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CEE Transportation Students Win National Awards

National Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities

University of Tennessee Knoxville graduate students Alexandra “Ali” Boggs and Kwaku Boakye were named 2017 Traffic Safety Scholars (TSS) and received an award of a $1,000 scholarship at the 35th annual National Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from March 25-28. Boggs and Boakye, who are pursuing doctoral degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, are two of the 38 U.S. and Canadian college students selected through a competitive essay application process. In the competition, students were to demonstrate how their field of study could be used to address the problem of deaths and injuries in motor vehicle crashes.

“Being part of the Lifesavers family is an endearing experience for me” said Boakye. “At the Lifesavers conference, you get to the opportunity to connect with professionals and experts in your field and that helps boost your confidence in the research you do.” In sharing insights from his essay, he said, “As transportation engineer, I strongly believe that Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) offer promising solutions to road crashes, which is a menace of society. Today, in-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies such as emergency electronic brake lights, speed and headway control, lateral driving support (e.g. blind spot/lane change warning), and collision avoidance systems, have potentially increased safety by improving driver performance.”

“From a young age, I have realized the safety impacts of motor vehicle transportation and have been driven to determine ways of reducing fatalities in hope there would soon be zero,” said Boggs. “The Lifesavers Conference expanded my knowledge in various safety transportation aspects, in particular occupant protection for children. The leading cause of death for children in the United States is motor vehicle injuries, with approximately one-third of the children who died in 2014 were unrestrained. I can only imagine that finding the best car seat and installing it correctly is not an easy job for new parents. At the conference, I was able to hear the effectiveness of reducing fatalities through community education programs to assist in protecting parents’ treasured loved ones. I want to thank the Lifesavers Traffic Safety Scholars Committee for allowing me to attend the conference and hear how ‘lifesavers’ are decreasing the number of motor vehicle’s deaths.”

CEE Transportation Student Wins TSITE and SDITE Student Paper Awards

CEE transportation graduate student Ali Boggs recently received first place in the annual TSITE Student Paper Competition. The award for her paper, entitled “Tennessee’s Truck Parking Shortage and its Influence on Fatal Interstate Crashes,” comes with a check for $500 and an invitation to the group’s summer meeting.

Boggs also received second place for the Outstanding Student Paper award in the graduate division, which is given by the Southern District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. In addition to scholarly recognition, the award comes with a check for $150.

“I am so honored to be one of the recipients of the TSITE and SDITE paper competition,” said Boggs. “I sincerely express my gratitude to Dr. Cherry and Dr. Nambisan for entrusting me to work on a Tennessee Department of Transportation and Southeastern Transportation Center project on truck parking in the State of Tennessee. I was able to utilize the information from this project for my paper competition. Without the support and guidance of the University of Tennessee Faculty, I would have not been able to succeed.”