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2017 Scholarship Winners

 

Caroline_headshotWTS HELENE M. OVERLY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Caroline Le Floch

Caroline Le Floch received her engineering degree at École Polytechnique, France’s premier institution in mathematics, physics, and engineering. This training provided her with a very strong analytical foundation and ignited her passion for transportation, and she applied this training to a variety of transportation projects. During her undergraduate studies, Caroline interned at Autolib’, an electric vehicle car sharing company, where she examined fleet distribution and data management. It was during her internship that she created the balancing algorithm that reallocates cars across stations, and ensures that most users find a car when they need one. This algorithm is now used in Paris, London and Indianapolis. 

Caroline is currently a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UC Berkeley where she is highly regarded within the department and the Transportation Engineering program. After just over three years, she managed to publish six peer reviewed publications, four authored independently by her and three in top-tier academic journals. In the process of writing these papers, Caroline developed an interest in the correlation among electric grid impacts, behavioral modeling, and transportation. She has a strong belief that connected cars will bear great innovations and hopes to bring reality to these concepts.

In addition to pursuing her Ph.D., Caroline is working on a startup project, eCalCharge, which develops smart charging software for fleets of electric cars, and reduces the cost of EV charging for drivers. In 2015, she was selected by the UC Berkeley Foundry incubator as the finalist of the DOE‐sponsored Berkeley Cleantech Competition. Last year, she won a hackathon and at the Powerhouse Accelerator, and was recently chosen as Siebel Scholar for her academic excellence and demonstrated leadership.

 

Sameneh_Headshot_-_Leadership_LegacyWTS LEADERSHIP LEGACY SCHOLARSHIP
Samaneh Khazraeian

As an Iranian living in Tehran,a large city that faces overwhelming congestion on a daily basis, Samaneh Khazraeian realized the urgent need for improvement in transportation systems at a very young age. This is the reason she is motivated to develop her professional and leadership skills—so she can make a difference in the future transportation systems. Samaneh attended the Transportation Engineering program at the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) where she was ranked first among graduate students and was honored as the exceptional student in 2011. The coursework during her Master’s degree studies further inspired Samaneh to pursue education in connected vehicle (CV) technology. Soon after graduating with her Master’s degree, Samaneh traveled a long distance from her family to earn her Ph.D. at Florida International University. Samaneh chose to do her dissertation on methods for utilizing connected vehicle data in support of traffic bottleneck management. Due to her dissertation research, incidentsand the resulted queues will be detected much faster by utilizing connected vehicle data, not only saving time and money, but also saving many lives.  Another topic in her dissertation research is developing a framework to supporttraffic agencies in decision-making for ITS investment (CV vs. existing technologies).

Samaneh got involved with the FIU WTS Student Chapter once she settled in Florida and began working on her Ph.D. As the chapter’s former president, she believes leading a student chapter was an essential step toward developing her leadership skills.She has been the recipient of several awards including the 2016 TRB best student paper award as well as the 2015 WTS Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship Award.  Samaneh is passionate about her involvement with WTS and particularly embraces the opportunity to network with leaders in the transportation industry, which she believes is extremely valuable. Her goal is to improve the performance of the current transportation system by utilizing her expertise in the connected vehicle technology and leadership power.

 

Gwen_picWTS MOLITORIS LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP FOR UNDERGRADUATES
Gwen Jones

Gwen Jones has always been fascinated by engineering. At the age of 12 she toured Washington, D.C., with one of the area’s civil engineers, who pointed out the buildings and bridges that he had a part in constructing along the way. It was this experience that inspired Gwen to pursue a career in engineering. 

Gwen is an undergraduate student at Oregon Technical Institute pursuing a degree in civil engineering with a focus on bridges and how they affect the transportation system. Over the summer, Gwen participated in a history of bridges class, touring more than 40 bridges throughout Oregon and attending the NITC Transportation and Communities Summit in Portland, further driving her passion for bridges and her interest in the direct impact bridges have on a burgeoning transportation system. She will graduate in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree. In addition to taking engineering classes, Gwen has accepted a position with Adkins Consulting Engineering.

