Public Policy Grad Student Wins Best Paper Award

Posted: November 28, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Matthew Hardy, BS Urban Systems Engineering ’97, MS Professional Studies (Transportation Policy) ’04, is currently a doctoral student in the School of Public Policy. Recently, he was one of five graduate students to receive an award for Best Student Paper at the 56th annual Virginia Transportation Conference, held in Roanoke.

Matthew Hardy receives award
Matthew Hardy receives the Best Student Paper award from David Ekern, commonwealth transportation commissioner, at the annual Virginia Transportation Conference on Nov. 8.

Hardy’s paper, “A Case Study in Addressing the 2005 BRAC Recommendations: Implementing Bus Rapid Transit in the Route 1 Corridor,” won in the policy category. His research looked at how Fairfax County could reduce the impact of the federal 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission’s recommendations by using bus rapid transit since the corridor currently cannot handle the predicted influx of 21,000 people.

He determined that bus rapid transit could provide a high-quality service with lower costs. Hardy works as a lead transportation engineer at Noblis, based in Falls Church, Va.

The annual conference is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Port Authority, the Virginia Department of Aviation and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

VDOT sponsors the student paper competition, and scientists at the Virginia Transportation Research Council, VDOT’s research division, review and rank the papers.

Winners in each category received a $1,000 cash prize and complimentary attendance to the conference. They also presented their winning papers during the three-day meeting.

“This new generation of transportation professionals is conducting research today that will help solve tomorrow’s driver mobility and highway safety challenges,” said Gary Allen, conference director and VDOT’s chief of technology, research and innovation. “Their universities are also key partners as the commonwealth addresses sustainable multimodal alternatives for public and freight transport to ensure our economy remains robust.”

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