2016 Summer Intern Program

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The interns have arrived in Texas and are working diligently on their research.  A welcome event, brown bag luncheons, and touring the area are keeping them all busy as they establish relationships with their mentors and with each other.

Program Description

ATLAS Center accepted applications and awarded six undergraduate students from the University of Michigan, Texas A&M, Polytechnic  University of Puerto Rico, and University of Arkansas for a 10-week summer intern program beginning June through beginning of August, 2015. The internship includes active involvement on safety-related research projects with a mentor at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

The program will coincide and coordinate with other summer intern programs at Texas A&M University funded by the National Science Foundation, providing interns an opportunity to interact with students in other disciplines and participate in university-wide seminars, tours, poster sessions and other events for interns. Students will be tracked after the internship and encouraged to pursue other opportunities for career development within TTI, TAMUS and other networks as appropriate.



Ezekial Hsieh
Mechanical Engineering Major
University of Texas at Austin

Mentor: Dr. Jerry Ullman (TTI Senior Research Engineer/Program Manager)


Ezekiel Hsieh is a third year Mechanical Engineering Student at the University of Texas at Austin.  He is interested in multi-robot coordination and navigation, and seeks to apply this interest into researching ways to improve traffic patterns.  After graduation he plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering.

Although Ezekiel currently resides in Austin, he is native to College Station and thoroughly enjoys spending time back at home.  He’s excited to both gain transportation research experience through this program and spend extra time with friends and family.



Garima Gupta
Mechanical Engineering
University of Michigan,  Ann Arbor

Mentor: Dr. Jerry Ullman (TTI Senior Research Engineer/Program Manager)


Garima grew up in Vernon Hills, Illinois and is studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she will be a senior this fall. She is interested in sustainability, transportation safety, biomechanics, and applying engineering to improve people’s lives. She has research experience working as a student research assistant at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and has also been able to apply her engineering and design skills through the Multidisciplinary Design Program at the University of Michigan. In her free time, Garima enjoys reading, painting, and dancing.

Following graduation, Garima plans to work in the industry for a few years before attending graduate school. She is excited to further develop her research skills through the ATLAS research internship, and honored to have the opportunity to be a part of this year’s internship program.



Carolos Leyva
Civil Engineering Major
University of Texas at Arlington

Mentor: Dr. Chiara Silvestri-Dobrovolny (TTI Research Publications Specialist, Roadway Safety)


Carlos Leyva is a Junior Civil Engineering major at the University of Texas at Arlington. He expects to pursue a master’s degree in Civil Engineering upon graduation. Carlos has taken an active part in research as an undergraduate student, having studied concrete-encased chloride monitors at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia and ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete at UT Arlington.

Carlos looks forward to this summer’s ATLAS Internship, and he seeks to contribute and learn as much as possible during these 10 weeks.




Madilyn Mendoza
Mechanical Engineering Major
University of Arizona

Mentor: Dr. Chiara Silvestri-Dobrovolny (TTI Research Publications Specialist, Roadway Safety)


Madilyn Mendoza is a junior Mechanical Engineering student at Arizona State University. She was raised in Southern California and has an immense passion for her field. She dreams of engineering ways to help humanity and improve people’s daily lives, and believes transportation safety is a key factor. As an honor student in the Barrett Honors College at ASU, she is looking forward to conducting undergraduate research and completing a thesis project before she graduates.

Madilyn is looking forward to this internship because it will allow her to research her interests and propel her towards her goal of a graduate education. She is personally interested in learning more about integrating computer technologies and GPS with transportation safety, especially when it comes to driverless cars. Madilyn is excited to stay in College Station this summer and believes that there are many intriguing paths for her to follow in the future.


John Raker
Civil Engineering Major
Ohio Northern University

Mentors: Dr. Karen Dixon (TTI Senior Research Engineer)


I was born and raised in the Cincinnati area I am looking forward to seeing what the culture of Texas is like, and what it is like to be at a larger university. This fall I will begin my senior year at Ohio Northern University, where I will finish up my civil engineering degree and also completing my last year of competitive swimming. I am excited to see what I learn and experience with this research opportunity this summer.


Mary Weber
Life Science Informatics and German Major
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Mentors: Dr. Eva Shipp (TTI Program Manager/Senior Research Scientist)


I am a rising senior from East Lansing, Michigan studying Life Science Informatics and German. I have been working at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Center in the Center for the Management of Information for Safe and Sustainable Transportation for almost 8 months. I am most interested in research involving human and behavioral factors and am looking forward to further applying skills learned in the classroom in a professional work environment.

I am excited to have been selected for the ATLAS Internship and to spend my summer in College Station learning more about transportation related research under the guidance of Dr. Eva Shipp.


The ATLAS Center is a collaboration between the University of Michigan (U-M) Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and Texas A&M Transportation Institute