Gwen’s drive, determination, and confidence helped her secure the position of Director of Health and Diversity for Rogue Community College’s Associated Student Government. However, she believes her greatest leadership commitment is being a mother to her two children. As a full-time student and mother, she is driven to succeed and obtain her degree.

 

Marisa_-_Sharon_BanksWTS SHARON D. BANKS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Marisa Davini

Marisa Davini’s passion for civil engineering began long before her first year of college. Growing up in a family where her dad always encouraged conversations related to transportation, it was almost inevitable that today Marisa is following in her father’s footsteps as a civil engineer and designing roadways and bridges across California. Marisa also enjoys sharing her passion for transportation with middle-school students at a local school where she volunteers her time. Marisa planned and participated in several bridge building activities in an effort to inspired many young students to consider a path in engineering.

As a junior at California State University, Chico, Marisa is majoring in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Transportation Engineering, and she is also pursuing a double minor in Business Administration and Sustainability. Not only does Marisa embrace her challenging course work, she also successfully secured and completed two summer internships with Quincy Engineering, a Transportation Engineering firm in Sacramento. Over the past two summers, Marisa has broadened her knowledge of transportation engineering by getting hands-on experience and has learned what it takes to be a leader in the firm. She is grateful for her internship experiences that have sharpened her communication skills, confidence, and her ability to work through challenges. After graduation, Marisa is excited to begin working for a transportation firm designing roadways, bridges, and eventually become a leader in the firm. Though she doesn’t graduate until May 2018, Marisa has already passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and is well on her way to becoming a transportation engineer.

 

Soshia_cropped_for_websiteWTS JUNIOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP
Soshia Tymchek

Soshia Tymchek has been employed at a civil engineering firm where her job titles have changed progressively over the past 10 years. She began her career as a receptionist, moved to marketing assistant, became accounting lead, then CAD designer and finally project coordinator. This progression in job titles is a true testament to Soshia’s tenacity and willingness to work hard. Though Soshia’s journey has not been easy, she has always persisted and has overcome any obstacles that came in her way.

While Soshia works full time, she is working toward her goal to receive her Bachelor’s degree in May of 2017. Today, she is a vital member of her project teams managing administration, technical and managerial components and hopes to take the role of Project Manager once she obtains her degree. Soshia attributes much of her success to the mentors she has had on her journey. Through her involvement with the WTS Inland Empire chapter, she has developed a solid support system that has helped her achieve her goals.

 

sruthi_-_TYouWTS TRANSPORTATION YOU HIGH SCHOOOL SCHOLARSHIP
Sruthi Srinivasan

Sruthi Srinivasan has always been fascinated by science and its application to better humankind. She embraces the opportunities in high school to work on challenging projects related to this effort. One project that she worked on looked at ways to remove textile dyes from water supplies. She understood the urgency of this endeavor because during her travels to India to visit family, she realized contamination generated by the textile dye is of immense concern.

During the summer of Sruthi’s sophomore year, she attended the Biomedical Research summer camp at the University of Pennsylvania, which reinforced her laboratory skills. In 11th grade, she worked on the extension of a research project where graduate students at Rowan University were using high energy lasers to analyze the mineralogy of aggregates. Sruthi embraced these opportunities to work on incorporating different algorithms to improve predictions and to obtain some valuable programming skills. She also had the opportunity to interact with a transportation engineering faculty member who worked on connected vehicle technology, igniting her passion for the subject. Her interest in this field further crystallized during a 6-week residential camp through the Governor’s school of Technology and Engineering at Rutgers University this past summer.

As the recipient of the WTS Transportation YOU High School Scholarship, Sruthi hopes to use the funding to pursue an engineering degree in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis on smart vehicles.

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