ITS Recognizes Excellence

September 14, 2017

ITS recognized faculty, staff and student achievement Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at its first ITS Awards Ceremony.

“This is truly a celebration of our academic excellence, community, leadership and expanding ecosystem at ITS,” says ITS Director Alexandre Bayen. “We have come a long way from our beginning, and we should all be proud of the work we are doing.”

As part of the awards ceremony, ITS recognized long-time Professor Emeritus Carl Monismith for his decades of service to the Institute of Transportation Studies, and to the University of California, Berkeley. Monismith’s storied history was presented by College of Engineering Dean Shankar Sastry and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair Robert Harley. Dean Emeritus Karl Pister, UC Berkeley CE Professor Raymond Seed and former student, now Pavement Research Center Director, UC Davis CE Professor John Harvey also spoke about their memories with Monismith.

“Prof. Monismith set the bar for us for high quality research, critical thinking and hard work,” says Harvey. “On behalf of all of his former students, I thank you for your dedication and kindness.”

Monismith received both his B.S. (1950) and M.S. (1954) degrees in CE (Transportation) from the UC Berkeley, and has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) since 1951. He served as Department Chair from 1974-1979, and as Chair of the Division of Transportation Engineering from 1970-1974. In 1996, became a Professor in the Graduate School, and is currently the Robert Horonjeff Professor of Civil Engineering, Emeritus and Director Emeritus of Berkeley’s Pavement Research Center of the Institute of Transportation Studies. He has supervised 37 doctoral students, who worked in academia, government and industry in 10 states and nine countries from 1951- 2008. He authored 492 papers, which altogether have 6217 citations. His article “Factors influencing the resilient response of granular materials,” written in 1971, has 448 citations alone.

ITS also celebrated a long-term partnership by recognizing John T. West, Former Director of New Technology and Research Program at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), with the ITS Distinguished Legacy Award for extraordinary vision and leadership in the establishment of a strong and lasting partnership between the California Department of Transportation, the Institute of Transportation Studies, and the University of California, Berkeley. ITS Director Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School Adib Kanafani presented the award. As West worked closely with and helped create California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), PATH Program Manager Wei-Bin Zhang presented West with the PATH trophy. CE Professor Alexander Skabardonis also showcased Caltrans and Path partner programs that highlighted West’s history and foundation for future research.

"When people talk about freeway traffic management systems they forget that so much has already been done," says Skabardonis. "John designed and implemented the first freeway surveillance and control system in Los Angeles in 1969!" 

Kanafani was recognized in his own right, with the ITS Faculty of the Year Award for strategic planning, support and outstanding service to the Institute of Transportation studies through its decadal review. The award was presented by Bayen.

Unable to attend the ceremony, Randell H. Iwasaki, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority was awarded the ITS Distinguished Award for Advancement of Research and Innovation for exceptional leadership and vision in the field of intelligent transportation systems, and sustained support of the Institute of Transportation Studies and the University of California, Berkeley.


ITS Doctoral Candidate Lewis Lehe was presented the Gordon F. Newell Award for Excellence in Transportation Science for contributions to the fields of traffic flow theory and urban economics leading to better understanding of congestion effects and improved pricing schemes. The award was presented by Professor and Director of the University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation Michael Cassidy.

Anand Gopal, Deputy Director of Sustainable Transportation at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was presented the ITS Team Leadership Award for establishing the first large scale joint LBNL-ITS team working together on transportation and energy problems. Bayen presented the award. 

 California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology’s (PATH) Senior Development Engineer Francois Dion was presented the ITS Culture of Excellence Award for exceptional dedication in the development of a Concept of Operations for the I-210 corridor and for continuously going beyond expectations in the delivery of results on behalf of the Connected Corridors coalition in Southern California. PATH’s Connected Corridor Project Manager Joe Butler presented the award.


PATH Assistant Research Engineer Kun Zhou received the ITS Culture of Excellence Award for extraordinary dedication and sacrifice during the development of new technologies, demonstrations, and test facilities that has placed California PATH, the Institute of Transportation Studies, and the University of California Berkeley at the forefront of national transportation research. The award was presented by PATH Co-Director Thomas West.

 Director of Government Affairs Advocacy & Institutional Relations Michelle Barer Moskowitz received the ITS Distinguished Service Award for outstanding support of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the Campus, UC System and State of California level. The award was presented by UC Berkeley Executive Director of Government Community Relations Esther Gulli.

 SafeTREC Co-Director Jill Cooper received the ITS Service to Community Award for outstanding dedication, support, and outreach to save lives by improving local road safety in the State of California. The award was presented by Adjunct Professor Emeritus and Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) Co-Director David Ragland.

ITS Graduate Student Nathalie Saade received the ITS Graduate Student Service Award for outstanding service to the Civil and Environmental Engineering's Transportation Engineering Program, to ITS, and to the transportation community at large. Associate Professor Joan Walker presented the award.

ITS Graduate Student Madeleine Sheehan received the ITS Graduate Student Initiative Award for helping to develop alumni relations through organization of an event and bolstering the alumni database. ITS Assistant Director Laura Melendy presented the award.

Civil Engineering Undergraduate Student Siyu Chen received the ITS Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for continuous involvement and outstanding performance in undergraduate transportation engineering research programs. Assistant Professor and Smart Cities Research Center Co-Director Alexei Pozdnukhov presented the award.

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Undergraduate Student Jessica Lazarus received the ITS Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for contributions to the TSRC's research on shared mobility. Adjunct Professor and Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) Co-Director Susan Shaheen presented the award.

ITS Graduate Students Lei Kang, Lehe, Feras El Zarwi and Teddy Forscher were also presented ITS Seminar Organizer Heroes certificates for sustained efforts to maintain a flagship seminar venue recognized on campus and in the field of transportation. Cassidy presented certificates.