Trine students attend Purdue Road School

April 11, 2024

By Ian Hoffman
Communication ’26

Purdue Road School
• Five students from Trine University's Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering attended the the 110th Annual Purdue Road School Transportation Conference. From left, Mason Fritch, Hemin Mohammed, Ph.D., assistant professor, Alexa Kessler, Ryan Gienger, Trenton Round and Maxwell Somerfield.
Trine University’s Reiners Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering continues to put students in a position to succeed. On March 12 and 13, five students attended the 110th Annual Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. 

This event, which has happened every year since 1914, allowed students to listen to experts in the industry and network with other students and companies from around the state of Indiana. 

There were more than 200 learning sessions on topics from road construction to sustainability practices in the industry. Over 3,000 professionals attended the event, with the exhibit hall allowing representatives from 59 different companies to interact with the students who attended.  

Alexa Kessler attended and plans on working for a local municipality when she graduates. She found a lot of value in attending; her biggest interest was in Maintenance of Traffic plans (MOT), specifically safety instruments for construction like cones and signs. 

“Although the cones on the road get annoying when driving, each cone and sign is strategically placed and used for a valid reason,” she said. 

Kessler also really enjoyed the networking, 

“Not only is this a chance for networking, but it is also a chance to see that the topics we are studying in class are actually applied in the field,” she said.  

The event is also where the Edward J. Cox Memorial Transportation Scholarship is awarded. This award is given to four to five undergraduate or graduate students with a career goal of working in transportation, engineering, planning or construction management.  

Purdue Road School
• Ryan Gienger, center, a civil engineering major at Trine University, receives the Edward J. Cox Memorial Transportation Scholarship during the the 110th Annual Purdue Road School Transportation Conference last month.
Ryan Gienger of Kendallville, Indiana, became the sixth Trine student to win the award. Gienger felt honored and was “left speechless to have received this award.” 

He hopes to work in the transportation engineering sector upon graduation and can trace his interest in this sector directly back to attending Purdue Road School as a Trine student. 

“I have now attended Purdue Road School for three years in a row. which has started my fascination with transportation here in Indiana. Last summer, I had my first experience in this industry as an intern at Engineering Resources Inc. in Fort Wayne. It was a great experience because I was able to use the skills I had been developing at Trine University,” he said.  

Gienger was very thankful for Trine’s civil engineering department, saying, “This [award] highlights the excellence of our civil engineering department at Trine University, since they have continued to promote and provide opportunities like this to its students.” He also is a member of Trine’s Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and Trine’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ACSE), both of which helped him win this award. 

Besides the scholarship, Gienger really enjoys the networking the event provides.  

“Attending Purdue Road School helped to widen my network and learn what is happening throughout the transportation sector of Indiana,” he said. 

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