Virginia Tech Urban Affairs and Planning alumna Erin Puckett recently received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for her analysis of the TRB Research Needs Statements (RNS) database. Puckett is a graduate of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program offered by UAP in Blacksburg and Alexandria.

Puckett’s analysis focused on determining the extent to which the topic of sustainable transportation was addressed in the proposed research projects listed in the RNS database. Her analysis identified the type and scope of projects being proposed and which TRB committees are supporting sustainability-related research proposals in one or more areas.

The results from this analysis were used by the TRB Committee on Transportation and Sustainability (ADD40) to determine which proposed research needs to support, which committees to initially engage with within TRB, and where opportunities exist to propose new research projects.

“Erin’s project is a great example of how our graduate students use the skills and knowledge they gain in our program to make important contributions to the field of planning,” said Ralph Hall, assistant professor with Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning program and a member of the TRB Committee on Transportation and Sustainability.

The TRB Certificate of Appreciation highlights the practical significance of Puckett’s work. She is now working as a County Planner in the Henrico County Planning Department.