Annual Awards

PacTrans Lifetime Achievement Award

This is the highest and most prestigious award given by PacTrans. It is presented in recognition of individuals who have had distinguished careers in transportation in the Pacific Northwest with substantial involvement in the UTC program.

Michael Kyte
Professor Emeritus
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Idaho

Michael Kyte is emeritus professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Idaho. His research focuses traffic signal systems, highway capacity and transportation engineering education. He received his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Iowa, master’s in civil engineering from the University of California – Berkeley, and bachelor’s in systems engineering from the University of California – Los Angeles.

PacTrans Outstanding Researcher Award

Presented to investigators for outstanding research with significant outcomes, incorporating meaningful student contributions, and robust community service/leadership involvement.

Jon E. Froehlich
Associate Professor
Allen School of Computer Science
University of Washington

I received my Phd in Computer Science from the University of Washington in December 2011 where I was a Microsoft Research Graduate Fellow and the 2010 College of Engineering “Graduate Innovator of the Year.” My PhD dissertation entitled “Sensing and Feedback of Everyday Activities to Promote Environmental Behaviors” won numerous awards including the 2012 University of Washington Distinguished Dissertation Award and an honorable mention for the national 2012 Council of Graduate Schools Distinguished Dissertation Award in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering.

At UW, I was co-advised by James Landay and Shwetak Patel. I also have an MS in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine where I was advised by Paul Dourish. During my graduate studies, I was fortunate to intern at a number of great research labs including Telefonica Research in Barcelona, Microsoft Research in Redmond, and Intel Research in Seattle.

My work has been published in over 35 scientific peer-reviewed publications in many top venues including ACM CHI, UbiComp, IJCAI, MobiSys, ASSETS, and ICSE earning nine paper awards in total: four best paper awards (CHI’10, CHI’13, ASSETS’13, CHI’16 LBW) and five best paper honorable mentions (UbiComp’09, CHI’12, CHI’13, 2 x CHI’15). In addition, our UIST’14 paper on Tohme was selected for the ACM Computing Reviews ‘Best of Computing 2014’ list. Please see my publication page and/or Google Scholar page for more details.

PacTrans Outstanding Educator Award

Presented to PacTrans faculty in recognition of sustained outstanding teaching including mentoring, advising, and innovative teaching techniques.

Rhonda Young
Chair & Professor
Civil Engineering
Gonzaga University

Rhonda Young is Chair and a Professor in the Department Civil Engineering at Gonzaga University. She has been in academics since 2002 and at Gonzaga since 2015. Throughout her career she has taught various undergraduate and graduate classes in Transportation Engineering as well as freshman and sophomore engineering courses. Prior to joining the academic field, she worked as a consultant for 10 years in the transportation profession. Her research efforts includes projects in the planning, safety, and intelligent transportation areas. Currently her research has focused on the use of Connected Vehicle Technology to operate roadways in adverse weather conditions. She is a registered professional engineer in the states of Washington and Wyoming.

PacTrans Outstanding Partner Award

Presented to partners for outstanding collaboration in research, sponsorships, mentor/internship opportunities, event participation/facilitation, or assistance with technology transfer initiatives.

Oregon Department of Transportation

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is a department of the state government of the U.S. state of Oregon responsible for systems of transportation. It was first established in 1969. It had been preceded by the Oregon State Highway Department which, along with the Oregon State Highway Commission, was created by an act of the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1913. It works closely with the five-member Oregon Transportation Commission (the modern name of the Highway Commission) in managing the state’s transportation systems.

PacTrans Excellence in Technology Transfer Award

Presented to investigators for effective partnerships and collaboration with outside industry, innovative marketing of newly developed techniques and technologies, or successful implementation of research results.

Wei Sun
Founder and CEO

Dr. Wei Sun is the Co-Founder and CEO of AIWaysion, Inc. AIWaysion leverages technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and edge computing for safer and more efficient transportation. Prior to founding AIWaysion, Dr. Sun worked as a research associate in the Smart Transportation Applications and Research Laboratory (STAR Lab) at the University of Washington (UW). He has a Ph.D. in transportation engineering from University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in transportation engineering from South China University of Technology. Dr. Sun is an expert in edge AI, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), transportation data analytics, and traffic operations and safety. Dr. Sun has worked on a variety of research projects funded by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), etc. Dr. Sun is the Principal Investigator for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project funded by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).