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Partners in Research

M-20 bridge construction in Midland. Beam placement
Department of Transportation

Partners in Research

Research Administration wants to highlight the diverse group of universities, consultant groups, and transportation leaders who have recently completed, are currently working, or have interest in MDOT research partners with our office. This page is intended to be a resource for public and private transportation stakeholders interested in our research partners and their specific expertise’s. 

If you are interested in being included in the Partners in Research Page, please complete the survey. Please note, the website is updated bi-annually.

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Ahmed Al-Bayati

Lawrence Technological University 

Professor and Director of Construction Safety Research Center 

Areas of Expertise:
Construction Safety & Underground Utilities & Construction Quality

Website for Ahmed Al-Bayati

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Upul Attanayake

Western Michigan University 

Professor and Director of the MDOT Center of Excellence for Structural Durability
(269) 276-3217 

Areas of Expertise:
Accelerated Bridge Construction & Bridge Engineering & Construction Durability & NDE & Health Monitoring

Website for Upul Attanayake

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Nishantha Bandara

Lawrence Technological University 

Associate Professor, Director-Lawrence Tech Transportation Institute
(248) 204-2602 

Areas of Expertise:
Pavement Design and Management & Pavement Evaluation & Winter Maintenance & Recycled Materials

Website for Nishantha Bandara

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Colin Neil Brooks

Michigan Technological University, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)

Senior Research Scientist
(734) 604-4196

Areas of Expertise: 
Implementing advanced inspection and monitoring technologies to help with infrastructure inspection.

Website for Colin Neil Brooks

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Bora Cetin

Michigan State University

(336) 686-1361

Areas of Expertise: 
Geotechnical Engineering, Geoenvironmental Engineering

Website for Bora Cetin

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Tyler Dawson, Ph.D., P.E.

NTH Consultants, Ltd.  

Principal Engineer

Areas of Expertise:
Geotechnical; Subsurface Utility; Structure Assessment & Rehabilitation; Pavement Design/Management

Website for Tyler Dawson


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Utpal Dutta

University of Detroit Mercy

Professor/Chair: Civil Architectural & Environmental Engineering Dept.  
(313) 993-1040

Areas of Expertise: 
Traffic Safety,  Public Transit, TOD, Pavement design

Website for Utpal Dutta

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Christopher Eamon

Wayne State University 

(313) 577-3766 

Areas of Expertise:
Bridge Structures; Load Modeling; Structural Reliability; Structural Analysis; Field Testing

Website for Christopher Eamon

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David W. Eby

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Research Professor
(734) 763-8107

Areas of Expertise:
Aging and mobility, Traffic Safety

Website for David W. Eby

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Timothy Gates

Michigan State University

(517) 353-7224

Areas of Expertise:
Traffic safety, driver behavior, traffic control devices, speed limits, speed management, work zone

Website for Timothy Gates

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Jim Gaus

Michigan Department of Transportation

Occupational Safety Specialist 
(517) 719-4071

Areas of Expertise:
Worker Safety and Health

Website for Jim Gaus

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Chris Gilbertson

Michigan Technological University

Associate Director of Center for Technology & Training
906) 487-2102

Areas of Expertise:
Bridge design, load rating, and the asset management of transportation infrastructure.

Website for Chris Gilbertson

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Amanda Good

Kimley-Horn of Michigan

Project Manager 
(919) 653-5849

Areas of Expertise:
Operations, Incident Management, Video Analytics, CV/AV, Emerging Technologies, Transit

Website for Amanda Good

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Syed Waqar Haider

Michigan State University

Associate Professor 
(517) 353-9782

Areas of Expertise:
Pavement design, management and preservation

Website for Syed Waqar Haider

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Brian Hirt

CTC & Associates

Principal and CEO
(402) 770-9067

Areas of Expertise:
Research program and project management; technical reporting and communications

Website for Brian Hirt

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Brent Hollady

Road Commission Oakland County

Signals Inspector/ITS
(248) 303-9030

Areas of Expertise:
Traffic Operations Center, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Wireless connectivity CCTV, Detection 

