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Research skills help graduate student win prestigious fellowship

Keith Christian, a master’s student in civil engineering, received one of the most prized national fellowship awards for transportation engineering students, the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.

Christian, who earned his bachelor’s in civil engineering at ASU last year, became involved in research early in his education. Christian became an officer in the ASU student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and took an opportunity to work as research assistant for Ram Pendyala, professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.

During his undergraduate years, he helped organize two major transportation research symposiums at ASU and has taken a lead role in compiling and editing voluminous reports on presentations made at the events. He contributed to an ASU research project to develop software to help engineers devise solutions to increasing demands on transportation systems. He then helped provide computer-based training in the use of the new software. He was involved in another project using advanced computational methods to implement a new research tool called the Transportation Analysis and Simulation System.

As a graduate student, Christian will research ways in which engineering design could effectively promote more fuel-efficient, less-polluting travel, as well as other steps toward establishing environmentally and economically sustainable transportation systems.

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