Virginia Sisiopiku, Ph.D., was selected by the Engineering Council of Birmingham (ECOB) as the 2017 Educator of the Year. The award was presented at the 59th Annual Awards Banquet on February 20, 2018. Sisiopiku is the first UAB engineering faculty member to receive the ECOB Educator of the Year Award.

Ten UAB engineering students were also honored at the event, including UAB Graduate Student of the Year Grant Alexander and UAB Undergraduate Student of the Year Emma Latham.

Sisiopiku is an Associate Professor in Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering and has been a UAB faculty member since 2002. She is a broadly trained transportation engineer with more than 25 years of professional experience in intelligent transportation systems and traffic operations & safety. She serves as the director of the Transportation Engineering Program at UAB and is the founding director of the UAB Transportation Engineering and Development Laboratory (TREND Lab).

Sisiopiku studies transportation-related challenges and proposes effective strategies to address them. She utilizes traffic flow theories, simulation tools, and transportation data analytics to examine the performance of transportation systems under present and future configurations. She also studies the role of new and emerging technologies in transportation operations and safety. Her research provides transportation solutions that reduce traffic congestion, support livability and sustainability goals, and have direct positive impacts on everyday lives.

To date, Sisiopiku’s research has produced more than 190 refereed books, chapters, journal articles, and peer reviewed conference papers and has been recognized by many professional organizations including the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Federal Highway Administration, Illinois Association of Highway Engineers, IEEE, and the Women's Transportation Seminar.  Sisiopiku is also the recipient of the 2010 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, the 2007 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and a Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

The ECOB Educator of the Year Award recognizes an educator in Alabama who has made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession and has demonstrated excellence in activities relating to continuing education and technical development, professional service, civil and humanitarian engagement, and academic achievements in the engineering field. To ensure neutrality, judging for this award was done by the Georgia Engineering Foundation, on behalf of EOCB.

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