STRIDE’s Student of the Year for 2023: Bryce Grame

By: Ines Aviles-Spadoni, M.S.

Bryce Grame is working on a concurrent master’s degree in urban and regional planning and civil engineering. He is also a doctoral student specializing in transportation.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) University Transportation Center’s (UTC) program recognizes a student from each UTC across the nation for their achievements and promise for future contributions to the field of transportation. This year, the UFTI’s STRIDE Center has selected Bryce Grame, a concurrent degree master’s student in urban and regional planning and doctoral student in civil engineering specializing in transportation, as the 2023 Student of the Year.   

“It is an incredible honor to have been selected as the STRIDE Student of the Year,” Grame said. “I am very grateful to represent my advisors, Dr. Srinivasan and Dr. Steiner, and the rest of UFTI in receiving it. Reviewing the list of the previously selected students is extremely humbling, and it motivates me to have a large impact on the transportation industry like the other recipients have.”

Grame’s research focuses on traffic operations and safety, including human factors, which seeks to understand how humans interact with transportation systems, vehicles, and infrastructure.  For his master’s thesis, Grame conducted a study using unique eye-tracking technology with transit bus drivers in Gainesville, Florida. The study was conducted in a real-world context on public roadways instead of in a lab environment. During the study, bus drivers wore eye-tracking technology that shows where their attention is focused.

Images from the eye-tracking study.

“The research group that I led conducted the first in-field eye-tracking naturalistic driving study with transit bus drivers,” he said. “We aimed to better understand the potential benefits and harms of using eye-tracking technology in transit.”

Grame is very active in transportation-related extracurricular activities. For example, he served as the past president of the Gator Institute of Transportation Engineers (GatorITE) student chapter at UF. He has also participated in the ITE Shark Tank Competition, which runs during the Florida-Puerto Rico ITE (FLPRITE) District meetings. During the competition, students pitch a research idea or project to the sharks (judges) in a presentation-style format. The sharks decide whether to fund their project or idea for implementation.  

“Gustavo Zschaber and I have represented UF and made the podium the last two years now, me getting 2nd both times and Gustavo winning it last year, then coming in 3rd place this year,” Grame said.

Zschaber is a fellow doctoral student in the transportation program at UF.

Grame Bryce, center, in New Orleans during Traffic Bowl, a competition hosted by the Institute of Transportation Engineers that tests student knowledge on topics related to transportation planning and engineering.

 “Last year, I sold Dr. Elefteriadou’s textbook, ‘An Introduction to Traffic Flow Theory, ’ to the sharks, arguing that it is superior to previous literature and its competitors,” he said. “This year, I convinced the sharks that the transit field should be investing in eye-tracking technology. It felt really good to place twice alongside my close friend and fellow Gator, Gustavo.”

Grame’s other accolades include receiving an honorable mention for the FLPRITE Bill McGrath Memorial Scholarship and winning the FLPRITE Traffic Bowl knowledge competition two years in a row. He also won the Florida American Planning Association’s inaugural Student Poster Competition for his poster on “Eye Tracking Applications in Transit.”

Grame is expected to graduate with his urban and regional planning master’s degree in the spring of 2024 and is on track to complete his doctoral degree in the fall of 2026.