National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology

The National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology at the University of Idaho is a center of excellence for transportation research, education and technology transfer in the state of Idaho, the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain regions, and in the United States.

We invite you to explore our Website to learn more about our research, graduate and undergraduate opportunities, and the people who work with and for us. Please contact us if you would like additional information about our programs.


2014 TranLIVE Student of the Year Rory Lilley

2015 CUTC Awards Banquet Washington, DCTranLIVE selected Rory Lilley the 2014 TranLIVE Stu­dent of the Year. As a Mechanical Engineering master’s student at the University of Idaho, Rory has served as an effective leader/organizer/technical consultant to our undergraduate Formula Hybrid SAE team. This project has been sponsored by TranLIVE as an educational outreach since the inception of the TranLIVE center and by the Idaho Engineering Works in the senior design program. Rory worked his way up through the student ranks, as an undergraduate team member, as a senior design student, as a UTC intern, and as a UTC graduate student. Currently, he is an excellent role model in terms of his dedication to hard work, his recruiting of new inter-disciplinary talent to the team, his ability to organize training sessions/design experiences that capture and retain important vehicle design knowl­edge, his rapport with faculty advisors, his familiarity with manufacturing equipment in our machine shop, his ability to deploy testing equipment in our small engines laboratory, his ability to accurately simulate engine/powertrain systems, and his high standards in the authorship of project reports/technical papers. The impact of his efforts, coaching, and all-around vehicle knowledge can be seen in the FHSAE team success at the 2014 International Formula Hybrid Competition. This included 1st place overall, the Chrysler Innovation Award, and the GM Hybrid Electric Design Award. Rory has been an integral part of the UI FHSAE legacy for many years and his efforts continue to pay it forward to future vehicle platform teams as well as engine design/ engine testing research projects. Contributions in both areas are closely aligned with DOT UTC mobility, sus­tainability, and human resource missions.

Rory received the award at the annual Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Award Banquet in Washington D.C., January 10, 2015. Congratulations, Rory!

2014 Michael Kyte Outstanding Student of the Year Award

Region 10 PacTrans Board of Directors with Jennifer WarnerJennifer Warner, second year MS student at Oregon State University, was presented with the 2014 Michael Kyte Outstanding Student of the Year award at the PacTrans Reception during the 94th Transportation Research Board annual meeting. A photo capturing the award presentation includes members of the PacTrans universities from left to right: Maria Bayya (UW), Ahmed Abdel-Rahim (UI), David Hurwitz (OSU), Jennifer Warner (OSU), Billy Connor (UAF), and Yinhai Wang (UW).


Each year, Federal Region 10 UTCs give out the Michael Kyte Outstanding Student of the Year Award to awardees based on accomplishments in three areas: technical merit and research, academic performance, and professionalism and leadership.


“Jennifer Warner has worked tirelessly to achieve excellence in her professional endeavors, and I could not be more proud to count her as a member of the transportation engineering graduate program at Oregon State University,” said Dr. David Hurwitz, Jennifer’s adviser.

by Heloise Abtahi

 In Memoriam: Michael Dixon 












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Vandal Engineering Clean Snowmobile Team Wins Annual Challenge Founder's Trophy (By Rob Patton)

2015 UI Competition Team Photo(2015 UI Competition Team Photo courtesy of KRC/MTU)

The University of Idaho Clean Snowmobile team returned from a grueling weeklong annual competition in Houghton, Michigan, where the average temperature was 10 degrees Fahrenheit and this year’s snowfall is still rising above 170 inches.  This year’s international competition included 22 teams from the U.S., Canada, and even Finland.

The Vandal engineering team has been competing in the SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) for the past 15 years. In nine of those years, the Vandal team has placed in the top three overall positions, winning over 50 awards in total, and taking first place three times in 2002, 2003 and 2007. 

This year UI accomplished what no other school has done in the 15-year history of the competition. For the third time the Vandal team was awarded the Bill Paddleford Memorial Award for Most Sportsmanlike Conduct, also known as the “Founder’s Trophy” or “Paddle.” Named after challenge co-founder, Teton County, Wyoming, commissioner Bill Paddleford, whose goal was to set college engineering students to the task of creating cleaner and quieter snowmobiles and in turn address years of controversial sled use in Yellowstone National Park. The sportsmanlike trophy winner is based on votes by other CSC teams. UI also won the “Paddle” in 2007 and 2011.

