• Parsa Pezeshknejad installs a traffic camera on a utility pole. The camera gathers information at mid-block crosswalks to understand pedestrian, cyclists, and driver behavior to improve safety. This is part of the ongoing “Effectiveness of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at Mid-Block Crossings” project

  • Sierra Espeland won the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship (DDETFP) Achievement Award for the 2021 Top Ranked Master’s Fellowship Fellow for her research, "Travel Burdens in Rural U.S. Households" at the 2021 Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

  • Brittany Antończak presents her research on the effects of paved transportation infrastructure on urban heat micro-environments

  • Julia Clarke, Erica Quallen, Parsa Pezeshknejad, and Sierra Espeland at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Transportation Board in Washington DC

  • Erica Quallen presents her research, "A Comparative Analysis of Opportunities and Barriers for Changing Travel Behavior and Reducing GHG Emissions in Small and Rural Communities" during a poster session at the 2021 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC

  • Clare Nelson presents her senior honors defense, "An evaluation of the sustainability and equity of mileage-based user fees versus the gas tax in Vermont"

 

2021-2022 TRC Students

Narges Ahmadnia

Narges Ahmadnia is a Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student from Iran. She holds an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology, as well as her Masters in transportation engineering, where she focused on factors that influence transportation mode choice. Her Ph.D. research with Dr. Greg Rowangould focuses on how or whether changes in fuel prices influence travel behavior in small cities and rural communities. She looks forward to the opportunity to connect people’s thought and behavior processes with her civil engineering background.   

Brittany Antończak

Brittany Antończak is a Graduate Research Assistant from Kenilworth, NJ. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Transportation Engineering. She holds an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from The University of New Mexico. Through her work, Brittany is motivated to improve transit access, active travel opportunities, accessible transportation design and transportation policy.

Brittany’s current research with Dr. Greg Rowangould and Dr. Elizabeth Doran, investigates the relationship between paved surfaces and urban heat. This research aims to highlight the relationship between transportation infrastructure and warmer city temperatures in order to provide state DOTs and municipal transportation agencies with new information for mitigating undesirable heat impacts from transportation projects, improving the health and welfare of those experiencing excess heat.

Connie Douthwaite

Connie Douthwaite (she/her) is an undergraduate Environmental Engineering student from Newtown Square, PA. When she took the CE133 Transportation Systems class with Dr. Greg Rowangould, she became interested in using GIS spatial data to study transportation systems.

She is excited to continue improving her skills using this tool as she works with Dr. Greg Rowangould to evaluate factors explaining differences in Vermonter’s patterns of vehicle use, vehicle preferences, and vehicular GHG emissions by looking for correlations with other spatial factors.

Danica Dytioco

Danica Dytioco (she/her) is an undergraduate Environmental Engineering student from Seattle Washington. Her strong desire to do good in the world, for both community and the environment, led her to environmental engineering where she sees opportunities to conserve, restore, and improve our environment.

Through her work with Dr. Dana Rowangould and Kristen Underwood, Danica is gaining a lot of general experience conducting literature reviews, research, and field work working on a project focusing on floodplain restoration in the Lake Champlain Basin. The project examines how to prioritize different objectives, such as floodplain reconnection, opportunity costs, conservation and restoration benefits when planning floodplain restoration and conservation projects, as well as incorporating public insights about the value of floodplains. 

Sierra Espeland

 

Sierra Espeland is a Civil Engineering Masters student from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her research with Dr. Dana Rowangould looks at how people in rural communities are meeting their transportation needs. She seeks to understand what constraints people face in regards to vehicle access, ability to make trips, financial burdens and trip duration.

One of Sierra's goals is to improve people's lives by increasing access to sustainable travel options through a better understanding of how policy decisions and the built environment impact marginalized communities.

Holly Foster

 

Holly Foster (she/her) is an undergraduate student from Mystic, CT studying Community and International Development. Holly is a part of a rural transportation equity project with Dr. Dana Rowangould that focuses on gathering and analyzing personal stories from rural Vermonters and migrant workers on their transportation experiences. Holly is interested in the effect that transportation access has on food security and physical and mental health. One of the goals of the project is to address the social isolation among rural Vermonters and migrant workers through more accessible and sustainable transportation so that basic needs and community ties can be built.

Alex Greer

Alex Greer (she/her) is an undergraduate Environmental Engineering student from Charlottesville, VA. Through a Barrett Scholarship, she is working with Dr. Elizabeth Doran and Dr. Greg Rowangould collecting heat and temperature data around Burlington from an e-bike instrumented with sensors as part of a larger TRC study looking at the effects of transportation infrastructure and land use on micro-climates in urban and rural communities across Vermont.

Viewing engineering as a way to improve the environment, Alex is excited to combine what she’s learning about transportation systems at the TRC with her interests in renewable energy and water accessibility.

Julia LanzDuret-Hernandez

Julia LanzDuret-Hernandez is an undergraduate Research Assistant from Rochester, New York, majoring in Community and International Development through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Their research with Dr. Dana Rowangould focuses on the transportation experiences of rural Vermonters in the Northeast Kingdom and of migrant workers in the state of Vermont.
She is interested in continuing to learn of new ways to improve communities by making them more equitable and sustainable for their residents. Julia aims to amplify rural Vermonter’s needs regarding transportation so that agencies and services can make adequate changes.

Parker King

Parker King (he/him) is a Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD student from Kansas City, MO. He holds an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and a Masters in Biostatistics from the ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His PhD research with Dr. Elizabeth Doran and Dr. Greg Rowangould focuses on how transportation infrastructure creates micro-climates that contribute to the urban heat island effect and negative health outcomes. He is interested to see how this applies in non-urban and rural areas in Vermont, as most research to date has been done in large metropolitan areas.

