Connie Crawford (right) accepts Ethel S. Birchland Lifetime Achievement Award.


ARTBA’s Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) Sept. 30 honored a 30-year rail transit expert, a civil engineering professor, two University of Utah graduate students and a well-known international design firm with “Women Leaders in Transportation Design & Construction” awards.

The presentations were made during a special luncheon held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 2015 National Convention. Five winners were announced in three categories:

Ethel S. Birchland Lifetime Achievement Award, named after ARTBA’s executive director from the mid-1920s, is given to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, long-term service in the industry’s public or private sectors and dedication to the advancement of innovation and other women leaders. This year’s winners are:

  • Connie Crawford, senior vice president and global practice lead for rail and transit at Louis Berger. Her 30-year career includes the construction of a major Lower Manhattan station complex serving 12 subway lines; project lead on the implementation of a high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas; and the launch of international public transportation programs in Riyadh and Qatar. Crawford is a member of many professional organizations. Her commitment to advancing innovation can be seen in her participation in FIRST Robotics—an international competition that gives students real-world engineering experience.
  • Lily Elefteriadou, Kisinger-Campo Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI). She is currently the lead researcher of the $6.8 million U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT)-funded Regional University Transportation Center for Region 4- Southeast Transportation Research Innovation Development and Education (STRIDE), which focuses on issues of livability, safety, and economic competitiveness. Dr. Elefteriadou has authored or co-authored nearly 200 publications and reports related to traffic operational quality and highway design, as well as the textbook, “Introduction to Traffic Flow Theory.”

The Glass Hammer Award, which honors companies in the transportation construction industry that have innovative programs and activities directed at successfully promoting women leaders within their organization. The 2015 winner is:

  • Louis Berger, which has dedicated significant resources to creating programs that promote the advancement of women within the transportation construction industry. In 2014, the company established Women at Louis Berger (WLB)—an employee-led initiative to help women achieve their highest potential and contribute to the firm’s overall success. Since its inception, WLB has been a major tool in helping the firm develop, attract and retain women leaders; promote educational opportunities for career advancement; champion management models to build equity; and encourage a healthy work-life balance.

Future Industry Leader Spotlight Award, which recognizes students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies at a U.S. college or university who have achieved an outstanding academic record and demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills within and outside of the academic environment. This year’s winners, both from the University of Utah, are:

  • Anusha Musunuru, who is pursuing her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering. Musunuru is focused on developing a framework for more reliably informing causation and/or occurrence-mechanism of traffic crashes. She hopes that her research will lead to more appropriate transportation investments and act as a catalyst to create a safe and sustainable multimodal transportation system that contributes to a community’s economic health and quality of life.
  • Ivana Tasic, a third year Ph.D. student studying civil and environmental engineering, with a focus on Urban Multimodal Transportation. She has worked on several projects funded by U.S. DOT, Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Transit Authority, City of Salt Lake and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. Her research includes quantifying the traffic impacts of Traffic Oriented development, Crash Modification Factors for Intersections and a Light Rail Transit Analysis in Salt Lake City.

The ARTBA convention continues through Oct. 1.