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Grad student named MTC Student of the Year

Portrait of Tim Cope

Tim Cope was named the Midwest Transportation Center’s Student of the Year. Photo by Jennifer Hollis

Civil engineering graduate student Tim Cope was recently named the Midwest Transportation Center’s Student of the Year. Cope was selected from applicants of the four states that comprise the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center.

The criteria were based on the student’s research, GPA, and other various university activities in which the student participated. Students were also required to send a resume and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

Cope accepted the honor during the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) 2015 Annual Banquet and business meeting held in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 10.

The banquet was held one day before the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 94th Annual Meeting, also in D.C., where Cope presented a research project he credits with helping him win the honor.

The project, which Cope has been working on as his thesis for the past two semesters, studies the use of alarms to increase safety in mobile work zones.

Timothy Cope, center, at the 2015 TRB awards ceremony for the U.S. DOT’s University Transportation Centers Program. With him are (left) Shashi Nambisan, president of the Council of University Transportation Centers, and Gregory Winfree, director, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), U.S. DOT.

Timothy Cope, center, at the 2015 TRB awards ceremony for the U.S. DOT’s University Transportation Centers Program. With him are (left) Shashi Nambisan, president of the Council of University Transportation Centers, and Gregory Winfree, director, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), U.S. DOT. Photo courtesy of TRB

“The goal of it is essentially to prevent people from having incidents in work zones, and in that aspect, it feels really good to work on a project that could do good,” Cope said. “And then to give the presentation to different industry experts from across the nation and to be able to share our findings with them was great.”

As well as being accepted for presentation at the conference, the research is currently being considered for publication in the TRB journal.

Tim Cope presents at the Transportation Research Board conference.

Tim Cope presents at the Transportation Research Board conference. Photo courtesy of Charlie Nemmers

“I like working with things I can see — hands-on work,” said Cope of what drew him to the field of civil engineering. He especially enjoys working with transportation and roadways, as he always has had an interest in how they connect cities.

“But once I started into the graduate program, the safety aspects really stood out because that’s a part that’s really growing now. There’s been a lot of change in recent years,” Cope said. “Being able to be a part of something where you can have that direct effect is really cool.”