Caroline Marete Reflects on the Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellowship

The Eno Center for Transportation welcomed Caroline Marete as our 2021 Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellow this summer. Now at the close of her time with Eno, Caroline provides insight into her experience as a fellow and what’s next for her career.

What was the most valuable thing you learned during the fellowship?

The Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellowship has been such an insightful and exciting experience. Having the opportunity to work alongside some of the most experienced professionals in transportation policy is my most valuable takeaway, along with the many lessons I have learned throughout the fellowship. When I began the fellowship, the team was getting ready to publish one of Eno’s biggest reports to date on transit cost and project delivery. I got to review and participate in this very intense process and attended briefings with high-ranking transportation officials—an opportunity I could never have dreamed of. It was interesting to hear feedback on the report directly from the decision-makers in the industry. While at Eno, my team also started on another big project which I have contributed to. I will be following this work closely and I am excited to see where the Eno team takes the project.

How will your experience at Eno inform your work moving forward?

The work I have done at Eno will definitely be valuable moving forward in my career as a transportation researcher. One of the things we don’t get to see in the classroom setting is how the research we spend so much energy and time doing is used by policymakers.

With my experience at Eno, I have gained firsthand experience interacting with policymakers. This will help guide my future research because I have insight on how policymakers use academic research in decision-making.

Caroline Marete

What’s next for you?

I will be graduating with a Ph.D. in Technology, Aviation and Transportation Technology from Purdue University next year—August 2022. My interest in transportation policy research is very much alive. Therefore, I am scouting for opportunities to conduct research in this area after graduation. Importantly, I would like to take my current research on airport sustainability to the next level and see it applied to solve real industry problems globally.

What advice would you give to future Thomas J. O’Bryant fellows?

My advice to future fellows is to arrive with an open mind and an eagerness to learn.  All the Eno staff are very welcoming and always ready to help. Despite being in the fellowship remotely, I have interacted with almost everyone at Eno because they never turned me down if I needed help with something. I also recommend taking on challenging projects and getting out of your comfort zone.

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