Spring 2016 NITC Dissertation Fellowships Awarded
The NITC program has selected two dissertation fellows for the spring 2016 round of dissertation funding.
Portland State University Ph.D. candidates Patrick Singleton and Kristina Currans will each be awarded a $15,000 fellowship to support their doctoral dissertation research.
Both Currans and Singleton are also Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Graduate Fellows.
Singleton, a former Eno fellow and NITC’s 2015 student of the year, will focus his research on the “positive utility of travel.”
Traditionally, travel is considered a means to an end, and travel demand is derived from activity demand. More recently, scholars have questioned these axioms, noting that some people enjoy traveling, use travel time productively, and may travel for non-utilitarian reasons.
Singleton will explore this concept, empirically investigating what factors determine the positive utility of travel and its impact on travel behavior.
His research has important implications for transportation planning and policy, through improving knowledge of influences on sustainable modes and anticipating potential behavioral shifts with autonomous vehicles.
Currans, a former NITC scholar, student of the year and inductee into the Portland State University Women Engineers Hall of Fame, will be researching data and methodological issues in assessing multimodal transportation impacts.
As cities aim to promote sustainable, multimodal growth, existing methods of assessing transportation impacts may create barriers to achieving the planned results.
Currans’ dissertation explores trip rate and land use issues which are often ignored in the practice of evaluating transportation impacts using multivariate analyses.
By focusing on connecting practice with theory, Currans aims to provide practitioners with tools that will achieve greater sensitivity toward planning goals and outcomes.
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