From left to right: Joel Volinski, CUTC president, Ines Aviles-Spadoni, Vikash V. Gayah, Norman Mineta, Edd Hauser and Dr. Lily Elefteriadou, CUTC Secretary

Three leaders in transportation academia, six students, and one long-time industry advocate were honored Jan. 9 by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) for their outstanding contributions to transportation research and education.

Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and Edd Hauser, director of the Center for Transportation Policy Studies at University of North Carolina-Charlotte, were each honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Mineta’s award was in the non-academic category for individuals who have contributed immensely throughout their professional lives to transportation research and education by working in government, business or non-governmental organizations. Hauser’s award was for individuals who have had a long history of significant and outstanding contribution to university-level transportation education and research.

Other presentations included:

  • CUTC-ARTBA New Faculty Award: Presented to tenure-track educators in recognition of outstanding teaching and research contributions. The winner was Dr. Vikash V. Gayah, assistant professor, Pennsylvania State University;
  • CUTC-ARTBA Administrative Leadership Award: Honors individuals in a staff or non-tenure-track faculty position who have made outstanding administrative leadership contributions to the field of transportation. The winner was Ms. Ines Aviles-Spadoni, coordinator of research programs at the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development & Education Center (STRIDE), University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI);
  • Milton Pikarsky Award: Presented to two graduate students in the transportation field for the best doctoral dissertation and M.S. thesis with an emphasis on science and technology. The winners were Dr. Alexandre Jacquillat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michael Levin, the University of Texas at Austin;
  • Charlie V. Wootan Award: Given annually to two graduate students in the transportation field for the best doctoral dissertation and M.S. thesis with an emphasis on policy and planning. The winners were Dr. Maite Pena-Alcaraz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Samuel J. Levy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and
  • Neville A. Parker Award: Recognizes the best non-thesis paper in transportation submitted for the M.S. degree in lieu of a thesis, in the areas of policy & planning and science & technology. The winners were Rebecca Walters, Mineta Transportation Institute, San José State University, and Yu (Julie) Qiao, Purdue University.

Fifty of the most outstanding students from University Transportation Centers across America also were honored for their  achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx gave the evening’s keynote address. He was relieved by passage of the five-year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act in December, the longest surface transportation bill signed into law in 10 years.

“We have to make it our mission to ensure that the U.S. Department of Transportation, and indeed our country, never have to go through almost a decade without a long-term transportation bill,” Foxx said. “That should never have to happen again.”

Established in 1979 by the major transportation research centers and institutes in the United States, CUTC provides a forum for the universities and learning centers to interact collectively with government and industry. ARTBA manages the program under a contract from CUTC.