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U of M Transportation Researcher Will Participate in White House Forum April 4th

For release: March 29, 2013
For press information, contact Sean Ellis, 901-678-2837

Dr. Stephanie Ivey, associate professor of civil engineering and researcher with the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute (IFTI) at the University of Memphis, has received an exclusive invitation from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and the White House Office of Public Engagement to participate in a special forum on Women in Transportation in Washington, D.C., on April 4.

The forum will focus on increasing opportunities for women in transportation. As a member of this select group, Ivey will share best practices relative to the education, recruitment, retention and leadership development of women. LaHood hopes to use these discussions as a catalyst for evolving strategies for overcoming barriers.

The transportation industry has long been regarded as a man’s field, but, over time, women have made significant contributions to the industry and have laid the groundwork for future innovation. In the 2010 article “Transportation and Women” in Public Roads, Susan Hanson reported that the proportion of women age 16 and older in the U.S. workforce had grown from 30 percent in 1950 to 47 percent in 2008. Despite this increasing presence in the general workforce, women remain underrepresented in engineering and in the transportation industry. Hanson suggested that, “improving the current gender imbalance will require strategies on a number of fronts, from education to industry organizations and the workplace.” Ivey has made an impact in each of these focus areas.

Through her work with IFTI, Ivey is researching solutions to transportation issues that have national impact. Her current research interests include transportation policy, freight modeling, transportation workforce development, and undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Ivey has a strong interest in STEM education and is principal or co-principal investigator on more than $2 million in funded research in this area. Her primary areas of teaching responsibility, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, are in transportation engineering and statistics.  

Ivey is committed to increasing the number of high school girls pursuing STEM degrees. Since its inception in 2004, she has served as co-director for Girls Experiencing Engineering, a fast-paced, interactive summer program (structured in a series of one-week, 20-hour intensive sessions) that seeks to instill young women with confidence, interest, and awareness of the wide array of career opportunities within STEM fields. Ivey also serves as director of the West Tennessee STEM Collaboratory Project. The project unites K-12 schools, institutes of higher education, and STEM industry partners in an unprecedented approach to transforming STEM education and workforce opportunities throughout the region.

Ivey is the faculty adviser for the student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) at the University and volunteer coordinator for ITE’s Transportation Education Council, and she serves on the board of directors for the West Tennessee Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She received the ASCE Outstanding Faculty Award from the U of M student chapter for three academic years and the ASCE Tennessee Section Young Engineer Award in 2007. Ivey also received an ASCE ExCeed Fellowship in 2005.

The Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute addresses critical issues affecting the planning, design, and operation of the nation’s intermodal freight transportation systems, with an emphasis on the intermodal issues that have local significance with national and international implications. The extensive transportation infrastructure in the Memphis region provides the perfect working laboratory for IFTI to solve critical problems facing the freight industry and to generate educational opportunities to develop tomorrow’s leaders. More information about IFTI is available online at www.memphis.edu/ifti/.

More information about the Girls Experiencing Engineering Program is available online at http://memphis.edu/herff/gee.  Details about the West Tennessee STEM Collaboratory Project are available online at www.westtnstem.org.


 

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