August 30, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 28
Idaho State University Professors Bruce Savage and Arya Ebrahimpour of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have received $190,577 from the Federal Highway Administration for a project titled "Highway Transportation Training of Women and Minority Civil Engineering Students."
This project involves partnership with the Idaho Transportation Department. The ISU professors will work with Ed Bala, ITD District 5 engineer, and Michelle George, ITD senior human resource specialist, to complete this project.
The primary goal of this project is to create a program that encourages more women and minorities to stay in the field of civil engineering. A multi-faceted approach will be used that includes hands-on design project activities, field trips, guest lectures, job opportunity exploration and financial incentives. The wide range of activities will open the door of possibilities and provide additional training to prepare the students to work in the area of highway design and construction.
Both undergraduate and graduate students will participate in this program. Undergraduate students will be given real world engineering assignments in the following areas of ITD District 5: design, traffic, construction, maintenance, right of way and environmental compliance.
The graduate students will work with ISU faculty members on research projects that are linked to specific federal highway projects or problems that also match with the career goals of the students. These may include: bridge structures, roadway maintenance and projects involving hydraulics/water resources.
The grant was awarded to ISU through its Federal Highway Administration's On the Job Training/ Supportive Services program. The program funds apprenticeships and training opportunities for underrepresented or disadvantaged people pursuing careers in transportation, engineering or construction. ISU was the only university in Idaho to receive funding this year for this specific program.