ARTBA Honors Women Leaders in Transportation

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

            The awards were presented during a special luncheon held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 2015 National Convention in Philadelphia. Winners were announced in three categories:

            Ethel S. Birchland Lifetime Achievement Award 
            The award is named after ARTBA’s executive director from the mid-1920s, and 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.

            Connie Crawford, P.E., Louis Berger

            As senior vice president and global practice lead for rail and transit at Louis Berger, Connie Crawford provides strategic direction and oversight on the technical performance and resourcing of major rail programs. Her 30-year work experience includes: a project to bring 300 mph Maglev trains to the Northeast Corridor in the U.S. by providing train service between Washington, D.C. and New York City in under an hour; the construction of a major Lower Manhattan station complex serving 12 subway lines and 275,000 riders; 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.

           Previously, Crawford was the first female chief engineer for New York City Transit Authority, responsible for planning, design, and construction of the city’s subway and bus infrastructure. Following 9/11, she directed efforts to rebuild 1,400 feet of collapsed Lower Manhattan subway tunnels under the World Trade Center.

           Her innovative leadership extends beyond the company walls. She is a member of many professional organizations including: the American Public Transportation Association, New York Building Congress and American Society of Civil Engineers. Her commitment to advancing innovation, whether through the transfer of technical skills or fostering the next generation of STEM professionals, can be seen in her participation of the FIRST Robotics—an international competition that gives students real-world engineering experience.

            Dr Lily Elefteriadou, University of Florida

            Dr. Lily Elefteriadou, a Fulbright Scholar, is the Kisinger-Campo Professor of civil engineering and the director of the University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI). With a research focus in traffic operations, traffic flow theory and simulation, Dr. Elefteriadou has served as the principal investigator for several federal and state projects funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Highway Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Florida Department of Transportation. Currently, she is 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.” In addition to being president of ARTBA’s Research and Education Council, she serves on the editorial board of the Transportation Research: Part B, chairs the Transportation Research Board’s Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee and is on the executive committee of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC).

           The Glass Hammer Award

            The award honors companies in the transportation construction industry that have innovative programs and activities directed at successfully promoting women leaders within their organization.

           Louis Berger

            Louis Berger 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. The WLB provides an inclusive forum for discussion, collaboration and mentorship, as well as diversity awareness and leadership coaching. 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

            The award 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.

            Anusha Musunuru, University of Utah

            Musunuru is pursuing her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Utah, where she is focused on developing a framework for more reliably informing causation and/or occurrence-mechanism of traffic crashes. She maintains a 3.8 grade point average (GPA), while working as a graduate research assistant. Her extracurricular activities include: vice president of the Institute for Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter, founding coordinator of the American Society of Civil Engineers Transportation and Development Institute (ASCE T&DI) graduate student chapter, a member of Women in Transportation (WTS) and a paper reviewer for Transportation Research Board (TRB). Musunuru 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, University of Utah

            Tasic is a third year University of Utah Ph.D. student studying civil and environmental engineering, with a focus on Urban Multimodal Transportation. She has a 3.9 GPA and is a member of numerous professional associations including American Society of Civil Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Transportation Research Board and Women’s Transportation Seminar’s “Transportation YOU” program, which supports young women in transportation. Tasic also served as a Transportation Research Board (TRB) ambassador for the 2014 TRB Annual meeting and is involved with four TRB standing committees as a paper reviewer.

            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.