Ben Rouleau Wins Goldwater Scholarship

 Ben Rouleau

 

Ben Rouleau, 2013 Goldwater Scholar (Photo by Sally McCay, originally published by UVM Communications)

 

Benjamin Rouleau, a civil engineering junior who has worked on a number of research projects at the Transportation Research Center, has been selected as a 2013 Goldwater Scholar. This is a very prestigious prize awarded by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence In Education Foundation. Students must go through a competitive process at UVM first before their nominations are forwarded to the national level. Goldwater Scholars receive $7,500 for each of their remaining years of undergraduate studies.

Of the 271 scholarships awarded for the 2013–2014 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States, Ben was the only representative from the University of Vermont and only one of three students from our state (the other two are attending schools outside of Vermont). He is also only one of two civil engineering students (both with career goals in transportation) that have been selected nationally. Here is the full list of the 2013 Goldwater Scholars

Ben has completed several projects over the years at the UVM Transportation Research Center, beginning after his first year where he spent the summer working with researchers Jim Sullivan and Jonathan Dowds, calculating daily travel by bikes and pedestrains in Chittenden County, including managing the video footage, collecting data, and assisting in project planning.  This project continued until the end of his sophomore year, with Rouleau’s work expanding to automating counting with Eco-Counter tools and calculating the variation in pedestrain and bike traffic by season.  Last spring, Rouleau worked on another video project with civil engineering doctoral student Nathan Belz, recording video of roundabouts and analyzing the resulting data.  This fall, Rouleau also worked with TRC Associated Faculty member Brian Lee, recording counts of vehicles in work zones in conjunction with a speed sensor.

While Ben has already participated in numerous TRC projects in his undergraduatestudies, his focus on transportation continues for his senior year.  His thesis proposal this spring will be based on his data from his earlier work with Sullivan and Dowds, as Rouleau looks to determine factos that influence bike and pedestrian use of roads in rural areas, specifically in Chittenden County.  This work will focus specifically on built environment factors, such as grade, speed, etc.

 

Ben was also recently featured by UVM Communications, read the full story here

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