Website for Brent Hollady

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Sandun Kuruppu

Western Michigan University 

Associate Professor
(269) 276-3160

Areas of Expertise:
Transportation, Electrification, Intelligent Systems and Monitoring, Fault prognosis and Diagnosis

Website for Sandun Kuruppu

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M. Emin Kutay

Michigan State University 

(517) 353-9297

Areas of Expertise:
Pavement analysis and design (mechanistic-empirical methods), performance modeling, preservation

Website for M. Emin Kutay

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Nizar Lajnef

Michigan State University

(517) 353-8883

Areas of Expertise:
Intelligent transportation, Infrastructure monitoring 

Website for Nizar Lajnef

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Steven Lavrenz

Wayne State University  

Assistant Professor
(313) 577-2086

Areas of Expertise:
Vision Zero and Safe Systems, vulnerable roadway users, intelligent transportation systems

Website for Steven Lavrenz

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Nicholas C. Little

Michigan State University, Center for Railway Research & Education

Director Railway Education
(517) 353-5663

Areas of Expertise:
Passenger & freight railroads, supply chain management, alternative motive power energy sources

Website for Nicholas C. Little

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Hexu Liu

Western Michigan University 

Assistant Professor
(269) 330-4240

Areas of Expertise:
Cost management,  project digital delivery, BIM

Website for Hexu Liu

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Fatmir Menkulasi

Wayne State University 

Associate Professor
(313) 577-9950

Areas of Expertise:
Structural Engineering

Website for Fatmir Menkulasi

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John Paepke

Michigan Department of Transportation

Maintenance Engineer 12, Grand Region Office
(616) 204-0693

Areas of Expertise:
Traffic engineering, work zones, maintenance

Website for John Paepke

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Rohan Perera


Senior Consultant
734) 454-9900

Areas of Expertise:
FWD Data Collection and Analysis, Pavement Smoothness and Texture, Pavement Design and Management

Website for Rohan Perera

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Xiaodong Qian

Wayne State University 

Assistant Professor
(530) 746-1508

Areas of Expertise:
Transportation Equity; Emerging Mobilities; Smart Transport Infrastructure; GIS in Transportation

Website for Xiaodong Qian

Profile picture of Tongbin 'Teresa' Qu

Tongbin "Teresa" Qu

Michigan State University 

Associate Professor

Areas of Expertise:
Non-motorized, autonomous, accessible, and sustainable transportation

Website for Tongbin "Teresa" Qu

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Peter Savolainen

Michigan State University

MSU Foundation Professor
(517) 432-1825

Areas of Expertise: 
Transportation safety

Website for Peter Savolainen

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Thomas D. Sereseroz

RS Engineering, LLC.

(517) 253-0525

Areas of Expertise: 
Structural Engineering, Load Rating, Bridge Design

Website for Thomas D. Sereseroz

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Eric Thorkildsen

GPI Michigan 

Chief Engineer Strategic Pursuits 

Areas of Expertise:
Bridge Preservation & Bridge Inspection & Bridge Maintenance

Website for Eric Thorkildsen

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David Watkins

Michigan Technological University

(906) 487-1640

Areas of Expertise:
Water resources engineering, hydrologic modeling, flood risk management, hydroclimatic prediction

Website for David Watkins

Profile picture Zhanping You

Zhanping You

Michigan Technological University

(906) 487-1059

Areas of Expertise:
Pavements, Materials 

Website for Zhanping You

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Dong Zhao

Michigan State University 

Associate Professor
(517) 432-3242

Areas of Expertise:
Construction Informatics, Worker Safety and Health, Sustainability

Website for Dong Zhao

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Ali Zockaie

Michigan State University

Associate Professor

Areas of Expertise:
Traffic Operation & Management, Sustainable Mobility, Transportation Planning, Emerging technologies

Website for Ali Zockaie

Page last updated: 09/07/2022