The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU has added two members to its research staff. Ranjit Godavarthy will work on public transportation research and Bradley Wentz will direct the institute’s Advanced Traffic Analysis Center and its Department of Transportation Support Center.
Godavarthy is working with the institute’s Small Urban and Rural Transit Center and will study transit use, energy efficiency of transit modes and other factors related to transit in rural and small urban areas.
He has research experience in transportation and highway safety, public transportation, low volume road safety, roundabout studies, pedestrian studies and freight transportation. Godavarthy is originally from India and earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Nagarjuna University. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in transportation engineering from Kansas State University, Manhattan. He was a graduate research assistant there before joining NDSU.
As director of the Department of Transportation Support Center, Wentz will provide engineering and technical analysis for the North Dakota Department of Transportation engineers and managers.
He also will oversee the center’s team of engineering and information technology students who work on real-world projects under the direction of the Department of Transportation. He also will supervise a staff of transportation engineers and students who use the Advanced Traffic Analysis Center technology to model and analyze traffic, perform traffic studies and develop ITS.
Wentz worked as the county engineer for Becker County, Minn., for 12 years. He was involved in transportation planning, design, construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in both urban and rural areas of the county. Wentz also worked with the North Dakota Department of Transportation for 11 years, gaining experience in construction, urban design, transportation data analysis and geographic information systems. Wentz earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU and is a registered professional engineer in Minnesota. He also was an active member of the Minnesota County Engineers Association.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.