UWM Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Friday, October 6, 2023 – 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

UWM Student Union – Ballroom
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.

  • Bringing academics, students and practitioners together to network and share information on topics of interest to transportation professionals in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond.
  • Showcasing practical applications of transportation related academic research.
  • Providing an opportunity for Wisconsin DOT and other presenters to share their innovative practices with the broader transportation community.
  • Registration closed Friday, September 22, 2023 at 5 pm. QUESTIONS? Contact Mark Gottlieb at


7:45 – 8:15Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:15 – 8:30Welcoming Remarks
Kristina Boardman, Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Xiao Qin, Director, UWM Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation
8:30 – 9:15Keynote Speaker – “Building a Talent Pipeline: All Roads Lead to Partnerships” – Dr. Morna Foy, President, Wisconsin Technical College System
9:15 – 9:30Break and Networking
9:30 – 10:45Breakout Sessions 1-3
11:00 – 12:15Breakout Sessions 4-5
12:15 – 1:00Lunch with Speaker – Craig Thompson, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
1:00 – 2:30Interactive Workshop: “Developing an Effective Style of Workplace Communication”
For More Information
Mark Gottlieb

Thanks to our Symposium Sponsors:

Lead Sponsor:


Supporting Sponsors:

Transportation Development Association Logo

Speaker Biographies

Aaron Arteaga-Martinez
Community Engagement Manager, Bublr Bikes

Aarón Arteaga-Martinez is a bilingual/bicultural human rights advocate born in Zacatecas and raised in the Southside of Milwaukee. He brings over a decade of experience in community engagement and culturally appropriate program development & management. His passion to improve health outcomes for communities disproportionately affected by inequities have led him to lead physical and mental health initiatives in Black and Brown communities across Milwaukee. Aaron currently serves as Bublr’s Community Engagement Manager, a mayoral appointee to the City of Milwaukee’s Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee and is an Americorps alumni that served two terms at Public Allies Milwaukee where he was selected as a HAMP Foundation Scholar.

Andrea Bill
Associate Director – UW-Madison Traffic Operations and Safety Lab

Andrea Bill is the Director of the Wisconsin Local Technical Assistance Program and Associate Director of the Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With these dual roles, she has been bringing research to technology transfer through in person and virtual webinars throughout Wisconsin and the U.S.  

Kristina Boardman
Deputy Secretary, WisDOT

As Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Kristina Boardman is the chief operating officer for a state agency with more than 3,200 employees, dozens of field offices and a biennial budget of more than $8 billion. She is the first female deputy secretary at WisDOT.

Kristina previously served as the administrator of WisDOT’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which serves millions of Wisconsinites each year through in-person, phone, mail and online interactions. Under her leadership, DMV continually excelled in areas of customer service, efficiency and innovation. Some of her key accomplishments included implementing the federal REAL ID program in Wisconsin, expanding opportunities to schedule appointments at DMV service centers, and innovating an award-winning online service for customers to title and register their vehicles. Kristina was also elected by her peers to serve as Chair of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) International Board of Directors, a national leadership role she holds through September 2023.

WisDOT benefits from Kristina’s 28-years of state government service, which includes 10-years as a legislative aide for the Wisconsin State Assembly before transitioning to WisDOT in 2005. Prior to becoming DMV administrator, Kristina served as DMV deputy administrator and director of DMV field services.

Kristina has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Kristina and her husband Adam live in Sun Prairie and have two adult children.

James Davies
Executive Director – Bublr Bikes

James is passionate about safe, equitable, sustainable transportation systems. James is the executive director of Bublr Bikes, Greater Milwaukee’s nonprofit bikeshare system. James has served in this capacity since September 2019 and has been with Bublr since 2014. James was born in Racine Wisconsin, received his undergraduate degree at UW-Madison, and his law degree from University of Florida – Levin College of Law. James was named to the Milwaukee Business Journal 40 Under 40 in 2001 and serves on the board of the North American Bikeshare and Scootershare Association and provides volunteer legal services through the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic.

