With Commencement around the corner, the TRC sends off several undergraduate and graduate researchers to start their lives and careers beyond UVM. Some students are entering the workforce as transportation planners and engineers, while others are continuing their studies at the graduate level. Here are just a few ways our students will bring what they have learned from their research to support more sustainable, equitable, and resilient transportation systems in Vermont and beyond.
Sierra Espeland: B.S., Civil Engineering
Sierra Espeland graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering with minors in statistics and mathematics. Her interest in transportation equity and accessibility developed from her TRC research experience has led Sierra to continue her studies at UVM next fall, pursuing a MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering with a focus on Transportation.
Rose O'Brien: B.S., Environmental Engineering
Rose will join VHB at their South Burlington office as a Transportation Engineer. After a year of both interning at VHB and serving as a research assistant at the TRC, Rose’s new role will have her out in the field doing on-site inspection work on Vermont Agency of Transportation projects. She is looking forward to working outside and seeing how different types of transportation infrastructure are designed, evaluated, and implemented across the state.
Rose says that her research experience at the TRC has been a great way to explore transportation topics outside of the classroom, as well as understand the terminology of transportation design and implementation processes. Additionally, Rose says that learning skills such as data postprocessing and research-style writing from her work at the TRC have been, and will continue to be, helpful for her role at VHB. She encourages other students to participate in transportation research because it provides the opportunity to learn about subjects that might not be available in typical coursework.
Luckily, it’s not all work right off the bat: Between graduation, taking her Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, and starting her new job, Rose will travel back to her home in Killington, VT to spend some time with her family and do some mountain biking.
Stephen Montaño: M.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering
Stephen Montaño will graduate with a Master of Science degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering this summer. His MS thesis evaluates the differing transportation infrastructure needs of conventional and electric bicycle users. He recently started work as a Transportation Engineer at Lee Engineering, a consulting firm in his home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Zach Roussel: B.S., Environmental Engineering
After almost 2 years of working as a research assistant at the TRC, Zach will join EIV Technical Services, a small environmental consulting firm in Winooski as Civil Engineer., Zach will be working on the long-awaited extension of Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express route to Burlington. Zach’s work will include performing environmental inspection to make sure plans for the project are being followed, and he is looking forward to being able to learn from his colleagues.
Zach says that his research experiences at TRC have provided opportunities to learn about topics that are outside of the environmental engineering curriculum, and that his research fostered his interest in transportation as a potential career path. The opportunity to work independently and learn on his own doing research has been one of the most rewarding aspects of Zach’s experience.
Like many of his peers, Zach will take his Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam shortly after graduating and he plans to jump right into work thereafter.