Phil Rust

Finding his interest progressing from bridges to pavement and finally to traffic engineering, Phil Rust (second from right) had an important decision to make as he was completing his undergraduate degree in civil engineering—where would he go to graduate school? His professor/mentor at Washington State University convinced Phil he was “Masters’ material.” His offer from the University of Idaho included the promise of a research assistantship, working on a specific project, and the opportunity to study under Michael Kyte, director of NIATT (right).

The University of Idaho was unique in two other ways that appealed to Phil. He liked the location—the UI campus is located in Moscow, Idaho, an attractive university town in a rural setting. And he had heard from other UI students that he could expect to work closely with the transportation engineering faculty. Phil’s grad school experience got a jump-start when he attended NIATT’s first Traffic Signal Summer Workshop (then called "camp.")

As he entered the end of his first year of graduate school, Phil emphatically states that he would make the same choice. “I’m glad to be doing research,” Phil says. “I’m getting to see some meaningful results.” 

Phil worked with Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Rahim (, left) on an ITS project, modeling possible detour routes that will optimize the movement and safety of vehicles during freeway incidents. Phil is also working on a project for Ada County, involving freeway and arterial operations in Boise, Idaho, during freeway incident detours. Phil has contributed to two traffic-related service projects for small cities in Idaho through the student chapter of ITE and NIATT’s Idaho Technology Transfer Center. 

Phil was been an active leader in the UI student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He held both secretary and vice president positions and is currently serving as public relations liaison.

Phil was a member of the winning team at the 2001 Student Traffic Bowl competition in Portland, Oregon. He was recipient of the Coral Sales Company/Douglas P. Daniels Scholarship in 2001. Phil completed an internship with Whatcom County Public Works near Bellingham, Washington, in 2000, assisting a traffic technician. In the summer of 2001, he interned at Six Mile Engineering in Boise working on intersection and ITS design projects, and in summer 2002, held an internship at the Federal Highway Administration Headquarters Office of Travel Management working on a freeway ramp management and control handbook.


Phil Rust (center) gets advice from NIATT's ransportation engineering faculty members, Ahmed Abdel-Rahim, Michael Dixon, and Michael Kyte.
Philip Rust
2003 Student-of-the-Year

Outstanding
Graduate Students

2007--Matthew Benke
2006--Nathan Bradbury
2005--Yuri Meresczak
2004--Dan Cordon
2003--Philip Rust
2002--David Alexander
2001--Geoffrey Judd
2000--Dan Gerbus
1999--Paul Coffelt
1998--Andrew A. Miller
1997--Matthew Zoll

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
E-mail:   niatt@uidaho.edu

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