Graduate students receive presentation awards at transportation conference

February 21, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two Penn State civil engineering graduate students, Owen Hitchcock and Lingyu Li, received Best Student Presentation awards at the 2016 Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) held in December. Hitchcock was given the first-place award and Li received second place.

“It feels good to win first place in a poster competition. A lot of other students were presenting their work as well, and they’re obviously really good at what they do,” said Hitchcock. 

Hitchcock is a first-year graduate student in civil engineering with a concentration in transportation engineering. His research focuses on multi-objective optimization for traffic signal timings. Hitchcock is also a Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellow.

Hitchcock first attended the TESC as an undergraduate student.

“I starting participating in research when I was an undergrad,” said Hitchcock. “I worked with another grad student, Anthony DePrator, who presented at the conference, and I tagged along. Now that I’m a graduate student, I’m the one presenting my work.”

Hitchcock’s presentation focused on improving street efficiency by banning left turns throughout street networks. Awards like this reaffirm the importance of his research and keep Hitchcock optimistic about the future.

Li, the second-place presentation winner, is a civil engineering graduate student with a concentration in transportation engineering and data analysis.

Li has also previously attended the TESC. His 2016 presentation focused on a friction degradation model using Pennsylvania field test data. He is working on creating a new way to model friction degradation, which will better detect when road maintenance is needed.

“It shows me that people care about my research, and it does have an effect on the transportation field,” Li said about winning the award. “It definitely encourages me to continue to my work.”

The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference is an event held annually at Penn State. The conference attracts professionals from all over Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region and focuses on pressing issues to experts in the transportation industry. Topics covered at the event include design, operations safety, and planning. Individual sessions may cover an additionally extensive range of transportation subjects. This is the first year prizes have been awarded for the best student presentation. Prizes were awarded in the form of gift certificates. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 21, 2017