InTrans / Mar 17, 2020

InTrans doctoral candidate voted to lead among IRF Fellows

Ahmed AlBughdadi, right, with CARMA Technical Program Manager, Dr. Taylor Lochrane, center, during a visit to FHWA Turner-Fairbank Research Center as part of the IRF fellowship.

Institute for Transportation (InTrans) doctoral candidate Ahmed AlBughdadi was among 14 fellows of the 2020 International Road Federation (IRF) Road Scholar Program and was selected as their class president at the end of the program.

AlBughdadi also received the Jerry Shea Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership skills and ability to work with a team, as part of the program. He’s the first student from Iowa State to win the award.

The IRF Road Scholar Program is a leadership and orientation program that runs concurrently with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. It identifies promising graduate students worldwide and provides them with a behind-the-scenes look at the transportation industry in the US while preparing them for future leadership positions in the industry.

During a nine-day intensive program, fellows visited the World Bank, 3M Innovation Center and Exhibition Hall, the Federal Highway Administration’s Turner-Fairbank Research Center, and the National Transportation Safety Board.

“This experience had a tremendous positive effect on me. I have learned how to cultivate personal and professional relationships and most importantly putting ideas into actions,” AlBughdadi said. “It also contributed to my professional growth and opened the door for me to connect with many industry professionals who I am looking for fruitful collaboration with in the near future.”

In addition, AlBughdadi said the fellowship gave him the chance to make friends from around the globe and learn from their experiences. Along with the industry visits, the fellows also participated in team-oriented activities that fostered connections among them.

AlBughdadi, who is studying transportation asset management under advisor Center for Transportation Research and Education Director Omar Smadi, thanked Smadi and former InTrans researcher Basak Bektas for their trust and support, as well as the IRF Fellows Alumni Association for sponsoring him and the entire IRF Road Scholar Program team.

“I hope through my research and career to make transportation networks more efficient for more economic and social opportunities and benefits that can improve market accessibility and employment and encourage additional investments,” AlBughdadi said.