeking leadership opportunities and pursuing transportation careers. This is a highly competitive scholarship with applicants from colleges and universities throughout Oregon and Washington.

All of the WTS Portland scholarship awardees will be honored in a formal awards ceremony via Zoom on February 10, 2022 (5 - 6 PM Pacific).

Caroline Crisp, Portland State University

2021-2022 WTS Portland Beverley Swaim Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholar

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Along with the Oregon Institute for Technology civil engineering faculty, we are proud to congratulate Oregon Tech students Thomas Dodgen and Caroline Schulze for earning scholarships from the Asphalt Pavement Association of Oregon (APAO) Educational Foundation. 

The scholarships were awarded on Friday, December 3 in Bend at a gala event at the APAO Annual Meeting. Oregon Tech maintains a decades-long relationship with APAO and the Oregon asphalt pavements industry - APAO was instrumental in establishing the Oregon Tech Pavement Engineering Lab in Cornett Hall. There were four scholarships awarded this year; the other winners were from Oregon State University and the University of Idaho. Several APAO members commented on the high-quality applications from Oregon Tech students and were impressed with the hands-on experiences that Tech students have in the Pavement Lab!

Thomas Dodgen, a BSCE senior graduating in June 2022, is from Adin, California. Thomas recently interned at Wildish Construction, an APAO member company, in Portland. Thomas is a licensed pilot interested in all modes of transportation!

Caroline Schulze, from Loveland, Colorado, is completing her BSCE and will begin her MSCE graduate studies in June 2022. Caroline is the immediate past president of Oregon Tech's Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter. She recently interned for GRI, a geotechnical and pavement engineering in Beaverton,...

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is happy to welcome some new faces into our six-university consortium, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Latest NITC Faculty and Researchers to Join their Universities

Nelson Gomez-Torres, University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Nelson Gomez-Torres joins the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington as an assistant professor of instruction in civil engineering. Before coming to UTA he was the Director of Civil and Industrial Engineering Programs at Universidad Ana G. Mendez in Puerto Rico. Nelson has worked in engineering design, construction management, and traffic studies, but he found his passion in helping to develop the next generation of... Read more

Cynthia Roe is a civil engineering student at the Oregon Institute of Technology. Originally from Weed, California, Cynthia has been attending Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls since 2017 and is on track to graduate in 2022 with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering. Cynthia is an extremely dedicated student who, in addition to her work with the ITE Student Chapter, served as the 2019-20 president of the American Society of Civil Engineers-Associated General Contractors Student Chapter and serves as a peer consultant in the Oregon Tech Student Success Center. She is the recipient of the 2019-2020 Oregon ITE Undergraduate Scholarship.

Connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

Growing up in rural Northern California taught me the value of hard work and adaptability which has gotten me where I am today. I am currently a Graduate student at Oregon Tech with a passion for geotechnical and transportation engineering. I believe making connections with people and in different fields is what makes civil engineering work fulfilling...

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Natasha Karan is a civil engineering graduate student. She received her B.S. in civil engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology in 2020. During her time at OIT, she has been involved in student clubs such as ASCE, ITE, and Tau Beta Pi. Currently she is pursuing her M.S. at Oregon Tech, working on a post-evaluation of implementing protected bicycle lanes. Natasha is interested in learning about the effects caused by the implementation of safe, inclusive active transportation infrastructure in a community.


Tell us about yourself?

I'm from Coos Bay, OR and I am attending Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, OR in order to earn my bachelors and master's degree in civil engineering. Currently, I am on track to earn my masters degrees in 2021. Throughout my college years, I've gained a significant interest in the transportation field, especially through the classes that I have taken and the events that I have attended through the Institute of Transportation Engineers club.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

My career path in transportation was influenced by learning about and experiencing the state of the United States' current transportation system. The United States is one of the leading nations in the world however it lacks initiative in the transportation area, especially regarding public transportation....

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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.


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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