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Student of the Year


2010

Shawn Griffiths receiving his award at the 2011 Transportation Research Banquet

Shawn Griffiths was selected as the 2010 Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center (MBTC) Outstanding Student of the Year for his research efforts that have led to the development of three new liquefaction triggering decision support tools that are being used by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD).  He was nominated by Dr. Brady Cox, who said, “I have come to learn that Shawn is self-motivated, and that I can trust him to be meticulous in his research. These attributes are invaluable to a professor.” Shawn has been working on MBTC project “Practical Recommendations for Evaluation and Mitigation of Liquefaction in Arkansas.” The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications indicate that "liquefaction of foundation soils [has] contributed to much of the damage" to bridges in historic earthquakes. 

 


 

 

2009

L to R - Executive Director Kevin Hall, Andy Tackett, CTTP Director Stacy Williams, and Frances Griffith,

CTTP at the 13th Annual Council of University Transportation Centers Awards Banquet.

 

Andrew (Andy) Tackett was selected as the 2009 Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center Outstanding Student of the Year for his research and exceptional academic skills. Andy is a master’s student in Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas.  In the fall of 2005, he enrolled at the University of Arkansas where he majored in Civil Engineering.  He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in May 2008 with a GPA of 3.8.  During his senior year, he worked on his first of two MBTC research projects. His undergraduate research focused on developing a computer model for analyzing aircraft performance in arrestor systems.   In August 2008, he began his graduate work in Civil Engineering on another MBTC project that examined the effect of mixer type and temperature on Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC).  His research, directed by Micah Hale, Associate Professor in Civil Engineering, received much interest from peers and professionals in his field.  His work focuses on developing a better understanding of UHPC and expanding its use in our infrastructure.  Andy graduated with his Master of Science in Civil Engineering in May 2010.


 

 

2008

Left to right - Paul Brubaker, Norman Y. Mineta, Randy Machemehl and Hugh Medal.    

Hugh R. Medal was selected as the 2008 Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center Outstanding Student of the Year for his research and exceptional academic skills as well as his future goals as an educator.  Hugh stated, “It was an honor for me to receive the student of the year award. I believe that it will have a positive impact on my planned career as a college professor.” Hugh is a doctoral student in Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas.  He graduated from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management in 2006. Hugh’s research for MBTC focused on routing models for rural transportation networks with time-varying constraints.  The models developed focus on the transportation of live chickens in a rural poultry network with an emphasis on being able to deal with disease outbreak in the poultry industry in order to find alternate routes to reach their destinations without exposing the transported chickens to the potential disease. 


 

2007

Left to right - Executive Director Kevin Hall, Jennifer Pazour and Director Jack Buffington

Jennifer A. Pazour was selected as the 2007 Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center Outstanding Student of the Year based on the contributions she is making to MBTC. Ms. Pazour is a faculty member at the University of Central Florida.  At the time she was selected, Jen was a doctoral student in Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas. She graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering in 2006. Her research interests are in transportation, material handling, and healthcare logistics. Ms. Pazour’s master’s thesis is entitled, “A National High-Speed Rail System for Freight Distribution.” Her research for MBTC focuses on reducing the amount of freight traffic on the current highway system through the deployment of a national high-speed rail system. She has developed a model that decides where to build high-speed rail arcs in the United States for freight distribution. Initial results indicate that a relatively small investment in a high-speed network leads to significant reductions in both freight transit times and the amount of freight traffic on the nation’s highways.