Eno Welcomes Purdue University Ph.D. Candidate as 2021 Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellow

The Eno Center for Transportation has selected Caroline Marete as our 2021 Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellow. The fellowship is designed to provide a professional development opportunity for aspiring transportation specialists.

Caroline Marete is a Ph.D. Candidate at Purdue University, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Science and Operations from Moi University, Kenya and a Master of Science in Aviation and Aerospace Management from Purdue University. Caroline provided insight into her professional background and what led her to the Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellowship.

How did you become interested in transportation?

I had always been interested in aviation as a mode of transportation. I received undergraduate and graduate degrees in aerospace operations and management and now I’m working toward my Ph.D. in Technology with a specialization in Aviation and Transportation Technology.

As I’ve carried on my aviation research, I’ve come to the realization that transportation is intermodal. You cannot really study one without getting to know the others. This realization led to my interest in transportation policy.

What is your research focused on?

My Ph.D. research is in airport sustainability. More specifically, I am looking at sustainability metrics and indicators that decision-makers use to gauge the impact of sustainability projects not only to airport operations, but also the benefits to other airport stakeholders—communities surrounding an airport, airport users (passengers), governments, and other regulatory bodies that develop policies related to airport operations and management.

What made you apply for the fellowship?

My doctoral advisor at Purdue University recommended that I apply for Eno’s Future Leaders Development Conference because she had previous students participate in the conference and spoke highly of it. Because of that, I learned more about Eno and eventually found out about the Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellowship.

I was really amazed by Eno’s work and decided that I needed to give the Eno fellowship a shot. What really interested me about working at Eno is the kind of research that Eno does and who Eno’s research is for. In comparison to academia where we write papers for peers or fellow academics to read, Eno is more focused on generating research for all stakeholders. I want my research to be applied and be used to solve real industry problems.

The opportunity to spend the whole summer working at Eno will allow me to have an impact on the research Eno is doing and allow me to take lessons back to my own research.

Caroline Marete
2021 Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellow

What are you looking forward to about the fellowship and your future career?

I’m really looking forward to learning more about transportation policy. During my time at Eno, I want to participate in discussions and meet people who benefit from Eno’s research, share my ideas, and use what I learn in the future. For my future career, I want to be involved in the decision-making process of the development and implementation of policies either in aviation or the transportation industry in general. I don’t want to do write ups that just live somewhere in the library, but instead be an active part of the policy-making process.

What is something you’re passionate about within the transportation industry?

I want to encourage more women to pursue careers in transportation where they can really make a difference. I’m passionate about the involvement of women in aviation in particular. The statistics of women in the aviation industry are still too low and I want to play a part in changing that. I also want to encourage graduate students in applied research programs to spend time with organizations outside of campus and have real world experiences of conducting research for the industry.

The Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellowship provides a high-quality professional development opportunity for aspiring transportation specialists. Each summer, Eno selects a Fellow who will gain in-depth knowledge of transportation policy and practice under the guidance of Eno staff.

Along with a successful career in the financial industry, transportation policy was a large part of Thomas O’Bryant’s life and legacy. Tom was a driving force behind Eno’s Future Leaders Development Conference and devoted a significant amount of his time to serving Eno’s transportation leadership and policy research efforts. He was a member of Eno’s Board of Directors for 12 years, spending nine of those years as treasurer, and served on the Eno Board of Advisors and Regents.

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