Engineering professor C. Michael Walton received the 2013 Frank Turner Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Transportation on Jan. 16 at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Walton was the first academic to be elected chairman of the American Road and Transportation Society of America and is a recipient of the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Wilbur S. Smith Distinguished Transportation Educator Award.
The Frank Turner Medal, established in 1998, recognizes distinguished careers in the field of transportation with contributions to transportation policy, administration or research. The Transportation Research Board, along with officials from various other transportation organizations, selects a recipient and awards the medal biennially.
“When you receive an award from your peers for your accumulated work over time it’s just a very humbling experience,” Walton said.
Walton relates his research on transportation back to his work as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has taught since 1983.
“Much of what I’m doing in research I bring to the classroom,” he said. “I really do take a lot of pride in helping my students identify opportunities once they’ve graduated,” Walton said.
Engineering graduate student Andrea Hall said that Walton’s courses are very conversational and that he incorporates students in his research.
“Besides being extremely knowledgeable in this field, he’s known for being willing to help anybody,” Hall said.
Walton’s 40 years in transport system engineering and policy analysis have earned him numerous awards and honors. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993, and is a recognized and respected member of the civil engineering community.
Engineering assistant professor Stephen Boyles said Walton is one of the best connected figures in transportation engineering.
“No matter where you go, everybody knows his name,” Boyles said.
Walton is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the Intelligent Transportation Society’s hall of fame, an organization of which he was the chairman of the board.