Alumni Profiles: Kelsey Ahern

CTR alum, Kelsey Ahern
CTR alumna Kelsey Ahearn

Name: Kelsey Ahern

Occupation: Transportation Planning Associate at Cambridge Systematics

Hometown: Littleton, CO

Current City: Austin, TX

Graduated: December 2004

Hobbies: Loves road biking, and being active with her husband and daughter. Travel also is a big part of Kelsey’s life. One of her favorite stops was the Galapagos Islands with fellow CTR alums Jen Duthie (currently runs the Network Modeling Center at CTR), and Elizabeth Sall (currently serving as Deputy Director of Technology Services at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority).

The daughter of a water resources engineer, her love of math and engineering challenges steered her to the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned her BS in Civil Engineering. “I wasn’t necessarily interested in transportation in the beginning. It was more of a process of eliminating the other fields that weren’t a good fit for me”, explains Kelsey.
From Boulder, she moved to Austin to begin her graduate work in the fall of 2003, and quickly completed her MS in Civil Engineering in 18 months. While at CTR, Kelsey worked for Dr. Michael Bomba on a project to integrate Texas airport systems into the Trans Texas Corridor.

Kelsey, Elizabeth, and Jen (photo)
Kelsey in the Galapagos Islands with fellow CTR alums Elizabeth Sall and Jen Duthie.


Bomba, now serving as Associate Director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas described Kelsey this way. “She was highly-motivated and quickly took responsibility for completing significant tasks during our research project.  Frankly, without her help, I’m not sure how I would have finished all the research projects that I was working on during that year.”

Kelsey and husband, Mike, in New Mexico next to the Rail Runner.
Kelsey and husband, Mike, in New Mexico
next to the Rail Runner.
Kelsey now works for Cambridge Systematics in their Austin office. Since joining in 2008, she specializes in performance-based planning as it relates to transportation planning and policy, freight, and long-range plans at the state and regional levels.

We asked Kelsey what advice she has for students considering a career in transportation. “I like what I do because transportation touches everyone’s lives on a daily basis. Transportation planning is always going to be important especially as cities continue to grow, so there’s good job security.”

Kelsey currently lives in Austin with her husband, Mike, and their 13-month-old daughter, Hadley.


Posted by Joey Williams  |  Category : Alumni