Student Profile: Meredith Cebelak
Name: Meredith Cebelak
Position: PhD student, President of the ITE Student Chapter
Hometown: Wales, Wisconsin
Hobbies: Running, big Florida Gator fan (it’s ok – we forgive her), traveling, swimming, her cocker spaniel, Braunson (just like Kate Middleton), watching the Green Bay Packers, and LOVES TRIVIA NIGHT! Oh, and she sails.
Favorite travel destinations: Really likes England. Hiked the Inca Trail. Often finds herself in Boston.
For a lot of folks, social media is for looking at pictures of babies, food, and reading incoherent rants from distant cousins. For others, it’s a gateway to useful data just waiting to be tapped. Meredith Cebelak, a CTR Ph.D. student, falls into the latter category.
She recently submitted her Master’s Thesis, employing data from FourSquare and other smartphone check-in applications to help understand travel frequency behavior. Her innovative work was recently recognized at the ENO Conference in Washington DC, and she’s now looking to build on that momentum as she continues her research at CTR.
While pursuing her BS in Civil Engineering at the University of Florida, she was introduced to the world of transportation engineering through a family member. “I was just fascinated by the problems they were trying to solve. By working to alleviate traffic congestion, they were really making things better for everyone. I just found that fascinating”, explains Meredith.
After graduating, she worked in the transportation engineering world for 10 years in intelligent transportation systems for VANUS Inc. (Now Gannett Fleming) and Faller, Davis, & Associates, and also became a licensed PE. “During my ten years of experience in the private sector, I have seen first-hand some of the challenges faced by urban planning and transportation planning departments across our nation and have had the opportunity to implement around the country ITS solutions ranging from the Advanced Transportation Management Systems to Incident Detection Systems as well as serving as an in-house consultant to the Florida Department of Transportation to help address these challenges,” said Meredith.
But that wasn’t enough for Meredith. She decided to continue her education, and the program at CTR was recommended to her by a previous professor.
Since arriving at CTR, she is actively engaged as the President of the ITE Student Chapter, is a member of the CTR Employee Council representing all students, is involved in the Austin-area WTS Chapter, as well as ITS.