SU students participate in 2017 Transportation Research Board national conference

Eight Southern University students participated in the 2017 Annual Transportation Research Board Conference in Washington, DC.  The International conference was held in January at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and attracted more than 12,000 participants from throughout the world.

Participating in the conference were professor Huey Kenneth Lawson, Department of Civil Engineering; civil engineering majors Harry Pieterson, Jameese McCray, Juanica Banks, Shelby Carbin, and Bria Lee; mechanical engineering major Paula Mensah; and SU Law Center students Arnedia Wallace and Draylan Gant.

“The opportunity to meet and interact with other transportation professionals gave me an important preview of masters and doctoral level research expectations for graduate school,” said Carbin.

The Southern University students were among 200 Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellows from 69 Universities throughout the nation. The Eisenhower Fellows were treated to a private reception with several senior level U.S. Department of Transportation officials including Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez.

Each Eisenhower Fellow is required to conduct transportation related research over the year in which they are fellows.  All of the fellows are required to submit abstracts of their research that are peer-reviewed for inclusion in presentation and/or conference poster sessions. The reviewers selected research abstracts by Pieterson McCray, both of Baton Rouge, for poster presentation sessions.  Pieterson’s research focused on the Road Diets to improve safety in downtown Baton Rouge. McCray’s project looked at using ultra high strength prestressed concrete beams in bridges.

According to Lawson, Eisenhower program manager, for Southern University, the Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Fellowship program is designed to support the educational development of highly qualified individuals interested in pursuing careers in the transportation sector. Lawson said, “one in six jobs in this country are transportation related and includes fields in engineering, business, law, environmental and social sciences.”

Lawson says students should monitor their University email accounts for the 2017-18 application announcement or contact him by email at:


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