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Chris Tung Awarded MATC "Student of the Year"

by Aaron Mack and Paul Callahan

tung tung

Distracted driving at highway-rail grade crossings is a national issue.

Li-Wei “Chris” Tung, an engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was selected as the 2012 MATC Student of the Year, and will represent MATC at the CUTC Banquet in Washington, D.C. in 2013.

Chris studies civil engineering with an emphasis on transportation. His adviser, Dr. Aemal Khattak, says Chris is an individual with “significant potential to make contributions to the transportation profession.”

A superlative student, Chris is also a member of ITE, ASCE, and NSPE, and a reviewer for both the Transportation Research Board and the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering. He has five years of consulting experience in the transportation engineering sector, and frequently uses his experience to mentor undergraduate students, leading them in discussions and analysis of transportation issues.

Chris’s research is currently focused on discovering common factors behind distracted driving, which he calls a “dangerous epidemic.” For his outstanding research, he recently placed third in the 2012 MOVITE student poster competition.

He is currently working on Dr. Khattak’s research project, titled “Distracted highway drivers at highway-rail grade crossings,” which is funded by MATC. As part of this research, Chris will collect and analyze data to investigate the frequency and characteristics of distracted highway users at highway-rail grade crossings. Presently, Chris counts two peer reviewed journal publications and four conference proceedings papers. He says he plans to continue to focus on transportation-related research in the future. “I would like my research to provide the public with a safer and more efficient transportation system,” Tung said.