For the past 22 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has honored an outstanding student from each UTC at a special ceremony held during the TRB Annual Meeting. This award is given based on academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and leadership in students groups and outreach. Each student is recognized during the ceremony by a USDOT official. In 2012, Taylor Lochrane, a Ph.D. student at the University of Central Florida (UCF), was recognized as excelling in each of these categories through his selection as the 2012 NCTSPM Student of the Year.
At the time of his award, it was plain to all who worked with him that Lochrane's hard work, talent, and dedication were sure to take him far. Less than two years later, those predictions have come true, with more surely yet to come.
On July 15, 2014, Lochrane met with President Obama to discuss his research and to present a demonstration of the cutting-edge transportation technology he has developed. According to Lochrane, President Obama was "very interested in our research", which included a vehicle Lochrane customized with special sensors, and a demonstration of how this technology could decrease highway congestion and increase traveler safety. The president highlighted the technology in a speech later the same day.
Lochrane works as a research civil engineer at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, and the specific work he presented was a component of the Center's project relating to speed harmonization.
NCTSPM and UCF and extremely proud of Mr. Lochrane and his accomplishments.