College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CCEE graduate student earns prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship

Earning an Eisenhower Fellowship is a big accomplishment for Warner, who came to ISU in Fall 2017 to study engineering as a graduate student.<i> Photo courtesy Jacob Warner.</i>
Earning an Eisenhower Fellowship is a big accomplishment for Warner, who came to ISU in Fall 2017 to study engineering as a graduate student. Photo courtesy Jacob Warner.

Jacob Warner presents critical analysis of speed limits on Iowa Interstate System at annual Transportation Research Board Conference in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has chosen Jacob Warner, a graduate student studying transportation engineering at Iowa State University’s Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department (ISU CCEE), as a recipient of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship.

Warner presented his research this week at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D. C. The fellowship includes $31,900 for Warner to continue his research concerning the examination and discuss of the safety ramifications to a potential speed limit increase on rural Iowa interstates, specifically any potential change in crash or fatality rates.

“We will examine speed data from across the state to try to predict average driver behavior based on the speed limit, as well as examine any changes in safety after Iowa’s previous speed limit change from 65 mph to 70 mph in 2005,” Warner says. “Additionally, data from other states that have recently increased their speed limits will be examined as well.”

Warner conducts research at ISU’s Institute for Transportation (InTrans). Associate Professor Peter Savolainen is his advisor.

“Since joining InTrans at ISU … Jacob has been given an unparalleled level of responsibility for a new graduate student,” Savolainen says. “I have been thoroughly impressed with his intellectual capabilities, his attention to detail, the passion with which he works, and his untiring desire to better understand how we, as engineers, can design and maintain an infrastructure system that addresses growing concerns as to traffic safety and operations.”

Savolainen explained that Warner’s work will assist the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) and state legislators in determining the potential impacts of any similar speed limit increases. Furthermore, the resulting research manuscript has been accepted for publication by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences.

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