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Naima Rivas Wins National WTS Scholarship

Friday, April 19, 2013

Naima Rivas, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, has won the Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship from the Women in Transportation Society. The scholarship is one of seven awarded nationally each year by the society.

Rivas hopes to work on electrical systems in vehicles that will revolutionize the transportation industry. She envisions a future with autonomous electric cars, smart highways, autonomous mass transit systems, infallible air traffic control systems, renewable energy fueling stations, and a national sensor network that will eliminate traffic congestion and traffic accidents altogether.  

Naima Rivas, electrical engineering student “I am honored to be this year’s recipient of the Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship, and proud to represent UT Arlington's College of Engineering at the WTS Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Engineering isn’t an easy route, and it is inspiring and motivating to have the support of WTS along the way. I am grateful to the Women in Transportation Society for recognizing the hard work of women engineers across the country and supporting our efforts to engineer a better future,” said Rivas.

Rivas will be the first in her family to graduate college. She is very involved with the UTA Racing Team, where she is team captain of the electric car project for the 2014 Formula SAE Competition. She is also an officer in UTA’s IEEE chapter, and she participated in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at UTA last summer, publishing an article titled, “Traffic Surveillance Sensors for Congestion Mitigation,” with Dr. Sia Ardekani.  

The Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to women pursuing undergraduate studies in transportation or a related field and honors Sharon D. Banks, general manager of Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District in Oakland, CA, during most of the 1990's.  She led the agency in a pioneering effort to introduce cultural and organizational changes aimed at motivating the public transit work force.  She was a member of the WTS Advisory Board and received the WTS San Francisco Chapter Woman and Employer of the Year Awards.