Transportation Student Receives Gator Engineering Integrity Award

Considered the greatest distinction of any student award given by the college, the Gator Engineering Attribute Awards are intended to provide an ideal guide for all members of the Gator Engineering community. They honor five undergraduate and five Ph.D. students who strongly model one of the five Gator Engineering Attributes: Creativity, Leadership, Integrity, Professional Excellence, and Service to the Global Community.

Transportation Ph.D. student Donald (Don) Watson has received the award for modeling the Integrity attribute. A hardworking leader, he served as the President of the UF Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter for two years and was the Civil and Coastal Engineering Chair for the ESSIE ENVOYS for one year.  The EVNOYS are a group of students who create a network for graduate students, promote collaboration to enhance the graduate school experience and build relationships.

In addition to his leadership roles, Watson possesses a strong academic background. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi (The Engineering Honor Society) and Chi Epsilon (The Civil Engineering Honor Society). He is also an Eisenhower Graduate Transportation Fellow and UF Graduate School Fellow.

Currently, Watson is working on a National Cooperative Highway Research Project titled “Improved Analysis of Two-Lane Highway Capacity and Operational Performance” led by UFTI faculty affiliate Dr. Scott Washburn.

His research is centered on understanding and quantifying the impact of heavy vehicles on traffic operations on two-lane highways. A large component of this research is on improving current traffic microsimulation programs and their ability to accurately represent the behavior of trucks. This includes modeling trucks’ speeds and accelerations through horizontal and vertical curves as well as how trucks respond to the presence of passing and climbing lanes.

In the fall, Watson plans to finish up his dissertation for a December graduation. He will begin applying for jobs in the private sector, but hopes to stay close to academia. Congratulations Don!

To read more about Don Watson, check out our spotlight.