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Jan. 10, 2020

Professor named ITE Fellow for contributions to improving mobility safety

MSU Foundation professor Peter Savolainen has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, or ITE, for his ongoing contributions and leadership in improving mobility and transportation safety around the world.

Savolainen is a professor and associate chair for graduate studies in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, or CEE, and adviser to the ITE student chapter at MSU. He is the current vice chair of the ITE Education Council and recently completed service on the ITE Professional Development Committee.

He came to MSU in 2018 from Iowa State University. He was a member of the civil and environmental engineering faculty at Wayne State University from 2006 to 2014.

Neeraj Buch, chairperson of the CEE department, said the Fellow designation acknowledges Savolainen’s many professional accomplishments through the years.

“Being elevated to the grade of ITE Fellow is a recognition of Dr. Savolainen’s technical contribution to the field of transportation engineering,” Buch said. “This honor also recognizes his leadership in the field.”

As a transportation engineer, Savolainen examines the fundamental nature of road user behavior. His research examines how drivers alter their behavior in response to changes in the roadway environment such as speed limits, centerline and shoulder rumble strips and red-light-running cameras at signalized intersections.

His work has advanced fundamental knowledge related to roadway design, environmental factors and how in-vehicle distractions affect the risk of traffic crashes. 

Savolainen has served as PI or co-PI on more than $18 million of externally funded research through competitive grant awards from agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and various state departments of transportation.

Founded in 1930, ITE represents nearly 16,000 transportation professionals in more than 90 countries to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and helps build smart and livable communities.

By: Patricia Mroczek