2014 NCTSPM Student of the Year award winner: Debbie Meyer

We are pleased to announce the 2014 NCTSPM Student of the Year has been awarded to Debbie Meyer from Florida International University. 

Each year at the annual winter meeting of the Transportation Research Board, the U.S.DOT honors the most outstanding student from each participating University Transportation center for his/her achievements and promised for future contributions to the transportation field. 

Debbie Meyer has been nominated for NCTSPM's Outstanding Student of the Year award because her research on wind effects on VMS is of significant importance to a wide spectrum of professionals, including traffic engineers at the state DOT, VMS manufacturers, design professionals involved in wind design of traffic infrastructure, and the general public whose safety depends on the reliability of VMS structures operating in the US highways and interstates. Using state-of-the-art WOW large-scale testing, she developed accurate drag coefficients for incorporation in the AASHTO Support Specification to foster safer and more economic design of VMS structures. Using simple corner modifications, she achieved significant reduction in wind drag (as much as 30%) on VMS structures which will help realize economic benefits by downsizing structural elements without jeopardizing the safety of these cornerstones of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) infrastructure.  

Debbie is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University. Her research focus is in structural aerodynamics of transportation infrastructure. Debbie’s research at the FIU Wall of Wind (WOW), supported by NCTSPM, investigated wind induced aerodynamics and aeroelastic effects on Variable Message Signs (VMS). 

Debbie is a professional engineer and the Roadway Operations Engineer for Florida’s Turnpike. In that capacity, she oversees the operation and repair of more than 2200 structures throughout Florida on the Turnpike system. Debbie is a recipient of the FDOT Bill Dean Bridge Engineering Award that recognizes technological advancement in bridge engineering and the Jon S. Beazley Exceptional Contribution Award.

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