Sisiopiku at OfficeVirginia P. Sisiopiku, Ph.D., was recently named Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). Sisiopiku, an associate professor of transportation engineering in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, is the first female ITE member in the State of Alabama to hold this professional distinction.

Founded in 1930, ITE is a professional association of transportation engineers with more than 17,000 members worldwide who contribute individually and collectively toward meeting society's needs for safe and efficient surface transportation. ITE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select ITE members whose exceptional professional accomplishments are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. Selection criteria include evidence of significant professional stature, demonstrated substantial contribution to the transportation engineering profession, and five references from ITE fellows.

Sisiopiku joined ITE in 1989 as a student member and moved up the membership ranks through the years. She served the national, regional, and Alabama section of ITE in various capacities including serving as associate editor of the ITE's Journal of Transportation. She was also appointed to the Technical Advisory Committee of ITE/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce childhood obesity. She currently serves as the State of Alabama Representative to the Southern District ITE (SDITE) Education Fund Committee and as faculty advisor for the UAB ITE Student Chapter, which she founded in 2002.

"As a transportation professional, my passion is in finding engineering solutions that minimize the adverse impacts of traffic and ensure transportation mobility and accessibility for all users," Sisiopiku says.

With more than 20 years of transportation experience in traffic operations and safety, simulation modeling, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Sisiopiku draws from her experience when engaging with students, providing them the knowledge and skills required to address the transportation challenges of the future. To date, she served as a faculty adviser of more than 55 master and doctoral students in transportation engineering. She also has mentored junior faculty members and post-doctoral fellows. In recognition of exceptional performance as a mentor and an educator, Sisiopiku received the 2010 Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentorship and the 2007 President's Excellence in Teaching Award.

Since joining UAB in 2002, Dr. Sisiopiku has undertaken various research, scholarship, and service initiatives that contributed to the success of the University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA), the Great Urban Serving Universities Program, the UAB University Transportation Center (UAB UTC), and the National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management (NCTSPM). She now leads the collaboration between UAB and the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE), a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) funded through US DOT/RITA in 2012 and directed by the University of Florida. She also actively supports the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center (SSC) through research and outreach activities. Her research work has produced over 150 referred technical papers, has been featured on TV and other mass media, and has been recognized by many organizations including the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, the Illinois Association of Highway Engineers, IEEE, and the Women's Transportation Seminar.