Dr. Benjamin Colucci recognized by FHWA with Public Service Award
Congratulations to Dr. Benjamin Colucci (MSCE '80, PhD '84) for receiving the FHWA-USDOT Administrator's Public Service Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and accomplishments in advancing transportation education, research, and workforce development and strong partnership with the Federal Highway Administration.
Dr. Colucci is Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM). He is a stalwart in the areas of transportation and construction in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he's served for many years as an educator, researcher, consultant, and advisor to the government.
As the Director of the UPRM/MIT/Tren Urbano Professional Development Program during 1994-2008, he supervised over 300 students in interdisciplinary projects associated with the planning, design, operation and maintenance of the Tren Urbano (Urban Train), the first heavy rail system constructed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He also directed the UPRM EPICS (Engineering Project in Community Service) program, a multi-university NSF project during 1998-2004 where he served as faculty mentor to over 200 students engaged in the planning, design and construction of engineering projects to serve various communities in Puerto Rico.
Since 1994, Dr. Colucci guided numerous undergraduate and graduate students in different transportation and construction related projects as the Campus Supervisor of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program for Hispanic Serving Institutions at UPR. He has served as the Director of the Transportation Technology Transfer Center (LTAP) at UPR for more than 30 years and he has supervised many Master’s and PhD students in the areas of highway transportation and construction. For the last eight years, he has been the Technical and Oversight Director for the FHWA's Every Day Counts initiatives in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through many of these activities he created opportunities for his students to connect with professionals in both public and private sectors, and to produce research products in areas of national interest.
In the international arena, he was the first U.S. citizen to serve as President (Caribbean Region) of the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) and the Pan American Union of Engineering Associations (UPADI), as well as President of the COPATRANS (Panamerican Transportation Integral Committee). He has been honored on numerous occasions in Puerto Rico as a Distinguished Engineer, Researcher and a Civil Leader. He has also served his university in various administrative capacities, including the Acting Dean of Engineering.
Dr. Colucci attended Purdue University from 1978-85, where he received his MS and PhD working with Professors Eldon Yoder and Kumares Sinha.
(L-R) Neil Pedersen, TRB Executive Director; Benjamin Colucci; Brandye Hendrickson, FHWA Acting Administrator; and an official from the Eishenhower Fellowship Program.