Student of the Year Award
Alan Dybing was an excellent student in the Mountain-Plains Consortium program, so when he finished coursework for his doctoral degree last year, the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University hired him full time.
That decision was reaffirmed when Dybing was named 2005 Region VIII Student of the year at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington in January. Each year, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) honors the most outstanding student from each participating University Transportation Center (UTC) for achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field. Students of the Year are selected based on their accomplishments in such areas as technical merit and research, academic performance, professionalism, and leadership. Each student receives a certificate from DOT and $1,000 from the student's UTC.
Dybing's Mountain-Plains Consortium nomination was based on his thesis work focusing on estimating transportation demand generated by the production and marketing of agricultural commodities in the state. He also worked on MPC-funded projects designed to estimate truck trips generated by the state's grain elevators.
"The work will be useful in road planning to evaluate the draw of trucks to elevators based on the elevators' characteristics," Dybing explained. For example, larger elevators that ship on unit trains draw significantly more traffic than small elevators. That traffic may also include larger and heavier trucks. "Our work will be a planning tool for state and local officials looking at road maintenance and improvements."
A native of Maddock, ND, Dybing came to NDSU 10 years ago to major in agricultural education and minor in agricultural economics. Once he earned his B.S. degree, he began work on his master's degree in agricultural economics with the transportation option, a program jointly administered by the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and the Transportation Institute.
Dybing was in the first class when NDSU launched its doctoral program in transportation and logistics in 2002.