InTrans student named 2018 Lifesavers Traffic Safety Scholar

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February 09, 2018
Ashirwad Barnwal and Say Kee Ong pose together after an award ceremony
Ashirwad Barnwal, left, poses with the CCEE department’s director of graduate education Say Kee Ong after winning a top prize in the CCEE poster competition this past semester. PHOTO CREDIT: Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department

Ashirwad Barnwal has worked on several studies to reduce roadway fatalities while working to earn his doctorate under the direction of Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation (InTrans) research scientist Dr. Anuj Sharma.

His research at InTrans helped earn him a 2018 Lifesavers Traffic Safety Scholarship for $1,000 that will go toward a trip for the second year in a row to the largest traffic safety conference in the US. The 36th Lifesavers Conference will be held April 22 to 24 in San Antonio, TX.

This is the third year of the Traffic Safety Scholars program that gives college students an opportunity to attend the conference that spotlights research, strategies, and new approaches to address the nation’s most pressing traffic safety problems.

The work aligns well with much of the work Barnwal has worked on during his time at InTrans while studying to earn a master’s degree from ISU’s Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) department and currently working on his doctorate.

His research has included a study on roadway departure crashes on Iowa interstates, using the Roadside Safety Analysis Program to aid in the selection of roadside safety treatments, and on improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Washington, Iowa
Barnwal’s recognition does not end there. He also recently won a top prize at the seventh annual CCEE poster competition. His poster centered on one of his research topics, the effort to assist Iowa Department of Transportation engineers in selecting optimal roadside safety treatments, which was part of his master’s thesis completed in 2017 under InTrans safety engineer Dr. Peter Savolainen.

Barnwal credits the InTrans staff in helping him find success.
“InTrans has everything that a student looks for – excellent infrastructure, outstanding research facilities, talented colleagues, renowned professors, and amiable staff – which are all important to help thrive in this competitive world. I have had an amazing time working at InTrans, first with my master’s advisor, Dr. Savolainen, and now with Dr. Sharma,” Barnwal said.

Barnwal is currently working on winter decision-supporting tools for the Iowa DOT through the InTrans Real-Time Analytics of Transportation (REACTOR) Lab.

More information about the Lifesavers Conference and its scholarship program is available at http://www.lifesavers conference.org.

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