UMaine’s Transportation Center Hosts the 2022 Annual TIDC Student Recognition Night

Orono, ME – The Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center (TIDC) recognized 28 students from their six member universities at the Annual TIDC Student Recognition Night virtually on November 30th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. In accordance with TIDC’s motto of “Students First,” the event highlighted the accomplishments and contributions of their students from the past year. The Annual Student Recognition Night consists of an award ceremony that recognizes the winners of the Student of the Year and the Student Poster Contest. Each year, the U.S. DOT honors outstanding students from participating University Transportation Centers (UTCs) for their achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field. Students of the Year are selected based on their accomplishments in such areas as technical merit and research, academic performance, professionalism, and leadership. 

TIDC announced that the 2022 Student of the Year is William Hughes of the University of Connecticut. Hughes started research work as an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut under Dr. Wei Zhang in 2017. Since then he graduated Summa Cum Laude as an Honors Scholar in 2019 and has worked to complete his PhD in structural engineering at UConn, expecting to graduate in May 2023. His research focuses on the resilience of communities and infrastructures, including bridges, powerlines, and buildings, to natural hazards. His work with the TIDC involves the modeling of debris buildup around bridges and resulting foundation scour and vulnerability of bridges subject to multi-hazards. Hughes has published several papers and is the top student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a 4.0 PhD GPA. Additionally, he was 2nd runner-up for the student paper competition at the 2022 ASCE Earth and Space Conference, and the recipient of the 2022 ASCE SEI ETS conference student scholarship recipient. Dr. Habib Dagher, Director of the TIDC, welcomed Hughes as student of the year: “Hughes’ multi-disciplinary, collaborative work with UConn faculty members and students and project technical champions is an asset to his team and an example to the students he leads.” A warm congratulations to William Hughes who is well deserving of TIDC student of the year.

In addition to the Student of the Year, the Annual TIDC Student Poster Contest is designed to recognize excellence in student research and improve the visibility of student research efforts in transportation related fields. As part of the Student Poster Contest, the top three “Fan Favorites” were voted on by external viewers from November 10, 2022 to November 27, 2022. Additionally, the top three posters based on grading criteria were selected by members of the TIDC Advisory Board to be recognised. The winners were announced at the award ceremony during the Annual Student Recognition Night. TIDC shares student posters, presentations, and abstracts submitted to the Student Poster competition on the TIDC website and social media accounts. The virtual format allows families, friends, researchers, professors, transportation professions, and other interested parties to view the posters and presentations. 

The technically judged winners of the 2022 Student Poster Contest are as follows: In first place is Andrew Pariseault & Pamela Frano of the University of Rhode Island with their poster on ‘Determining Layer Thickness & Understanding Moisture Related Damage of State-Owned Roads Using GPR and Capturing Such in a GIS-Based Inventory.’ In second place is Felipe Saavedra of the University of Maine with his poster on ‘Durability of Large-Scale 3D Printed Materials for Transportation Infrastructure.’ In third place is Jon Pinkham of the University of Maine with his poster on ‘Development of Live Load Distribution Factors for CT Girder Bridges.’

The Fan Favorites of the 2022 Student Poster Contest are as follows: In first place is Jhan Kevin Gil-Marin of the University of Maine with his poster on ‘Examining the impact of rumble strip installation in prevention of lane departure crashes in Maine.’ In second place is Bolaji Oladipo of the University of Rhode Island with his poster on ‘Efficient Strengthening of Concrete Cylinders Using Additively Manufactured Auxetic TPU Metamaterials.’ Tied in third place are Koosha Raisi of the University of Massachusetts Lowell with his poster on “Ground Penetrating Radar Detection of Steel Rebar Corrosion in Concrete Specimens” and  Felipe Saavedra of the University of Maine with his poster on ‘Durability of Large-Scale 3D Printed Materials for Transportation Infrastructure.’

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s TIDC Student Recognition Night competitions, and to all of the students, whom without which TIDC research would not be possible.

The TIDC is the 2018 U.S. DOT Region 1 UTC located at the University of Maine ASCC. TIDC’s focus is on extending the life and improving the durability of transportation assets. The University of Maine has partnered with The University of Connecticut, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Vermont, and Western New England University to create TIDC.