Montana State’s WTI director wins prestigious ASCE award

Monday Feb. 5th, 2024

BOZEMAN — The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Transportation and Development Institute has awarded Kelvin Wang its 2024 James Laurie Prize. Wang is the director of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University and a professor of civil engineering in MSU’s Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering

The award recognizes Wang’s “leadership in the advancement of transportation engineering research, including his outstanding contributions to the practice of advanced technologies of 3D laser imaging and AI-based solutions,” according to the ASCE.  

“Receiving the prestigious James Laurie Prize is a fitting recognition of Dr. Wang’s contributions to the transportation field,” said Craig Woolard, head of the Department of Civil Engineering. “We are fortunate to have Dr. Wang leading WTI and being part of the MSU Department of Civil Engineering.”  

Wang is known for his technological achievements in 3D laser imaging and associated artificial intelligence solutions for highway and airfield pavement surveys and bridge evaluations. He has more than 30 years of experience in transportation and civil engineering. 

“I thank ASCE for giving me the award, and my family, friends and colleagues who supported me in my career,” Wang said. “I hope this award will help me and MSU draw societal attention to the needs of transportation improvements, particularly in rural America.”  

Wang was named director of the Western Transportation Institute at MSU in 2023. Prior to joining MSU, he was Regents Professor and Dawson Chair of Civil Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He also previously served as president of ASCE’s Transportation and Development Institute. 

He was a highway engineer for the Arizona Department of Transportation for four years and a professor at the University of Arkansas for 18. In 2017 Wang received the prestigious Francis C. Turner Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and he was named a distinguished member of ASCE in 2021.  

WTI at Montana State is one of the nation’s largest transportation institutes focused on rural transportation issues, and it has twice been designated as a National University Transportation Center by the U.S. Department of Transportation. WTI has conducted research at local, state and federal levels in 35 states and 22 countries.