As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.

TxDOT – SWUTC Collaborate on New Educational Opportunity for Summer 2013

TxDOT Undergraduate Summer Internship

This pilot TxDOT program, coordinated by the SWUTC, was a paid 10-week program for undergraduate engineering or planning students with an interest in transportation research. After a competitive selection process, two students were chosen to participate in this year’s program. Gabriel Landaverde and Hunter Smith, are both Texas A&M University students with an interest in transportation. They are studying construction management and urban planning, respectively.

2013 TxDOT Summer Interns-2

TxDOT Interns with TTI Research Supervisors. L-R Boya Dai, Gabriel Landaverde, Hunter Smith and Joan Hudson.

While participating in the program, the students divided their time between the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Austin office where they were paired up with senior researchers and participated in sponsored research efforts, and the TxDOT Headquarters Office in Austin where they gained a behind-the-scene look into the operations of a major state agency.

At TTI, the students helped create a bicycle crash database with Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT) and Google Earth.  The database contains details associated with crashes between motor vehicles and bicycles.  The development and analysis of this database will help improve bicycling safety.  They also assisted TTI researchers with updating the shoulder width data from the 2010 Road-Highway Inventory Network (RHiNO) file.  This work is part of the Austin Bicycle Master Plan.  The data will be used for prioritizing bike lane projects along the on-system roadways in the Austin region.

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Gabe and Hunter with TxDOT RTI Program Manager Cary Choate

During their time at TxDOT, the interns attended numerous TxDOT functions, including project meetings and the RTI process of awarding transportation research contracts.  The interns were also tasked with creating a condensed database of the last five years of TxDOT research projects to provide a more efficient means to analyze research implementation and reduce unnecessary research duplication.  The students with their internship advisor, RTI Program Manager Cary Choate, also traveled to College Station to view a crash test at TTI’s Proving Ground and attend presentations at the TTI State Headquarter and Research Building.  The presentations included details of recent research studies including pedestrian crosswalk research and transportation infrastructure finance methods.

This program concluded with a group lunch on August 15th.