AASHTO announced that it has chosen three employees of state departments of transportation to work in the coming year at association headquarters in Washington, D.C., as winners of 2017 Transportation Management Fellowships.
Two of them will be engineering fellows and one will be a policy fellow, and will start arriving at AASHTO in early April.
The engineering fellows are Troy Suing of the Washington State DOT and Alex Fisher-Willis of the Utah DOT. Megan Kenney of the Texas DOT is the policy fellow.
Suing works in the WSDOT South Central Region headquarters in Union Gap, where for the past nine years he has been assistant regional administrator for planning, program management and design. He began working at the department in 1991 as a construction inspector and designer, and later became region planning engineer and development branch project engineer before taking his current position.
Fisher-Willis works in UDOT's innovative contracting unit, where she collaborates on project acceleration with construction manager/general contractor and design-build teams. She joined the department in 2011, has worked as a rotational engineer in several departments and was quality engineer for a large design-build project to reconstruct part of an interstate highway.
Kenney provides policy analysis on various issues for the Texas Transportation Commission that oversees the state DOT. Her assignments include Texas Clear Lanes, which is a 10-year initiative to reduce congestion in Texas' major metropolitan areas. Prior to joining TxDOT, she was a researcher at Texas A&M Transportation Institute with a focus on freight, transportation planning and air quality studies.
AASHTO said the fellowship program provides benefits for the individuals, their state departments and for the national association.
It allows recipients a chance to interact with engineers, policymakers and industry professionals from across the country, and make contact with colleagues from other state DOTs who will become resources for the rest of his or her career.
The state DOT benefits from the knowledge obtained and connections made by the fellow and by gaining a better understanding of the association's inner workings. And AASHTO utilizes the fellow's “front-line” expertise and practical state agency experience in formulating technical documents and policy positions.
Under the program, the sponsoring state agency continues to pay the person's salary and benefits, while the association pays a stipend for living expenses and reimburses work-related travel costs.