Jeremy Bonifacio, a Ph.D. student in the joint doctorate program between Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) College of Engineering and Claremont Graduate University, was recently selected as the METRANS 2012 Outstanding Student of the Year.
With the award he received $1,000, the cost of attending the 2013 Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual conference and a certificate from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
Established in 1998, the METRANS Transportation Center is the first university transportation center in Southern California and is a joint partnership between the University of Southern California and CSULB.
Bonifacio, a Huntington Beach resident, was among the outstanding students honored from each University Transportation Center from around the nation at a special ceremony during the TRB’s 92nd annual meeting in Washington, D.C. that attracted more than 11,000 individuals, the largest gathering of transportation academics and professionals in the world.
Bonifacio, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 2007 and his master’s from CSULB in 2010, received his METRANS honor at the 22nd annual Outstanding Student of the Year awards ceremony earlier this year.
“Getting the award provided a great experience for me,” said Bonifacio. “I had the opportunity to go back to Washington, D.C., and that was the first time for me. I got to see the other side of conferences that I don’t normally get to see. I’m generally focused on the engineering side of things and don’t get to see all the other aspects to transportation, but I did at this conference.”
In order to be eligible for the award, applicants must have been a graduate student in good standing, have a field concentration in transportation in any graduate degree program at USC or CSULB and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In addition, eligible applicants must have completed at least two semesters of graduate work and received support from a METRANS-funded research project or other activity. The selection was based on accomplishments in three areas—technical merit and research, academic performance, and leadership and professionalism.
“I am so pleased that Jeremy has been recognized for his work and that he was able to attend the Transportation Research Board meetings in Washington as a result,” said Thomas O’Brien, the director of research for CSULB’s Center for International Trade and Transportation at CSULB and a past recipient of the same award. “I met a number of fellow students in Washington when I was similarly recognized in 2000. Many of them have since become colleagues and part of my professional network as well as my friends. The experience really can change the trajectory of your career.”
Bonifacio’s Ph.D. research is focused on emission control technology for diesel engines, indoor air pollutants within public transportation systems and diffusion of pollutants within the urban canopy. He also served as the student team leader for CSULB’s project with the Port of Los Angeles in assessing a new seawater scrubber for reducing diesel PM emission of ocean going vessels. In addition, he serves as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering on campus, teaching Aerodynamics Laboratory classes.
“Jeremy is a passionate researcher/engineer with deep interests in environmental issues and public health,” wrote professor and interim associate dean for research in CSULB’s College of Engineering Hamid Rahai in his letter of recommendation for Bonifacio.
“Dr. Rahai has helped me a lot through all of my research and pointed me in the direction I needed to go as far as studying and putting us out there to present,” said Bonificio. “To me it’s like if he sees the potential in somebody he really sticks with them and as long as that person has the drive he really helps them out.”