Zephyr Rising Star Award

The 2023 Zephyr Rising Star Award was presented on January 10, 2023

Award Description

The Zephyr Rising Star Award shall be given to an individual early in their career who embodies the Zephyr Principles, and embraces the Zephyr mission of advancing rigorous transportation and land use decision-making for the public good by advocating for and supporting improved travel analysis.

Criteria used for selection:

  • Collegial and collaborative, investing in shared technical knowledge and community assets in order to reach common goals (e.g. open access papers, code, documentation, and data);
  • Generous with their time such as investment in mentorship, community-assets, and other volunteer roles;
  • Respectful and thoughtful in their interactions; and
  • Goal-oriented towards the public good and usefulness, even if the pathway is unconventional.

Nominees are considered by a three-person award committee and forwarded to the Zephyr Board for approval. Awards are made at the TRB Annual Meeting.

2023 Awardee

Congratulations to the winner of the 2022 Zephyr Rising Star Award: Dr. Tierra Bills

Professor Bills is an Assistant Prof at UCLA with a joint appointment in Engineering and Public Affairs (a feat in itself to be in two different Colleges). She has been doing rigorous, equity-driven travel demand modeling since her PhD in 2013. She’s passionate about outreach to underserved populations and transport impacts on disadvantaged communities. She serves on numerous committees to contribute her equity expertise (the TRB Equity Committee, to name one). In addition to brilliant, traditional academics (papers, NSF grants), she has testified to congress and has written a popular press blog, and is even highlighted in a coloring book.

The 2023 Outstanding Industry Contributor Committee was:

  • Pedro Camargo, Outer Loop Consulting
  • Rachel Copperman, Cambridge Systematics
  • Johanna Zmud, Blue Door Strategy and Research

Board Facilitator: Amanda Stathopoulos

Award Recipients

Note: This award was previously called the Outstanding Contributor Award. In 2023, the award was renamed and updated to focus on an individual early in their career.

  • Julie Dunbar, 2019
  • Michael Mahut, 2020
  • Patricia Mokhtarian, 2021
  • Dr. Johanna Zmud, 2022