Sean Debels
Engineering Chief, WisDOT

Sean Debels is the Engineering Chief of the Office of Asset and Performance Management. Sean has worked for the department for 10 years in region project development and programming. Before coming to WisDOT, Sean worked for Kimley Horn & Associates on civil engineering planning and design in Phoenix Arizona. Education: B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2006. Registration: P.E., Wisconsin

Mike Ernst, P.E., AVP
Transportation Engineer, HNTB

Mike is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with 20 years of experience in Transportation Engineering. At HNTB Mike is a Project Manager with a focus on Wisconsin Department of Transportation Projects. He is HNTB’s Deputy Project Manager for the Lake Interchange Study and responsible for overseeing the development of the range alternatives as part of the Study.

Mike Finkenbinder
Highway Safety Improvement Program Manager, WisDOT

Mike has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville.  He’s been with WisDOT for ten years and served as the Highway Safety Improvement Program Manager for four years.

Dr. Morna Foy
President, Wisconsin Technical College System

Dr. Morna K. Foy was named President of the Wisconsin Technical College System in January 2013. With more than 30 years of experience in higher education policy development and leadership, her focus as System President is on creating equitable opportunities for all Wisconsinites to pursue lifelong learning with a Wisconsin technical college, and to assure that the colleges deliver for the students, employers and communities who depend on them.

Ethan Frost
Asset Management Systems Coordinator, WisDOT

Ethan is an Asset Management Systems Coordinator for the Office of Asset and Performance Management. Ethan is the main contact for technical expertise on asset management models. He has worked for the department for 8 years in the Division of Transportation Investment Management. Education: B.S. Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Physics; M.S. Environment & Resources Transportation Management, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2006.

Brian Gaber, P.E.
Director, Office of Asset and Performance Management, WisDOT

Brian is an experienced engineering director with a demonstrated history of asset management, transportation planning and traffic operations. Brian has worked for WisDOT for 30 years and has a broad range of experience having managed functional operations in maintenance, traffic, bridge, technical services, and transportation planning. In 2016, after his role as North Central Regional planning chief, Brian become the director for the department’s first asset management office. The Office of Asset and Performance Management (OAPM) is an extension of the Division of Transportation Investment Management administrator’s office. This role leads WisDOT in the understanding and use of advanced data analytics and performance-based engineering analysis to optimize statewide system conditions for given budgets. Education: B.S. Civil Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1994. Registration: P.E., Wisconsin

Al Ghorbanpoor, PhD., P.E.
Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of IPIT

Al Ghorbanpoor is a Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering and Founding Director of the Institute for Physical Infrastructure & Transportation (IPIT) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Prof. Ghorbanpoor served as the principal investigator for this study. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin.

Mark Gottlieb, P.E.
Associate Director, UWM-IPIT

Prior to joining UWM in 2020, Mark served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation from 2011-2017, and as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2003-2011. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from UW-Milwaukee.

Michael Hammond
Transportation Planner, HNTB

Michael is a transportation planner with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He has worked for HNTB Corporation for over 9 years where he has focused on environmental documentation, public involvement, grant writing and long range planning studies for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and other public agencies. On the Lake Interchange Study, Michael is working with WisDOT to manage public involvement and stakeholder engagement activities. Michael and the team have developed an innovative and informative engagement strategy focused on listening first which has included advisory committees, digital and web strategies and in-person engagement.

Wendy Kamerling
Owner, Bridges Consulting, LLC and Adjunct Faculty, UWM Lubar College of Business

Wendy Kamerling has owned and operated her own consulting practice, Bridges Consulting,
LLC, for over fifteen years. Her clients range from non-profit groups to global manufacturers.
Wendy enjoys partnering with leaders to help improve the performance of employees, teams and
organizations. Clients value Wendy’s hands-on approach, her practical coaching style and the
varied tools and experience she draws upon.
An experienced and accomplished public speaker, Wendy enjoys conducting workshops,
facilitating discussions, and delivering keynote addresses.
As adjunct faculty for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar College of Business
Executive Programs group, Wendy has the privilege of working with employees of premier
companies across southeastern Wisconsin as they hone their leadership skills.
Wendy is an authorized partner with Everything DiSC and administers both individual and team
assessment tools. Wendy uses the information generated by these powerful and proven tools to
coach leaders, teams, and individuals to higher levels of performance.
Prior to starting her own company, Wendy worked for twenty years for global manufacturer
Johnson Controls. During her last six years with Johnson Controls she served as Vice President,
Human Resources for their global battery business.
In May 2007, Wendy published her book, Are You a Leader Worth Following? The book
challenges leaders to consider how their style either positively or negatively affects their

