Workforce Development | K-12 Activities | Go! Magazine | Workforce Development Summit | Undergraduate and Graduate Activities | Study Abroad | Transportation Scholars Program | Award-winning Transportation Student Association | Tom Maze Transportation Seminar | Students “Flip” over Transportation Course | Midwest Transportation Workforce Summit | Honing Students’ Presentation Skills

Workforce Development

K-12 Activities

A major element of the MTC's mission is providing educational enrichment experiences to K-12 and university students to help them prepare for careers in transportation.

The MTC sponsors many activities to inspire K–12 students to consider careers in transportation. The following briefs and articles tell some of the story:

"I had a general idea before this class started that engineers are problem solvers who love tackling challenging projects, but I really had no idea how the process worked or how specialized it can be. I had never really considered how I could work the terms engineer or engineering into my classroom vocabulary, but now I intend to use them as much as possible."

-Dan Loy, 4th grade teacher, Beaver Creek Elementary,
participant in Teaching in the Fast Lane

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Go! Magazine

Dot realizes her future is in transportation science.

One regular feature of Go! is the web comic Dot's Adventures with Transportation.

The MTC sponsors Go! magazine, a free online publication for teens and young adults that explores the world of transportation and transportation-related careers. Go! offers entertaining and informative articles, a database of transportation careers and educational opportunities, and links to other resources.

Visit Go!'s Facebook page here.
Visit Go!'s Twitter page here.

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Workforce Development Summit

On December 7-8, 2015, Shauna Hallmark and Nicole Oneyear represented the Midwest Transportation Center (MTC) at the Midwest Transportation Workforce Summit in Madison, Wisconsin. The event was attended by public and private sector stakeholders in transportation, education, economic development, and other areas seeking to work together to enhance transportation workforce recruitment and development.

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Undergraduate and Graduate Activities

Study Abroad

The MTC co-sponsors study abroad opportunities for eligible university students. In May 2015, 10 students took a two-week course “Advanced Topics in Transportation Engineering” at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Taking advantage of Istanbul’s varied public transit system, they made field trips to one of the largest airport construction projects ever undertaken, the regional transit center, and several ancient civil engineering projects including the Haggia Sophia, Roman walls, aqueducts, and an underground cistern.

A similar program is being planned for May 2016 in Rome, Italy.

MTC students and faculty at the Third Bosphorus Bridge construction site in Istanbul

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Transportation Scholars Program

The MTC’s Transportation Scholars Program, offered at Iowa State and partner institutions the University of Missouri at Columbia and St. Louis, helps attract high-quality students into transportation-related academic disciplines. Through a “learning laboratory” approach to education, scholars are immersed in research, networking opportunities, and other activities beyond their regular coursework.

Transportation scholars must

  • Maintain a 3.0 grade point average
  • Participate in a research project or research group (MTC assistantships are provided)
  • Attend weekly seminars in spring semester (Tom Maze Transportation Seminar (TRANS 691) described below)
  • Participate in one or more transportation student organizations
  • Participate in student research paper/poster contest(s)

In addition, scholars are strongly encouraged to do the following:

  • Participate in the weekly Transportation Graduate Student Research Seminar during the fall semester (see below)
  • Present research results at a conference or through a journal article
  • Mentor other students or participate in K–12 workforce development activities
  • Participate in the Leadership Institute, a set of online self-directed courses for public agency managers

Scholar activities are highlighted in MTC News. Recent Scholar-focused stories include the following:

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Award-winning Transportation Student Association

MTC Transportation Scholars can meet several requirements of the program through membership in the Transportation Student Association (TSA), ISU's student chapter of the Institute for Transportation Engineers (ITE).

The TSA currently has 37 members and three faculty advisors. Dr. Peter Savolainen is the ITE representative, Dr. Jing Dong is the university advisor, and Dr. Anuj Sharma is the ITS America representative. Several recent TSA accomplishments include the following:

"Your students are doing an incredible job of conducting activities on campus... and their research is phenomenal."

-Michael S. Hofener, 2016 MOVITE President

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Tom Maze Transportation Seminar

Named for MTC founder Tom Maze, the spring weekly seminar series (TRANS 691) features nationally recognized speakers. The series is broadcast online in real time to students at MTC partner institutions; broadcast location rotates among ISU, UMC, and UMSL.

