PVAMU Receives Nearly Half-Million Dollar Grant to Solve Transportation Challenges Within Waller Co.

Toyota Motor North America Grant

Toyota Motor North America awarded Prairie View A&M University $453,757 to find ways for people to get around easier in Waller County, the county in which PVAMU is located. Junior-level civil and environmental engineering students, under the direction of Professors Emmanuel Nzewi and Judy Perkins, are working through May 2020 on transportation solutions for individuals facing the most significant mobility challenges. These groups include the elderly, people living with disabilities, and veterans within the Prairie View A&M University community as well as throughout Waller County.

“The 18-month project is particularly important as vulnerable populations continue to increase,” said Perkins. “Furthermore, the ability of people to move from one location to another directly influences their propensity toward healthy living, sense of belonging and opportunity to contribute socially, and place in the social fabric of any community. These things are all essential to sustaining their quality of life.”

Using in-depth research and pilots, PVAMU’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department will develop an agenda to address Toyota’s University Mobility Challenge.

“The framework utilizes existing transportation engineering courses (a two-semester sequence) in our undergraduate program as the core for developing mobility solutions for the stakeholder population groups mentioned above,” said Perkins. “The result should remove barriers to accessible transportation for our target populations.”

Currently, eight students, Devan Addison-Turner, Rodney Arrington, Maverick Beissner, Jarvis Hawkins, Precious Kalu, Ibrahim Niandou Hassane, Chika Okwor, and Aspen’Que Ridgley, are working on the project with Faculty Lead/Co-Principal Investigator and Principal Investigator Perkins and Nzewi, respectively.

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-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.