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ARTBA Honors Texas A&M Professor, Retired ORAFOL Leader

Mon July 09, 2018 - National Edition

Gene Hawkins, a professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University and retired ORAFOL Americas leader Tom Flaherty are the respective public and private sector recipients of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association's (ARTBA) 2018 “Jake Landen Memorial Safety Award.”

Established in 1979 by ARTBA's Traffic Safety Industry Division (TSID), the Landen Award is presented annually to those individuals who have “made significant and lasting contributions to the safety of our nation's highways.”  To be eligible, a person must have been employed, or be retired from, a private business or publicly-funded organization, made a significant contribution to highway safety and be nominated by a TSID member.

The two were honored during the TSID's annual summer meeting in Denver, Colo.

Flaherty spent more than three decades advocating the need for improved retroreflectivity in roadway and vehicle signs and markings to enhance motorist information in both long-term road operations and shorter-term construction operations.

Flaherty, who began his career in traffic safety in 1987, spent 25 years with Reflexite Americas (acquired by ORAFOL in 2011).  He served on several industry committees and boards, including ARTBA's TSID board, the American Traffic Safety Services Association board and the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) Temporary Traffic Control Technical Committee.

Hawkins also holds a joint appointment as a research engineer with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI).  He's spent 32 years in College Station. Prior to joining TTI, he worked in the private sector for several consulting firms.

Hawkins currently serves as the chair of the NCUTCD and is active in both the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Transportation Research Board.  He has received multiple awards, including the 2012 ITE Wilbur S. Smith “Distinguished Transportation Educator Award,” the 2010 Texas ITE “Transportation Engineer of the Year,” and the TTI/Trinity “Outstanding Researcher Award” in 1998.

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