Maisie Melican

Maisie Melican (she/her) is a Geography undergraduate from Detroit, MI. She has been working with Dr. Dana Rowangould’s research team to look at how carless Vermonters in rural areas are meeting their transportation needs. She is excited to work for the TRC because of her interest in urban planning and passion for transportation equity.
She is also an outreach intern for the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition, where she advocates for sustainable transportation and petroleum reduction in the Green Mountain State.
She is grateful to have the opportunity to use these two positions to examine how the social and environmental impacts of transportation intersect.

Clare Nelson

Clare Nelson (she/her) is a Civil Engineering undergraduate student from Madison, CT. When she took a close on sustainable transportation systems with Dr. Greg Rowangould, she switched from Environmental Engineering to Civil Engineering as it more closely allowed her to understand social and behavioral motivations around transportation systems and decision-making, as well as to connect the design of systems and spaces with community needs. Her honors thesis with Dr. Greg Rowangould will examine how a mileage-based fee, instead of the gas tax, could affect different communities, as well as public perceptions of the mileage-based fee.

Parsa Pezeshknejad

Parsa Pezeshknejad is a Graduate Research Assistant at the TRC, pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Joining the TRC from Tehran, Iran, Parsa’s interests in transportation include evaluation of public transportation systems, data science, urban transportation planning, sustainable and transit-oriented development, and pedestrian accessibility. He is most passionate about sustainability and accessibility as they pertain to pedestrian and public transportation.

Parsa’s research at the TRC evaluates the pedestrian safety of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) in Vermont. He will analyze the effectiveness of RRFBs in Vermont through experimental design, data collection, and statistical analysis. The overall goal of his research is to ensure that investments in RRFBs in Vermont improve safety outcomes in order to inform the design of pedestrian crossings in the future.

Harry Schukei

Harry Schukei is a Graduate Research Assistant pursing a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Fairfax, VT. His research with Dr. Dana Rowangould focuses on how travel differs in urban and rural communities, particularly how the built environment affects how people travel. Harry wants to use his knowledge to improve transportation policy and planning in communities of all sizes and types. He hopes his research improves decision making in rural communities so that they can travel more sustainably and effectively.

Alvaro Nadal-Alvarez

Alvaro Nadal-Alvarez is an undegraduate Political Science student from Palma de Mallorca, Spain. He is part of a rural transportation equity project with Dr. Dana Rowangould that analyzes personal stories from migrant workers on their transportation experiences. 
 
He is interested in applying his cultural and linguistic skills to assist migrant workers, specifically during interviews and research that involve the use of multiple languages. Additionally, he has a strong interest in evaluating how the needs of rural workers can be addressed through sustainable and accessible transportation. As a migrant himself, the project is very meaningful to him and hopes to make a difference where possible. 

Charlotte Perveiler

Charlotte Perveiler (she/her) is an undergraduate Civil Engineering student from Pittsburgh, PA. While taking Dr. Gregory Rowangould’s Transportation Systems class, she became interested in sustainable and accessible transportation systems and wanted to get a better understanding of the field and how she could contribute to it. 

Currently, she is working under Dr. Gregory Rowangould and PhD student Brittany Antońcazk to further their research on exposure to emissions due to living near roads of different activity levels. Through this experience, she is using her growing knowledge from UVM’s engineering classes and her research to gain a better understanding of different approaches to engineering projects. She is also obtaining more practice with coding and further exploring programs that help model data—both of which are particular areas of interest to her.

 

Graduated Students

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke was a Civil Engineering student at the University of Vermont. Julia was working with Dr. Greg Rowangould on a study examining how pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle travel behavior changed in Vermont during and after the Covid-19 stay-at-home period.

Julia is now a Transportation Planner at Arup in the Boston office!

Erica Quallen

Erica Quallen graduated from UVM’s Master’s of Civil Engineering program, and has since begun working in the City of South Burlington as their Deputy Director of Capital Projects in the Department of Public Works. Erica's role involves managing bicycle and pedestrian facility scoping, design, and construction projects. So far these have included projects like the bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-89, closing gaps in our shared use path network on Dorset Street and Spear Street, and working with our bicycle and pedestrian committee. The other part of her role has been at the long-range planning and policy level working with departments from across the City to develop their 10-year capital improvement plans for all types of projects. 

Erica’s time with UVM and the TRC has helped me become more comfortable working in the policy realm and bridge the gap between engineers or project managers and the policy makers like our City Manager and City Council. 

Stephen Montaño

Joining the TRC from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stephen Montaño (he/him) is pursuing a M.S. in Civil Engineering, with a focus on transportation. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engingeering from the University of New Mexico. Stephen’s research with Dr. Greg Rowangould investigates how e-bikes impact a user’s route choice, sense of safety, and the differences between e-bikers and traditional bicyclists.

One goal of Stephen’s e-bike research is to help communities in Vermont identify opportunities to improve conditions for bicycling. Citing the health, economic, environmental, and accessibility benefits that come with using e-bikes, Stephen sees his research as an outlet for making positive contributions to the environment and the community.

 

The UVM Transportation Research Center seeks outstanding graduate and undergraduate students interested in conducting research and outreach on critical transportation issues.

The TRC currently has open positions for graduate research assistants.

Contact us for more information

Current Projects

The TRC’s current research portfolio covers a wide range of transportation topics while focusing on sustainability and equity. Undergraduate and graduate students are key contributors and leads in much of our work.

Alternative and Multi-Modal Transportation

Energy, Emissions and the Environment

Equity and Travel Behavior

Safety, Infrastructure and Maintenance

Sustainable Rural Communities