See the schedule for spring 2017 below, with links to recorded Adobe Connect presentations.

2018 Presentations

Date Speaker Topic
1/19 Elizabeth Luiken, Iowa State University Dean of Students Office Academic Integrity at Iowa State
1/26 Daniel McGehee, National Advanced Driving Simulator Laboratories, University of Iowa The History and Future of Automated Driving
2/2 Timothy Taylor, Kentucky Transportation Center, University of Kentucky $1.7 Trillion Dollars for Infrastructure... Who Will Build It?
2/9 David Garber, Florida International University The Strut-and-Tie Method: A Way to Design Any Concrete Bridge Member (Overview and Recent Developments)
2/16 Scott Marler, Office of Traffic and Operations, Iowa DOT Introductions - Iowa DOT's New Highway Operations Bureau
2/23 Eric Fitzsimmons, Kansas State University Introduction to Railroad Engineering, Kansas Short Line KDOT Study, and Lessons Learned Working with the Rail Industry as a Professor
3/2 David Lorenzen, Chief of Motor Vehicle Enforcement for the Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement Activities in Iowa
3/9 Girish Chowdhary, Distributed Autonomous Systems Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign The Robots are Coming—to your Farm!
3/16 ISU Spring Break, No Presentation
3/23 Luke Harvey, NVIDIA Deep Learning and Self-Driving Cars
3/30 James Ritter and Mike Curtit, Jacobs Engineering St. Louis Safety Design-Build Project
4/6 Timothy Lomax, Texas A&M Transportation Institute Turning Lots o' Data into Big Data
4/13 Mark Hallenbeck, Washington State Transportation Center Automated Vehicles, the Hype, the Reality, and Possible Futures
4/20 Kiel Ova, Traffic Technology Services (TTS) Deploying an Information Service for Connected Automated Vehicle Applications
4/27 Kevin Lee, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. Connected Environments: Opening Doors for Smarter Decisions

See presentations from previous years

2017 Presentations

  • Jim Nelson, Iowa DOT Office of Bridges and Structures and Travis Hosteng, Research Specialist, Institute for Transportation Bridge Engineering Center, Construction of the Massena Bridge and Development of an ABC Integral Abutment Connection
  • Peng Wei, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University, Low-Altitude UAS Traffic Coordination with Dynamic Geofencing
  • Cathy Burrow, Supply Chain Director, Hallmark Cards, Global Logistics - The Hallmark Story: It's Much More than Greeting Cards
  • Sebastien Pouliot, Associate Professor of Economics, Iowa State University, Estimating willingness to pay for E85
  • Cara Harmann, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Naturalistic and virtual approaches to studying bicyclist risk exposure
  • Seung Jae Lee, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Florida International University, Computational Discrete Mechanics for Transportation and Bridge Engineering
  • Johanna Amaya-Leal, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain & Information Systems, Iowa State University, Improving Freight Systems in Urban Areas
  • John Conway, STEM Alliance Executive Board Member and Future City Team Mentor, How One Can Get From a Converted Gas Station and Transcend to a Life as a Professional Engineer
  • Raj Rajesh, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Novel Sensors, New Estimation Algorithms and Active Controls: Technologies for Improving Highway Vehicle Safety and Mobility
  • Kumares C. Sinha, Edgar B. and Hedwig E. Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, Current Trends and Future Prospects for Transportation Systems
  • Skylar Knickerbocker, Research Engineer, Iowa State University, REACTOR Laboratory Activities
  • Bijan Khaleghi, Washington State DOT Office of Bridges and Structures, Innovation in Bridge Design and Construction
  • Wendell Cox, Senior Fellow with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism in Houston, World Urban Areas and Urban Mobility
  • Carlos Sun, Professor of Civil Engieering, University of Missouri, What Do Steven Spielberg and James Cameron Have to do with Transportation Research?