Holly Keenan
Mobility Manager, Make the Ride Happen

Holly is a certified Mobility Manager and has been with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan since May 2004 – the inception of Make the Ride Happen. Holly has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Administration from UW-Eau Clair. She began her career working in skilled nursing facilities as a Nursing Home Administrator in several facilities in Wisconsin. Holly knew then that she had a desire to work with older adults and individuals with disabilities. Holly is married (30+ years) and has two adult sons who presently live and work in the Fox Cities. Holly enjoys walking, biking and recently learning to cook healthier meals for her family.

Dan Kopacz, P.E.
HMA Engineer, WisDOT

Dan is a HMA Engineer in the Bureau of Technical Services at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). He develops and maintains HMA related guidance and specifications, as well as provides HMA related technical assistance to department staff, consultants, and other transportation agencies. Dan is a professional engineer with over 25 years of transportation related experience and holds a B.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Dan has spent almost 15 years working in pavements both as a regional pavement engineer and an HMA engineer. Previous experience also includes more than 10 years managing construction projects both as a consultant and at DOT. Dan has previously served as the Flexible Technical Oversight Committee Chair for WHRP and actively participates in State and National initiatives, such as WHRP, HMA Technical Team, NRRA and CAPRI.

Brandon Lamers, P.E.
Construction Oversight, Standards, and Local Program Chief, WisDOT

Brandon graduated in 2001 from UW-Platteville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer with over 22-years of experience working on transportation projects in Wisconsin. Brandon is the Construction Standards, Oversight, and Local Program Section Chief within the WisDOT Bureau of Project Development. Prior to his current role, Brandon worked as both a project development chief and supervisor for major corridor study and system preservation projects in the WisDOT SW-Region office and worked as a construction project leader on urban and freeway projects.

Valerie Lefler
Executive Director and Founder, Feonix Mobility Rising

Valerie Lefler is the Founder, CEO, and Executive Director of Feonix – Mobility Rising, a national non-profit on a mission to create mobility solutions for the health and wellbeing of every person in every community.  Ms. Lefler is an international expert in urban and rural transportation, accessibility, and mobility as a service.   As a social impact entrepreneur, Valerie has experience in academia, consulting, defense contracting, and venture capital.  Her educational background includes a degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Xiaopeng Li, PhD
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Connected and Autonomous Transportation Systems Laboratory, UW-Madison

Professor Li’s research focuses on emerging technologies within the connected and automated vehicle space. He’s especially interested in understanding and influencing how new connected vehicle technology develops as the era of the smart car begins.

Dr. Li received a B.S. degree (2006) in Civil Engineering with a minor in Computer Engineering from Tsinghua University, China, a M.S. degree (2007) and a Ph.D. (2011) degree in Civil Engineering along with a M.S. degree (2010) in Applied Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, USA.

James Luebke, P.E.
Structural Engineer, WisDOT

James is a Structural Development Engineer in the Bureau of Structures at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). He develops and maintains Bridge Manual guidance and Bridge Standard Details, as well as provides structure related technical assistance to department staff, consultants, and other transportation agencies. James is a professional engineer with over 15 years of structure related experience and holds a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. James is the Structures Technical Oversight Committee Chair for the Wisconsin Highway Research Program and actively participates in State and National initiatives, such as Accelerated Bridge Construction.

Madalena Maestri, Ed.D.
DBE Program Chief, WisDOT

Madalena grew up in a family-owned, small business in rural Wisconsin. Her work has focused on cultivating small businesses and fostering educational opportunities throughout her career. As the DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Program Chief for WisDOT, Madalena leads a dedicated team committed to helping historically underrepresented small business owners to participate in WisDOT transportation infrastructure contracts.

