Education - 2011 Student of the Year

The University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA) is proud to recognize Dr. Moses K. Tefe as its 2011 Student of the Year.  Dr. Tefe, who grew up in Accra, Ghana, received a doctoral degree in civil engineering in August 2012.

Dr. Tefe (left) receives the UTCA Student of the Year award from Mr. Greg Winfree, RITA’s acting administrator

Dr. Tefe enrolled in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama (UA) in 2007.  He has worked on several UTCA research projects, including #07403, Intercity Bus Service Study 2007; #07407, Alabama School Bus Seat Belt Pilot Project; and #08401, Driver Reaction at Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings.  Currently Dr. Tefe is a teaching assistant, instructing students in traffic engineering, geometric design software, and engineering surveying.

In addition to being honored as UTCA’s Student of the Year, Dr. Tefe received the UA Graduate Student Association’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award and the UA Black Faculty and Staff Assocation Joffre and Zadie B. Whisenton Award in 2012 and a National Science Foundation fellowship as part of UA’s GK-12 Sustainable Energy Systems project in 2011.  As part of his fellowship, Dr. Tefe serves as a mentor and teaches second graders math and science every week.  He also developed a science and math teaching module that will be used in a west Alabama school district.

Dr. Tefe came to UA with extensive engineering experience.  He worked as a traffic/transportation engineer, supervising traffic-engineering studies and signal design projects for Associated Consultants, a Ghanaian firm that handles projects in Africa, for thirteen years.  He earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from UNESCO-IHE, in the Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Ghana.

The formal presentation of the Student of the Year award occurred in Washington, DC, during the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting.  Accompanying Dr. Tefe to the awards banquet were Dr. Daniel S. Turner, UTCA’s founding executive director; Dr. Jay K. Lindly, UTCA’s current executive director; and Dr. Steven L. Jones, Dr. Tefe’s advisor.

Dr. Tefe is writing a dissertation on sustainable transportation systems in developing countries.  Upon graduation he plans to put his expertise to work while preparing for the Professional Engineering exam.