Congratulations to Louis Merlin, STRIDE  Student of the Year

Dr. Louis Merlin has been selected as the STRIDE Student of the Year for 2014. Dr. Merlin graduated in 2014 from the City and Reginal Planning program at the Univesity of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill, a STRIDE consortium member. Currently, Dr. Merlin is the Dow Sustainability Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan. He holds an undergraduate degree in math from Yale, a master’s degree in city planning from Georgia Tech and was a practicing planner before pursuing doctoral studies at UNC.

Dr. Merlin was selected as the STRIDE Center's Student of the Year because of the high quality of his research, stellar academic performance, and a strong potential to contribute to the field of transportation.  Dr. Merlin's dissertation researched the links between transportation and land use, and he has published chapters in Environment and Planning B and Transportation. His work is innovative, linking theory-driven research questions with strong quantitative analysis skills.

Faculty at UNC Chapel Hill note that this former student has also distinguished himself by his professionalism and leadership potential. As a student, he served for many years on the Policy Committee where he became a respected voice on doctoral program governance issues.  Dr. Merlin has become an active participant in conferences including TRB, the American Planning Association (APA), and American Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). For example, at the spring 2014 APA meeting he organized a panel discussion on the implications of automated vehicles for planning. This is an exciting new area, which Dr. Merlin has positioned himself to be a leading thinker on the topic.

For more than 20 years, the USDOT has honored outstanding students from each University Transportation Center at a special ceremony held during the TRB Annual Meeting. Congratulations, Dr. Louis Merlin!