Tirupan Mandal, PhD., P.E.
Concrete Materials Unit Supervisor, WisDOT

Dr. Tirupan Mandal is currently working as the Concrete Materials Supervisor in the Bureau of Technical Services at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Dr. Mandal is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin with more than 12 years of experience related to pavement materials. He is the Chair of the WHRP Rigid Pavements Committee and the Co-Chair of the WHRP Flexible Pavement Committee. Before joining WisDOT, Dr. Mandal worked as a Senior Pavement Engineer at Gemini Technologies, researching airport pavements for the Federal Aviation Administration Research & Development Program at the National Airport Pavement Test Facility. He is an active member and friend of several Transportation Research Board technical committees and also serves as an Early Career Editorial Board member for the ASCE’s Journal of Cold Regions Engineering. He has authored over 30 publications in peer-reviewed archival journals and conference papers.

Mike Markiewicz
Director, Executive Education, UWM Lubar College of Business

Mike leads the design and delivery of non-degree executive and management education programs offered by the Lubar College of Business. This includes open enrollment programs such as the Strategic Leadership Series and Customized Programs for businesses. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and History from Syracuse University, and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Executive MBA program.

Kevin Muhs, P.E.
City Engineer, City of Milwaukee

Kevin Muhs serves as the City Engineer for the City of Milwaukee. As City Engineer, Kevin leads the Infrastructure Services Division of the Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) and is responsible for the design, operations, and maintenance of City-owned streets, lighting and underground conduit, bridges, and buildings. At the direction of Mayor Cavalier Johnson and the Milwaukee Common Council, Kevin and his colleagues at Milwaukee DPW are working aggressively to transform City streets to eliminate traffic fatalities and life-changing injuries by 2037, and redesign public right of way to provide high-quality public space for residents and serve all users. Kevin is both a planner and engineer, and strongly believes that a robust multimodal transportation system is needed for the Milwaukee area to be economically competitive, resilient, and equitable.

Nick Passint
General Manager, Mixer Systems, Inc.

Nick is a senior leader with more than a decade worth of experience in the precast equipment and precast plant operations work environments. He has led multiple new equipment design projects from conception to production and helped develop new patented products. His involvement within a world class precast organization has helped his expertise grow in the fields of precast element production, OEM leadership, plant capacity analysis, and general consulting for the precast industry. He has his engineering mechanics degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MBA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business.

David Pittman, P.E.
Project Manager, WisDOT

David is a Design Project Manager with the Southeast Region of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, where he has worked for 17 years.  His primary focus is on projects on the Interstate Freeways system in the Milwaukee area.  David is managing the Lake Interchange study for the Department. David is a professional engineer with over 20 years of experience working primarily on transportation projects in Wisconsin and Illinois.  David holds a B.S in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Xiao Qin, PhD., P.E.
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation, UWM

Dr. Qin is the Director of the Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation at UWM.  His research focuses on highway safety and crash modeling, traffic operations, ITS, sustainable transportation planning, statistical methods and applications in transportation, and GIS/GPS applications.

Xiaowei Shi, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UWM

Xiaowei (Tom) Shi will join the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2023. He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. Before the current appointment, he was a Ph.D. student at the University of South Florida. His research aims to establish a set of methodologies to understand, predict and eventually improve future transportation systems via sensors, controllers, and design variables rendered by emerging technologies (e.g., connected, automated, modular, and electric vehicles).

David Staab, P.E., LEED AP
Geotechnical Engineering Unit Supervisor, WisDOT

David Staab is the Geotechnical Engineering Unit supervisor in the Bureau of Technical Services at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). He has over 19 years of professional experience in both the private and public sectors on projects covering numerous market sectors. His current responsibilities include all aspects of transportation geotechnics related to planning, design, construction and maintenance of the state’s transportation system. Mr. Staab is the chair of the Geotechnics Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) of the Wisconsin Highway Research Program (WHRP) and Grading, Landscaping and Sewer (GLS) Technical Team. He is also an adjunct instructor in the UW-Platteville online Master of Science in Engineering program. Mr. Staab graduated from UW-Madison with BS and MS degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Habib Tabatabai, PhD., P.E., S.E.
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UWM

Professor Tabatabai is the Director of the Structural Engineering Lab at UW-Milwaukee. His research interests include reliability and durability of bridges, byproducts utilization, damage detection in structures, bridge repair and rehabilitation and structural health monitoring. He holds a PhD. degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Florida.

