3 USF transportation students receive the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship



The Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP) awards fellowships to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines. This program advances the transportation workforce by helping to attract the nation’s brightest minds to the field of transportation, encouraging future transportation professionals to seek advanced degrees, and helping to retain top talent in the U.S. transportation industry.

CUTR is thrilled to announce three USF College of Engineering transportation students received this prestigious fellowship: Trang Luong, Lori Palaio, and Brian Staes.


Trang Luong is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of South Florida (USF) specializing in transportation engineering. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering at USF in 2015 and 2017, respectively. While pursuing her degrees, Trang was inspired to promote education to help the next generations apply innovative engineering practices to enhance the quality of life. Throughout her time studying at USF, she has maintained a high level of academic excellence and leadership in numerous extracurricular activities. She served as President and Vice President of American Society of Civil Engineers and Institute of Transportation Engineers Student Chapters. Trang received several prestigious institutional and national awards for engineering research and service to the student body.


Lori Palaio is a second semester Master of Science student at the University of South Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in December 2018. Currently, she conducts graduate research at the Center for Urban Transportation Research with Dr. Robert L. Bertini as her advisor. She is most interested in bike-sharing across explanatory dimensions, including system size, weather, location, and trip purpose using large data platforms. Lori also acts as the Treasurer for USF’s ITE chapter.


Brian Staes earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2018 from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Currently, Brian is a graduate research assistant at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) under the instruction of Dr. Robert Bertini. While at CUTR, Brian has worked on a variety of projects ranging from transit system performance analysis, campus mobility patterns, and evaluation of the stress imposed on Florida’s roadway network during the mass evacuation of Hurricane Irma. Brian is focusing on future projects concerning asset management during an evacuation, specifically targeting vulnerable populations and their transportation to areas of refuge. Brian also had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for numerous engineering courses at FGCU where he assisted other students on understanding key civil engineering concepts. He plans on furthering his education by pursuing a doctorate degree.





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