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About Transportation Tech

Why We Exist & Who We Are

Why We Exist

The technologies implemented and maintained by the ITS/CV technicians will literally change the world.  The opportunity to vastly reduce traffic fatalities, mitigate the environmental footprint of motor vehicles, and save enormous amounts of time and money through the emerging field of connected and autonomous vehicles hinges on the ability to recruit and train effective technicians.

A severe shortage of training materials, curriculum, standards, procedures, and certification capability for ITS and CV technicians has been indicated by industry professionals and government officials across the country. This has resulted in a workforce that lacks the knowledge and skills necessary to install, maintain, and repair the ever increasing volume of devices and advanced vehicles to be found on tomorrow’s roadways.

 

Who We Are

Transportation Tech began as a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant awarded to Valerie Lefler MPA, CEO of Integrated Global Dimensions, LLC. It is a woman owned business based in Lincoln, Nebraska.

 

Contact Information

Phone: 888-204-5305

Email: info@transportationtech.com

 

About Our Team

Valerie Lefler MPA, President & CEO

Ms. Lefler graduated from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration after studying International Economics abroad at the University of Oxford. She received her master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Management from the University of Nebraska—Omaha in 2012.

Valerie has over 13 years of project management experience, involving over $37 million in nationally recognized research, education, and technology transfer initiatives. She has worked extensively with program sponsors at the state and federal levels, including, but not limited to, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, the Transportation Research Board, the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), and the Nebraska Department of Education.

Ms. Lefler served as Program Coordinator for the University of Nebraska—Lincoln’s Nebraska Transportation Center (NTC) and the Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC) from 2003–2013. At UNL Valerie worked with over 150 faculty members from 8 universities in 13 different academic disciplines. In addition, from 2004–2012, she served as the ITS Heartland Chapter Administrator, which serves ITS professionals in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.

Ryan Johnsen, Vice President

Mr. Johnsen graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Sciences.  He has over twenty years of experience working in small startup business enterprises in a wide variety of fields.  He is presently involved in the development of an online training service for ITS technicians, construction career promotion, and a distributed ride-share program.

Our Development Partners

Metropolitan Community College

Dr. Tom Pensabene, Executive Director, Workforce Innovation Division and Dean of  IT and E-Learning

Dr. Pensabene holds a Doctorate in Education/Instructional Design, is an ACT certified WorkKeys® occupational profiler, and serves as the PI for National Science Foundation projects focused on scenario based, online learning  (the Midwest Center for Information Technology) and IT‐enabled, automated systems (Automate!). Dr. Pensabene began his postsecondary career in 1996 as Manager of instructional design at the University of Oklahoma, joining MCC in 2000 as the Dean of IT and E‐Learning. As Dean, Dr. Pensabene provides guidance for the largest IT training program in the region, offering a range of programs such as IT security, embedded systems, networking, and database, and a customizable virtualist degree allowing specialized certifications (such as ITS).

In 2012, Dr. Pensabene coordinated efforts for MCC’s first cross‐disciplinary degree, offered through a virtual, cross‐disciplinary department, the Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology (CAET). While retaining his role as Dean of IT & E‐Learning, in 2013 Dr. Pensabene was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the new Workforce Innovation Division (WID). The mission of WID is to develop and pilot new programming for industry‐driven training across MCC.

Currently, WID oversees several US Department of Labor and National Science Foundation initiatives, all of which include the development of scenario based, technology‐enabled training modules to build skills in the Transportation arena.

Karen Wegner, Instructional Systems Designer

Ms. Wegner holds a Master of Education in Adult Learning/ Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  She is an active member of the eLearning Guild, and currently serves on the Board of the Association for Training and Development ‐ Nebraska. Other professional associations have included International Society for Performance Improvement, Organization Development Network, Project Management Institute, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the National Staff Development Council.

At MCC, Ms. Wegner leads teams and provides instructional design, development, and delivery of scenario based, video enhanced, digital learning solutions. Ms. Wegner is schooled in practices that support universal design and open education resources and is certified in DACUM (Developing A CUrriculuM), a proven approach for occupational profiling and the design of industry relevant, competency based training.  Ms. Wegner also provided leadership to obtain an electronic tool enabling the design of competency based education – critical for industry‐responsive training.

Michigan Tech Research Institute

Colin Brooks, Senior Research Scientist

Colin Brooks is a Lab Manager and Senior Research Scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute, a research center of Michigan Technological University, where he directs the environmental and transportation research programs for the Institute. His recent research has focused on developing and demonstration applications of remote sensing technologies for transportation infrastructure assessment to help improve the efficiency of asset management. He has been leading a Michigan DOT (MDOT) project on developing a new user-friendly, 3-D tablet-based tool for recording and accessing bridge inspection data. He has been working with MDOT to integrate aerial imaging technologies into traffic monitoring operations as part of southeastern Michigan ITS operations. Colin holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Forestry from Lenoir-Rhyne College of Hickory, NC, and is currently pursuing a mid-career PhD through Michigan Tech. He is a member of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), and the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF).

William Buller, Research Engineer

Mr. Buller is a Research Engineer at the Michigan Tech Research Institute and the Senior Systems Engineer for the Technology Service Corporation of Silver Springs, MD.  Mr. Buller has received a B.A. Physics, Albion College and a M.S. Engineering Physics, University of Virginia.  He is an expert in characterization of sensor and system performance and has applied his work to problems in missile defense, passive RF imaging, cognitive radio and autonomous vehicles.  He has led research and development efforts for characterizing the radar signatures of automobiles and deer, and designed the first RF-realistic surrogate for automotive safety tests.  Mr. Buller is currently the lead engineer for Michigan Tech’s support of NHTSA development of a V2V Basic Safety Message for Heavy Vehicles.  He also serves as a member of SAE Active Safety Test Target Validation and Correlation Task Force Mr. Buller shares pending patents on the use of retro-reflective radar patch antennas for identification of highway infrastructure and determination vehicle-tractor articulation.

 

 

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