Ben Thompson, P.E.
Alternative Contracting Engineer, WisDOT

Ben Thompson has been the WisDOT Alternative Contracting Engineer for the last three years.  Prior to that he worked in Project Development in WisDOT’s Southwest Region, at UW-Madison as a research engineer, and with a consultant as a bridge design engineer.  He is a graduate of UW-Madison.

Craig Thompson
Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

In January 2019, Governor Tony Evers appointed Craig Thompson to serve as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). WisDOT is one of the largest state agencies, with more than ​​3,200 employees and a biennial budget of more than $6 billion. The department supports all mode​​s of transportation, including state highways, local roads, railroads, public transit systems, airports, and harbors. In addition, the department inclu​d​es the Division of Motor Vehicles, which serves about 50,000 customers each week, and the Division of State Patrol that enforces laws and assists motorists throughout the state.

Previously Craig was the executive director of the Transportation Develo​pment Association (TDA) of Wisconsin. He has more than 25 years of experience working with Wisconsin businesses, communities, legislators and units of government. Prior to leading TDA, he served as the legislative director for the Wisconsin Counties Association, managing legislative initiatives at the state and federal levels. 

Craig is a native of Racine and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Madison with his wife. They have a daughter and a son. 

Jessica Wineberg
Vision Zero Policy Director, City of Milwaukee

As the new Vision Zero Policy Director for the City of Milwaukee, Jessica is leading the citywide effort to eliminate traffic fatalities and life changing injuries by 2037. She double majored in Geography and Urban Studies at Macalester College.  Starting out as a Bicycle Ambassador and Union Organizer in Chicago, she has since served as the Deputy Director at the Wisconsin Bike Fed, founded MilWALKee Walks, and oversaw day to day operations and long-range planning for the Oak Leaf Trail. Through collaboration and community involvement in transportation, she hopes to help achieve the collective goals of equity, health, safety, and climate resiliency for all, focusing on the most vulnerable.

Zhen Zeng, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science, UWM

Dr. Zeng’s general research interest lies in effectively securing the network and cloud environment. She is interested in cloud security, network security, AI for cybersecurity, and cybersecurity and computer science education. She has worked in the high-tech industry for years and looks forward to interdisciplinary research collaborations. She hold a PhD degree in Computer Science from Arizona State University.

Breakout Sessions and Afternoon Workshop

Innovative Projects and Practices (9:30 – 10:45 a.m.) Ballroom East – Moderator Rebecca Burkel, WisDOT
EXPLORE I-794 – Learn how engagement is helping to shape an urban freeway corridor in downtown Milwaukee
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is conducting a study of I-794 at the Lake Interchange. The study will include development of a purpose and need and concepts that could either reconstruct or remove the freeway. The existing elevated freeway connects the Marquette Interchange to the Hoan Bridge and points to the south including the Port of Milwaukee and south shore communities. I-794 also provides a critical link to Milwaukee jobs, restaurants, businesses, cultural resources, and major tourist destinations in the Third Ward, Lakefront and central business district.
The Study will identify a transportation solution that address deteriorating infrastructure in a manner that will improve safety and operations while striving to enhance community connectivity and compatibility with local plans.
WisDOT is taking a communication first approach to engage the varied interests of stakeholders who use the Lake Interchange every day.  Early activities have included Public Involvement Meetings, community events, stakeholder and business advisory committee meetings, individual stakeholder meetings, local government workshops and elected official briefings.
Please join us to for an update on the Study and to explore more about 794.
Mike Ernst (HNTB), Michael Hammond (HNTB) and Dave Pittman (WisDOT)
WisDOT Design-Build Pilot Program Evaluation
Under legislation adopted in 2019, WisDOT is authorized to award up to six highway or bridge projects under one of three delivery methods: low-bid design build, best-value design build, or fixed-price design build. This session will present the results of IPIT’s evaluation of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) pilot program for design-build project delivery.  The research team reviewed WisDOT’s performance on the first phase of the pilot program, gathered relevant information from agencies around the nation, and interviewed alternative delivery program management staff from four peer states (Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland and Michigan).  This presentation will discuss program successes and opportunities for improvement, and recommendations for continued implementation of design-build at WisDOT. 
Ben Thompson (WisDOT) and Mark Gottlieb (UWM)
Machine Learning and the WisDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Analysis Support System (BiPass)
WisDOT is working on a project we call Bicycle & Pedestrian Project Analysis Support System (BiPASS) that combines travel demand modeling with predictive safety modeling and benefit-cost analysis to provide an integrated suite of tools for project-level evaluation of bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

