Industry and Innovation Highlights


A group of students in the Student Leadership Council poses for a photo in front of a large mining vehicle during a cohort trip to Seattle in March 2024.

In the last few months, ASPIRE and our IIB have really hit the road running. In March, we were featured on the Wall Street Journal’s podcast “The Future of Everything” with members from Electreon and ENRX. We advocated for and supported our partners while spreading the word on electrification at multiple conferences and webinars. And our Student Leadership Council had an amazing experience on a cohort trip to Seattle with our partners at Kenworth (PACCAR), where they were able to go to multiple sites and learn more about industries involved in electrified transportation systems (pictured above).

  • Student Leadership Cohort Trip – March 25-28 (pictured):

    This was not the first cohort for the SLC, nor the last, but our students loved having representatives from Kenworth (PACCAR) hosting and mentoring for whole week! They were also able to visit the Kenworth R&D Facility, Kenworth Manufacturing Facility, PACCAR testing and integration facility, Washington State Ferries agency, Amazon and AWS sites, Northwest Energy Coalition, Lewis County Transit, First Mode, and the Center of Excellence for Clean Energy.

  • Federal Highways & NSF Conference — February 7-9:

    Met with congressional delegation from Utah, Rep. Haley Stevens from Michigan and others from the Federal Highway Administration for continued advocacy, support, and funding related to federal expenditures and implementing an inaugural Electrified Roadways Peer Exchange with State DOTs.

  • Utah Asphalt Pavement Association Annual Meeting — February 27: 

    ASPIRE connected with hundreds of roadway contractors and policy makers from Utah who support the roadway infrastructure. This gave us an opportunity to share about our Intelligent Electrified Transportation plan (SB125 initiative) to those who visited us.

  • The FHWA Webinar — March 6:

    ASPIRE joined more than 130 participants from 80+ organizations — including over 10 State Departments of Transportation and Toll Roads representatives in the Federal Highway Administration’s first webinar. Some of our partners were also participants, like Michigan’s DOT, Indiana’s DOT, Purdue University, The Ray, AECOM, and Electreon.

  • Keynote Speaker at the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association Annual Meeting — March 12:

    As the Keynote Presentation, ASPIRE Leadership was able to speak to policy makers and contractors from the state of Illinois. This has further resulted in connecting with the Illinois Department of Transportation with the potential of discussing further involvement down the road.

  • Purdue Road School Participation — March 11-13:

    Our dedicated researchers, brilliant students, and supportive staff made significant contributions, fostering insightful discussions and paving the way for groundbreaking ideas at the 110th annual Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo.

  • ASPIRE TechTalks — March 20 & April 17:

    In March, our students were able to present pitches for their projects as well as get feedback from members throughout the center.

    In April, three of our students were able to speak to recent opportunities for hands-on learning in the field and working with industry and innovation partners through the SLC Seattle Cohort; present research on reducing temperature variation in electrified roadways; and boosting security through “fingerprinting” electric vehicles.