Diomo Motuba, assistant professor of transportation and logistics and associate research fellow for the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, gave an invited webinar for the National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan – Institute of Civil Engineering on Oct. 28. Motuba was asked to present his experiences with incorporating real-world state-of-the-practice tools used in the transportation planning industry to courses at NDSU.
During his presentation, “Can Transportation Practice be Taught in addition to Theories in Class?” Motuba argued that many graduate transportation planning courses in the U.S. do not sufficiently incorporate real-world planning tools into curricula. In addition, because of the length of graduate programs, students do not have the time and opportunity for internships to learn these tools.
Motuba said the Federal Highway Administration recognizes this deficiency and provided two rounds of grants to universities through Its Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) – Education Connection to bring state-of-the-practice solutions into the classroom. Motuba received two grants to incorporate different SHRP tools into two of his courses.
Motuba’s presentation focused on the retooling and updating of his courses to meet the demands of the industry through the application of state-of-the-art practices. He also discussed relationships that have been built with industry representatives and how they have provided each student with more than $3,000 in software tools and training materials that students receive without charge.
“The seminar was well-received by students and professors at the NUST Institute of Civil Engineering,” Motuba said. “Professors were curious about the different methods that were used in the classrooms settings, how data to be used in these tools can be acquired in the Pakistani context and the different tools that are available to universities in Pakistan.”
Motuba’s research interests focus on transportation planning and travel demand models, livability and transportation system, freight models, artificial intelligence applications in transportation, autonomous vehicles and impacts on transportation systems and supply chains land uses.
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