Transportation prof’s leadership, research earns regent’s award

Katie Turnbull

For decades of research that has led to improvements in the U.S. transportation system, Katie Turnbull, a member of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning faculty, was honored with the Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow Service Award.

Turnbull, Texas A&M Transportation Institute executive associate director and research scientist, was presented with the award during a reception and dinner hosted by the regents Feb. 10, 2016.

System regents established the award in 1998 to recognize research professionals whose exemplary professional service that has contributed to large and lasting benefits to Texas and beyond.

Turnbull’s vast accomplishments, combined with her unique blend of management skills and volunteer efforts, made Turnbull the top TTI candidate for the award, said Dennis Christiansen, TTI Agency Director.

“She has brought professionalism, prestige and mission-critical research to TTI and has more than 40 years of service to the transportation industry,” Christiansen wrote in a nomination letter. “Her many contributions have resulted in significant improvements to the transportation system — both statewide and nationally.”

Turnbull, who joined TTI in 1989, is a nationally recognized researcher of high-occupancy vehicle and high-occupancy toll facilities, public transportation, travel demand management and intelligent transportation systems, detailing her methods and findings in more than 200 authored or coauthored publications.

She manages TTI’s Planning and Environment Research Group, which includes more than 100 researchers, support staff and students located in seven TTI offices in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Mexico City.

Turnbull has also held leadership positions with the Transportation Research Board, the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Public Transit Association.

Turnbull, whose regents honor is one of numerous awards recognizing her leadership and tireless service to the transportation industry, has also taught and mentored the next generation of transportation professionals.

“Joining the list of TTI researchers who have received the Regents Fellow Service Award is a real honor,” notes Turnbull.  “I have had the opportunity to work on numerous research projects that have resulted in improvements to transit services and the transportation system, benefiting the traveling public.”

posted September 20, 2016