Spotlight on STRIDE Students

Lindsay Braun, Ph.D., is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She teaches and conducts research in the field of transportation planning with emphasis on the built environment and travel behavior, active transportation, public health and social justice. After graduating with her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, she worked for three years as a transportation planning consultant in Raleigh, N.C. During her master’s, she specialized in transportation planning and became interested in the connections between transportation and public health. After three years in the workforce, she decided to pursue her doctoral studies, and returned to UNC-Chapel Hill to study inequalities in access to bicycle infrastructure. Lindsay graduated this semester with her Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Calvin Clark is a doctoral student at the Georgia Institute of Technology working on projects related to transportation planning with Dr. Kari Watkins. He says he enjoys transportation planning because it is part of everyday life. “Whether to get to work or school, or go to the store, or even for those who don’t leave the house, multimodal transportation planning, in particular, is how we turn our profession into truly serving the entire community,” said Clark. Clark is working on projects funded by GDOT and NCHRP, which are analyzing user preferences of bicycle infrastructure and how changes in the infrastructure can change behavior. “There is so much to learn, and it’s so fascinating how seemingly unrelated things can be so intricately connected,” he said.  Clark plans on going into academia upon graduation.

Shoaib Samandar is working on a doctoral degree in transportation engineering at North Carolina State University. He says that every aspect of transportation interests him. “Specifically, the ability to enable people to move from point A to B, safely, reliably and efficiently,” he said.  Samandar is working on a STRIDE project titled Improving Work Zone Mobility through Planning, Design, and Operations. He has been tasked on this project with providing a synthesis of the research findings, data collection best practices, and modeling tools and techniques from previous projects at ITRE, which will be shared with the STRIDE project’s research team (Auburn University and Georgia Tech) to make a determination on how to best incorporate this information into the study. Also, he has been tasked with conducting microscopic and macroscopic modeling for the Work Zone Mobility project. Upon graduation, Samandar plans to return to his home country and work in academia.