D-STOP’s Summer Internship Results in TRB Presentation
D-STOP, in coordination with another USDOT Tier 1 research unit, the Center for Highway Pavement Preservation, hosted an 11-week summer internship for engineering undergraduates interested in transportation. The University Transportation Center (UTC) Undergraduate Internship (UI) provides interns with unique insight into transportation education and helps prepare them for a possible career in the field. The program kicked off on June 1, and ended on August 13 with the final presentations made by students. Three of the interns were funded specifically by D-STOP: Bruno Chiquini, Joseph Gilroy, and Rahul Patel.
Each intern participated in a research project related to the D-STOP center, and were assigned to faculty and researchers associated with the Center for Transportation Research. A series of weekly seminars, consisting of lectures by experts in both wireless networking and transportation research, served as the basis for conversations on research at the intersection of these fields. The interns were also involved in professional development and social activities organized by the student chapters of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and ITS America. Based on the success of this year’s program, the organizers are looking to expand the program, involving students from other universities as well as other disciplines.
One success story involves Rahul Patel, who co-wrote a paper on autonomous vehicles with summer adviser Dr. Stephen Boyles; Rahul will be presenting this paper at TRB, where it is being considered for publication. The paper investigates the effects of autonomous vehicle usage on arterial and freeway networks, using models based on the Austin network. Dr. Boyles has hired Rahul as an undergraduate research assistant.
“Before experiencing this program, I had no idea the kind of opportunities and amazing research that the University of Texas was doing, but I’m glad I found out because this program has been the most impactful and meaningful asset to my college career. It exposed me to the wonderful world of transportation and showed me that there is much more to the undergraduate experience. I loved the research I was doing so much that I’m continuing and planning to continue doing it throughout my undergraduate career and hopefully in graduate school!”