BiPASS will go beyond traditional four-step travel demand models for mobility considerations by
a) Using a more integrated model of trip-making to account for a wider range of factors that affect bike and pedestrian trip-making decisions
b) Using modern machine learning algorithms to account for greater non-linearity in these factors and their complex interactions

BiPASS goes beyond traditional predictive safety models by
a) Using modern machine learning algorithms to account for complicated interactions between the roadway, automobile traffic, and bicycle/pedestrian traffic
b) Predicting how bicycle and pedestrian crashes will change in response to the ways in which bicycle/pedestrian improvements affect both the roadway and bicycle/pedestrian traffic.
Brian Gaber, Sean Debels and Ethan Frost (WisDOT)
Research I (Infrastructure) (9:30 – 10:45 a.m.) Room W191 – Moderator Andy Graettinger, UWM
Wisconsin Highway Research Program Current Research
Learn more about the Wisconsin Highway Research Program (WHRP) and its latest research in the four main areas of focus: Geotechnics, Rigid Pavements, Flexible Pavements, and Structures. The Wisconsin Highway Research Program was established in 1998 by the WisDOT in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discover better ways to design, build, and reconstruct the state’s highways. WHRP research projects are selected and overseen by committees comprising WisDOT, academics, industry experts, consulting engineers, and the Federal Highway Administration. Through rigorous testing of innovative materials and methods, WHRP research leads to improved performance and service life of Wisconsin’s transportation system. The ultimate goal is to conduct practical research that produces implementable results.
WHRP Technical Committee Chairs (WisDOT)
Ultra-High Performance Concrete Applications
The mechanical properties and durability of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) make it an ideal solution for many applications related to highway infrastructure. UHPC is a steel fiber reinforced, Portland cement-based material that is more constructible, durable, and resilient than conventional concrete. With tensile strengths more than twice conventional concrete and compression strengths at least four times greater it is an ideal material for the world’s most harsh environments. While UHPC has been in the United States since the early 2000s, its use on large scale projects has grown significantly in recent years. Mixer Systems Inc. has worked closely with cement suppliers and contractors developing and testing their mixing equipment to be able to make the most consistent
UHPC mix possible, establishing themselves as a leading supplier of mixers and batching equipment for

In late 2021, UHPC Solutions accepted the challenge of pouring the world’s largest UHPC project – the resurfacing of the top 2” of the Delaware Memorial Bridge which connects the states of Delaware and New Jersey over the Delaware River. Having worked together on several smaller scale UHPC projects, UHPC Solutions collaborated with Mixer Systems to scale up an operation capable of pouring more UHPC on this project than all the UHPC poured in the entire US combined! This presentation shares details of high volume UHPC production and placement and how a 72-year old 8-lane bridge is being refurbished.
Nick Passint (Mixer Systems)
Research II (Operations) (9:30 – 10:45 a.m.) Fireside Lounge – Moderator Xiao Qin, UWM
Local Bridge Improvement Assistance Pilot Program
In 2019, a pilot program was initiated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) in consultation with the Wisconsin County Highway Association (WCHA) to streamline the delivery and oversight of Low-Risk local bridge projects. The goal of this study was to evaluate the Low-Risk bridge pilot program and make recommendations based on sixteen pilot projects and fifty control projects in Wisconsin.
Habib Tabatabai (UWM) and Brandon Lamers (WisDOT)
Telematics Data Applications for Transportation Operations and Management
The increasing availability of vehicle telematics data presents a low-hanging opportunity to accurately analyze individual vehicle behaviors and perceive surrounding environments under various conditions. This talk will discuss rising opportunities of utilizing telematics data for transportation system management, including predictive warnings, incident management, and asset inspections. Recommendations for possible implementations in the State of Wisconsin will be discussed.
Xiaopeng Li (UW-Madison)
Mitigating the Risks of Cybersecurity Threats to the Transportation System
In this presentation, we will explore the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats targeting our transportation systems. As our transportation infrastructure becomes increasingly interconnected, its vulnerability to cyber-attacks increases. We will examine the potential vulnerabilities, real-world consequences of successful attacks, and steps to mitigate these risks. Furthermore, we will discuss strategies to fortify our transportation systems against cyber threats and ensure a secure, resilient environment for the future.
Zhen Zeng (UWM)
Safety (11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.) Room W191 – Moderator Casey Newman, WisDOT
Traffic Impacts of Automated Driving Features – Evidence from Field Experiments
A presentation on field experiments that were developed to study the traffic impacts of ACC systems from both macroscopic and microscopic perspectives. 
Xiaowei Shi (UWM)
Roadway Departure Safety – High Friction Surface Treatments
Come and learn how Community Maps can help identify locations for lane departure crashes and apply the Safe System Approach to address safety issues in your community.
Andrea Bill (UW TOPS Lab) and Mike Finkenbinder (WisDOT)
Vision Zero Milwaukee – Milwaukee’s Approach to Eliminating Fatal and Severe Crashes
In June 2022, Mayor Johnson and the Common Council committed to reaching zero fatalities and severe injuries on City of Milwaukee streets by 2037. This session will provide a comprehensive look at how the 3 E’s (engineering, education and enforcement) are being used together by various agencies within the city to meet this goal.
Kevin Muhs and Jessica Wineberg (City of Milwaukee)
Mobility, Sustainability and Equity (11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.) Fireside Lounge – Moderator Lea Collins-Worachek, WisDOT