“The ‘Paddle’ has been a white whale of sorts for my tenure here at UI,” said Dillon Savage, CSC team member and senior mechanical engineering major. “To understand what it means to get this award you have to understand the culture that the CSC has developed and the culture of our Idaho team. Every team wants to beat you at their best. At competition, you talk with other teams, see their innovation and understand the sleepless nights that went into developing their snowmobile. The literal blood and sweat that goes into these designs. The quirk with all of this is every team is more than willing to share every spare part in their trailer to make sure you will run and compete against them. This award is one of the accomplishments I am most proud to put on my resume. It is a true team accomplishment.”

The Vandal team members’ dedication to the spirit of the CSC competition and their peers helped earn them the respected award.

"On multiple occasions the Vandal team stayed late helping other teams even when they could have left early,” said Zak Parker, captain of the team from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. “They are always willing to lend a hand, lend out tools, and their expertise. They make the competition a more relaxing and fun place to be."

“We are very proud of our team,” said Joe Law, UI College of Engineering’s associate dean for undergraduates. “Winning the Most Sportsmanlike award speaks highly of the team’s work ethic, the hands-on experience they have developed and their commitment to professionalism.”

The Vandal team’s high standard of sportsmanship exemplifies the winning tradition the team has nurtured and established over the past fifteen years.

“We know that many teams have problems during competition,” said Crystal Green, CSC team member and senior mechanical engineering major. “Anything we can do to help them fix that, the better. We don’t want to watch another team fail over something we could have done to help them. There are a bunch of great teams at competition doing all they can for other teams. It is a value our former advisor, (UI emerita faculty member) Karen Den Braven instilled in us about the competition. She always said, ‘If you only come home with one award, make sure it’s the Paddleford.’” 

Overall the Vandal CSC team placed fifth this year largely due to disqualifying emissions scores. Despite this, in addition to the Founder’s Trophy, the team drove away from the competition winning the best handling award, sponsored by Polaris, and the award for best engine design, sponsored by global automotive parts manufacturer Mahle, which was accompanied by a $500 prize.




Naresh PachauriNaresh Pachauri (MSBAE ’08, MSc Chemistry ’11) worked with Dr. Brian He and Dr. Jon Van Gerpen as a graduate research assistant focusing on continuous biodiesel production using reactive distillation.  Naresh said, "The process cut down the costs and reaction times significantly." Prior to coming to Idaho, Naresh received a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering at NIT in India.

He was particularly fascinated with Idaho's winters.  His favorite past time was to learn & gossip with his mentor and friend, Dr. Joseph Thompson. He is thankful for the opportunity to do research and the financial support for his graduate studies from NIATT.  

He has worked in variety of biodiesel plants spread across the nation (including 2,5,10,20,50 & 100+ MGY capacities). He has been with his current company for the past two years.



Zane SappZane Sapp (BSEE ’08, MSEE 2010) has been working for Campbell Company in Boise, Idaho since graduating from the University of Idaho. He started working with NIATT in 2008 with Dr. Richard Wall. The work he did focused on board level troubleshooting on the Advanced Accessible Pedestrian System (AAPS). They now sell the AAPS as a product at Campbell. "This was truly an amazing experience to bring a product from a thought to fruition. I had all the tools from my undergrad experience that I could then apply at the graduate level. I was very fortunate to have NIATT to provide this great experience," said Sapp. He also had an internship with Campbell in summer of '09 and then was hired permanently by the company the next year.

Sapp said, "Since employment we have built a fine engineering team here a Campbell. We continue to design and build new products for the traffic industry. We also continually improve our products by visiting field sites and learning what the customers would like to see on the street. I’d like to thank NIATT and Dr. Wall for making this all possible."

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National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology

University of Idaho
115 Engineering Physics Building
Moscow, ID 83844-0901
Phone:  (208) 885-0576
Fax:      (208) 885-2877

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