2016 Presentations

2015 Presentations

2014 Presentations

2013 Presentations

2011 Presentations

  • Shauna Hallmark, Chris Albrecht, Introduction to the Tom Maze Transportation Seminars
  • Rema Nilakanta, Go! Magazine, Go!: extending transportation to K-12
  • Dr. Dan McGehee, Driver Distraction: Definitions and Data
  • A.J. Million, Transportation Librarian at MoDOT, "Seven Strategies for Search”
  • Chuck Taylor, Awake! Consulting, Logistics and the supply chain industry
  • Jeremy Vortherms, Chief Safety Engineer for Iowa DOT, Safety Focus in Iowa
  • Professor Wilfrid Nixon, Sustainability in Winter Maintenance
  • Wes Bolton - All State Consultants
    Rick Kaufmann – City of Columbia
    , How roundabouts solve traffic problems
  • Ken Warbritton, Missouri Department of Transportation, Implementing design-build
  • Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Airport Director, Lambert-St. Louis Int'l Airport, Federal Perspective on Asset Management
  • Peter Appel, U.S. DOT RITA, TBD
  • Kent Lande, Louis Berger Group, The Role for Engineers in Nation Building
  • Forrest Van Schwartz, Global Transportation Consultancy, TBD
  • Carlos Sun – Law Journal Paper, Is Robo-Cop a Cash Cow?

2010 Presentations

2009 Presentations

2008 Presentations

2007 Presentations

  • Hillary Isebrands (ISU CTRE) European Scanning Tour on Rural High Speed Roundabouts 1.5 mb pdf
  • Susan McCubbins/Josh Scott (MoDOT) I-435 and Front St. Interchange in Kansas City (An Innovative Design)
  • Carlos Schwantes (UMSL) What We Can Learn From Transportation History
  • Chris Gutierrez (Kansas City SmartPort) International Intermodal Freight
  • Robert C. Brown(ISU Office of Biorenewables,) Biofuels and Transportation 1.5 mb pdf, ISU's Bioeconomy Initiative 946 kb pdf
  • James Cooper (University of Glasgow, Scotland), Public Transportation in Low Density Rural Areas
  • Mike Tully and Sunshine Yang (Aerial Services, Inc.), Photogrammetry and Transportation Data Acquisition
  • Larry Frevert (National President Elect of American Public Works Assn. and HDR, Inc.)
  • Libby Ogard (Prime Focus LLC), Leveraging Private Sector Railroad Assets
  • Gary Davis (University of Minnesota), Crash Causation
  • Allen Hines (Consultant ), Crash Reconstruction
  • Dick Hemmingsen (Initiative for Renewable Energy and Environment, University of Minnesota), The Future of Transportation Energy
  • Kevin Keith (MoDOT Chief Engineer), Missouri DOT’s 800 Bridge Program

2006 Presentations

2005 Presentations

2004 Presentations

  • Terry Browne (Collins Engineering), Underwater Bridge Inspection (Part 1 5.4 mb pdf , Part 2 4.9 mb pdf)
  • Matt Shands (Transportation Policy Institute), Asset Management as Communications ( 5.4 mb pdf, 1.2 mb pdf)
  • Glen Washer (FHWA Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center), Non Destructive Evaluation in Condition Assessment for Asset Management
  • Terry Wipf and Brent Phares (Iowa State University), Bridge Health Monitoring: Present and Future (9.5 mb pdf)
  • Mike Smid (Yellow Freight), The Trucking Industry
  • Ernest Barenberg (University of Illinois) and Dulci Rufino (ERES Consultants), PCC Pavement Issues (Rockford airport, 7.2 mb pdf; design criteria, 17 kb pdf; Denver airport, 7.4 mb pdf)
  • Mark Ward (John Deere), Global Logistics
  • Steve Andrle and Dennis Kroeger (Iowa State University), Winter Maintenance Management—The MDSS System (3.9 mb pdf)
  • Tom Maze (Iowa State University), The Science of Asset Management (1.3 mb pdf)
  • David Plazak and Reg Souleyrette (Iowa State University), Process to Identify High Priority Corridors for Access Management Near Large Urban Areas in Iowa (2.7 mb pdf)
    (NOTE: These speakers were emergency substitutes for the previously scheduled Chris Huffman of the Kansas DOT; however, the main topic remained the same.)
  • Keith Herbold (Federal Highway Administration), Pavement Preservation and Asset Management ( 2.3 mb pdf)
  • Wayne McDaniel (PB Consultants), GASB 34 Modified Approach Implementation (part 1, 14.3 mb pdf; part 2, 9.4 mb pdf)
  • Joseph Kellett (US Army Corps of Engineers), US Army Corps of Engineers: Overview and Opportunities
  • Stuart Anderson (Iowa Department of Transportation), Iowa DOT’s Long Range Transportation Plan Update
  • Donald Broughton (A. G. Edwards), Financial Health of Transportation

