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Mid-America Transportation Center

MATC Scholars Program

About the Program

The MATC Scholars Program is a multi faceted initiative that provides opportunities and financial incentives to recruit and retain students in transportation. In addition to the existing programs, it will be expanded in spring of 2012 with a targeted program for top graduate students. Selected graduate students will take a special course at UNL. As part of the course, they will meet with practicing transportation professionals at the beginning of the term to isolate a a contemporary safety issue and discuss possible solutions. After researching the issue at their home campus, they will reunite with their mentors at the end of the term to discuss their findings and receive feedback.

Scholars Program Graduate Conference

In 2010, sixteen students and several faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other institutions across the country came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus for MATC's first Scholars Program Graduate Conference. Organized by MATC Advisory Board member Dr. Judy Perkins, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Prairie View A&M University, and Dr. Erick Jones, one of MATC's education administrators, this diversity initiative helps prepare students from groups that are under represented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields for graduate study at research-intensive universities. The next conference is planned for October 3 - 6, 2012.

Undergraduate Research Scholars

MATC offers promising undergraduate students the chance to work on transportation research projects with university faculty to help them decide on a post-baccalaureate career plan. Students have gained research experience working full-time on projects ranging from simulating crash tests at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility to testing RFID applications for commercial vehicle license plates. In addition to 18 UNL students, MATC has also hosted undergraduate research scholars from Prairie View A&M University, Tennessee State University, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha to work on projects at UNL. The University of Kansas and Kansas State University have also involved undergraduates with research both during the summer and the school year.

Transportation Scholars Program

Professionalization is an important part of preparing for a transportation career, and this is why MATC offers scholarships to help top students attend the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. All MATC consortium members participate in this popular program. Not only does it allow students to attend the largest annual conference in the field, it gives them an opportunity to meet and network with their peers and other MATC faculty.

MATC Scholars Program


Contact Info

Laviania Thandayithabani
Lincoln, NE 68583-0851
(402) 472-0141

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Featured Undergraduate Research Scholar

Mike Pickering

Meet Michael Pickering, a 2011 Undergraduate Research Scholars Program participant. He is a senior civil engineering major at Tennessee State University. Pickering was recommended to the program by Dr. Deo Chimba, who is also affiliated with the Mid-America Transportation Center. Pickering assisted University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Anuj Sharma, Ph.D., and his students with various research projects. He said he enjoyed his time in Nebraska, learned a lot from the program and believed that it would help him in his future endeavors. To read more about Pickering's experience this past summer in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, click here.