TXST civil engineering graduate student awarded a federal transportation fellowship


Breanna Evinger | November 14, 2023

carlos sanchez headshot
Carlos Sanchez

Graduate student, Carlos Sanchez, has been awarded the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP) Local Competition Fellowship administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (Federal Highway Administration). With this fellowship, Carlos can continue his transportation research which focuses on the concerns of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) models to accurately detect and annotate distresses (e.g., cracks and potholes) in images of pavement surfaces of roads in proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. 

The DDETFP awards fellowships to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines. The DDETFP is merit-based and generally results in 150-200 grants annually. The local competition fellowship allows students enrolled in an Institution of Higher Education - either minority Serving Institution or a community college - to conduct transportation-related research, pursue transportation-related degrees, enter the transportation workforce, and enhance the breadth, scope, and diversity of knowledge of the entire transportation community in the U.S..

Carlos is a first-year M.S. student who is currently enrolled in the civil engineering program. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas State University. With his research, Carlos is trying to help the state of highway infrastructure in the country while also bridging the gap between technology and infrastructure in the transportation workforce. 

“I believe that my research will benefit the transportation industry because it will provide insight into more efficient methods of pavement conditions analysis”, Carlos said.

Dr. Feng Wang headshot
Dr. Feng Wang

Dr. Feng Wang, Carlos’s PI (Principal Investigator) for the fellowship, praised Carlos for being a highly motivated and hardworking student with a strong interest in conducting research in the transportation engineering areas. 

“His work ethic along with his honesty, collegiality, dedication, and perseverance has made him a very valuable colleague in our research team,” Feng said. “The DDETFP scholarship award will help not only support Carlos financially with his educational goals but also earn him recognition with a highly selective group of talented future leaders in the transportation community.” 

In the past, Carlos had worked with TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) as an intern for the Maintenance Department at both Division and District levels. Upon completion of his degree, he plans to return to the transportation workforce. 

“I am grateful for the fellowship since it allows me to continue my transportation research and present my topic at the highly prestigious Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting,” Carlos said. The Graduate College would like to congratulate Carlos Sanchez on his hard work and achievement and thank Dr. Wang for his dedication to his students.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922