ISU students see real-world application of engineering lessons

It got up close and real for Idaho State University engineering students when they toured ITD Headquarters’ laboratories and watched how concepts learned in classrooms solve everyday transportation engineering challenges. Four graduate and four undergraduate students along with instructors from the Pocatello-based university traveled to Boise recently for a tour of Headquarters and District 3 facilities.

The site visits were part of a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) outreach program meant to encourage women and minorities to pursue engineering careers. This is the second year ITD and ISU partnered in the outreach effort.

Graduate student Tara Capson said that the trip was fun and that she liked the laboratory facilities.

“The lab here is huge,” she said. “I enjoyed having this inside view and I learned many things today.” “I was impressed with how all the group’s activities lined out and stayed on track.”

Chief Administrative Officer Mike Golden welcomed the students and their instructors. Ron Wright, laboratory unit manager, conducted the group’s morning activities that concluded with a Bridge Section overview from engineers Matt Farrar, Kathleen Slinger and Shanon Murgoitio.

That afternoon, the group visited District 3 where they heard from District Engineer Dave Jones, and toured the Signal and Sign Shop with Cindy Mendoza, electronics supervisor, and Brett Purvis, sign fabrication coordinator.

Transportation Staff Engineer Assistant Tim Breshears also gave a Design/CADD presentation.

Other ITD personnel who helped with the Boise visit were Joy Finley, Mike McGuire, Dan Berra, Greg Wozniak, Mike Mendoza, Wes Murphy, Rob Robbins, Duane Brothers, Mike Sprague, Ken Acree, Dianna Hoffecker and Debbie McCarthy.

Volaree Rendon from Bentley Systems also participated.

Using FHWA funding, ITD partners with ISU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to provide financial support for the training and motivation of women and minority students interested in highway transportation engineering.

Published 8-31-2012