2003 Presentations

  • Mei Meiarashi, Public Works Research Institute of Japan, Infrastructure Asset Management Overseas
  • Yiannis Papelis, National Advanced Driving Simulator, Human Factors and Advanced Driving Simulation
  • Daryl Smith, Kirk Henderson, Greg Houseal, Native Roadside Vegetation Center, UNI, Native Roadside Vegetation
  • Katie Zimmerman, Applied Pavement Technologies, Pavement Management (4.9MB **pdf)
  • Tom Ryan, Missouri Department of Transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems in the St. Louis Metro Area
  • Steve Chase, FHWA Turner Fairbank Laboratories, Observations on the Future of Bridge Technology (4.5MB *pdf)
  • Brad Hagen, Waterloo Regional Airport, Regional Airport Management (3.4MB **pdf)
  • Howard Preston, Howard R. Green Company, Performance Measures in Highway Corridor Planning and Design
  • Gene Amparano, FHWA-NHTSA Liaison, Kansas City, Highway Safety in the Midwest
  • John Craig, Nebraska Dept. of Roads, AASHTO Asset Management Activities (4.8MB **pdf)
  • Ken Welch, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, Asset Management in the Railroad Industry
  • Robert Rasmussen, Transtec Group, Inc., Advanced Pavement Materials, Analysis, and Design (1.4MB *pdf)
  • Susan Stauder, Regional Commerce and Growth Association, Public Transportation Use of Intelligent Transit Systems
  • Chris Yarnell, Cole County, Missouri Public Works, Asset Management Deployment in Central Missouri
  • Don Taylor, McAninch Corporation, and Ed Jaselskis, ISU, Advanced Construction Technologies: Stakeless Grading and Laser Scanning

2002 Presentations

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Students “Flip” over Transportation Course (CE 355)

The ISU undergraduate course Principles of Transportation Engineering (CE 355) is now a “flipped” course: The traditional lecture content is provided through video lectures, and traditional outside-of-classroom content, such as homework, is brought into the classroom as practical, hands-on problems.

The video lecture content is being used by other undergraduate and graduate courses at ISU and disseminated to other universities as a part of MTC’s educational outreach activities.

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Midwest Transportation Workforce Summit: December 7–8, 2015, Madison, Wisconsin

As a member of the University of Wisconsin–Madison led Midwest Transportation Workforce Center, the MTC helped plan the December 7–8, 2015, Midwest Transportation Workforce Summit in Madison and gave presentations on MTC K–12 activities like Go! magazine, Teaching in the Fast Lane, etc.

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Honing Students’ Presentation Skills

A new MTC initiative at ISU is the weekly Transportation Graduate Student Research Seminar. Led by Dr. Peter Savolainen, graduate students in transportation present their research results before an audience of their peeers, allowing them to develop their presentation skills and receive feedback from other students and faculty on their research.

Each transportation student must participate in this seminar at least once during their degree program. Periodically, the series includes presentations from faculty members and other invited speakers.

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PI and Partner Resources


Tom Maze seminar sessions continue Friday, 04/25/2018

InTrans hosts Traffic and Safety Focus Group, 02/08/2018

GO! Magazine’s August issue further explores Seven Great Transportation Feats, 08/04/2017

GO! Magazine’s July issue covers Seven Great Transportation Feats, 07/07/2017

Midwest Transportation Center
Shauna Hallmark, Director
2711 S. Loop Dr, Suite 4700
Ames, IA 50010-8664
Phone 515.294.8103
Fax 515.294.0467
Email MTC
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