Maximization of Disadvantaged Business Participation
Through collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), a research team from the Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation (IPIT), at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), completed a recent study to determine how the Department can maximize participation of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in the state. The study evaluated the WisDOT’s DBE operation, reviewed available literature, and conducted a series of surveys and interviews of different state DOTs and Wisconsin DBE stakeholders. The study led to identifying the barriers DBEs face and methods to remedy or remove such barriers. The study made recommendations, including conducting a pilot study, to enhance DBEs’ qualifications and maximize DBE participation in the Department’s DBE contracts and support services.
Madalena Maestri (WisDOT) and Al Ghorbanpoor (UWM)
Wisconsin Workforce Innovation Grant – Waupaca County Make the Ride Happen
Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation partnered with Make the Ride Happen and Feonix – Mobility Rising to launch mobility as a service as well as a rural microtransit service to solve transportation challenges for access to employment.  Funding was provided for the program by the Governor’s Workforce Innovation Grant Program in July of 2022.   Together with state leadership, community partners, employers, elected officials, and a lot of hard work, they were able to provide over 1,000 rides to work in less than 6 months from their first trip, and since then have continued to experience exponential growth.   Within the first year, they have learned some very interesting trends in the trip demand, such as peak ridership at 4-5 am and 10-11 pm.  In addition, approximately 20% of ridership comes from outside of the county to access jobs within the communities of Waupaca County.  As part of the program riders who have a household income under 250% of the Federal Poverty Line qualify for reduced cost rides and receive a wrap-around supportive needs assessment to ensure access to resources for all social determinants of health.
Holly Keenan (LSSWIS) and Valerie Lefler
(Feonix Mobility Rising)
Milwaukee BikeShare and Micro-Mobility
Learn about Milwaukee’s BikeShare program (Bublr Bikes) and how it fits into the overall theme of micromobility and the interaction of different modes to provide mobility options for everyone.
James Davies and
Aaron Arteaga-Martinez (Bublr Bikes)
Interactive Workshop: “Developing an Effective Style of Workplace Communication” (1:00 – 2:30 p.m.) Ballroom East
Recognizing that all of us don’t think, work or communicate in the same way is critical to effective leadership. In this interactive session, we’ll identify several distinct communication styles, their characteristics, and impacts to decision-making in a workforce with changing needs and expectations. You’ll identify your own communication style and learn how to use that knowledge to work more effectively with colleagues or clients.
This session will be led by Wendy Kamerling and Michael Markiewicz.  Wendy is an executive coach and business consultant with a wealth of executive level HR experience. As adjunct faculty with UWM Lubar College of Business Executive Programs, Wendy has worked with employees of premier companies across southeastern Wisconsin as they hone their leadership skills.  Michael is the Director of Executive Programs at the Lubar College of Business and leads the design and delivery of non-degree executive and management education programs.
Mike Markiewicz and Wendy Kamerling