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Mountain District History

We will be creating history as a Mountain District as of January 1, 2020!

Intermountain Section History

The Intermountain Area ITE was created as an organization by resolution of the Western Section ITE at the annual meeting in July 1959. The area to be composed of ITE members residing in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. It was promoted by the State Highway Departments of the respective States and was to have an annual meeting of the mountain states to discuss common issues and provide a venue for industry contacts. A one day meeting was held in Salt Lake City in 1960 to create the group and plan activities. Charter members at the meeting included Al Pepper, Ray Halverson, Jim Challis, Marvin Lotspeich, and Maurice Richey. Jackson, Wyoming was selected for the first meeting site in 1961, being central to the five states, with Marvin Lotspeich as the first Chairman.

In 1969, the Colorado group decided that they preferred more local meetings, so they organized their own ITE Area to include Wyoming, reducing the Intermountain Area to three states. Through the Constitutional Convention, the Institute of Traffic Engineers became the Institute of Transportation Engineers in 1973 changing the Intermountain Area to the Intermountain Section.

In 1989, the State of Nevada joined Idaho, Montana and Utah as part of the Intermountain Section.

All of the Section's annual meetings were held in Jackson, Wyoming with two exceptions: Idaho Falls, ID (1965) and West Yellowstone, MT (1967).

From its humble beginnings, the Intermountain Section provided the Institute seven International Presidents, a number of national nominees, and helped catapult the mountain states into the Mountain District.

Past Presidents

The Past Presidents of the Intermountain Section are listed below:

2019 Erin Claunch
​2018 Cameron Waite
2017 Devin Moore
​2016 Tim Boshert
2015 DJ Clark
2014 Bruce Christensen
2013 Molly O’Brien
2012 Molly O’Brien
2011 Danielle Scharf
2010 Joseph Tate, III
2009 Alyssa Reynolds*†
2008 Lee Cabell
2007 Michael Sanderson*†
2006 Kent Fugal
2005 Scott Thorson
2004 Dave Kinnecom
2003 Kathryn J. Harris
2002 Terry Little
2001 James Caviola
2000 Larry Becknell
1999 William F. Morgan

1998 David R. Butzier
​1997 Kenneth W. Ackeret*
1996 W. Steven Meyer
1995 Erv Olen
1994 Jim Poston
1993 Douglas A. Hattery
1992 H. Terry Smith
1991 David R. Zielinski
1990 Timothy P. Harpst*†
1989 Richard L. Jacobson
1988 W. Leroy Meyer
1987 P. D. Kiser
1986 Robert R. Marvin
1985 W. Dan McComb
1984 Gerald Blair
1983 Pierre A. Jomini
1982 Clayton L. Sullivan
1981 Glen S. Thurgood
1980 Wayne D. Pickerill
1979 Norman K. Gutcher

1978 R. Emmett Quinn
​1977 Joseph A. Laird
1976 Ralph W. Zimmer
1975 James R. Naegle*
1974 James L. Pline†
1973 Gary R. Funkhouser
1972 Wayne T. VanWagoner
1971 Herb Mayer
1970 Paul Poirier
1969 James Booth
1968 William F. Tucker
1967 James L. Pline†
1966 George Dale
1965 Paul Poirier
1964 John A. Bruce/Gerry Rathweiler
1963 Vealess F. Hudspeth
1962 James W. Challis
1961 Marvin Lotspeich
1960 Ray Halverson
1959 Allan R. Pepper

*Later Served as ITE Western District President
†Later Served as ITE International President

The Intermountain Section is also honored to be called "home" by the following additional past ITE International Presidents:

  • Richard T. Romer (2006)
  • Jonathan E. Upchurch (1991)


James L. Pline Award

The James L. Pline award was instituted in 1984 to recognize an Intermountain Section member who has significantly contributed to the transportation engineering profession in the outstanding manner of Jim Pline, the first recipient of this award. 17 members were honored with this recognition:

Previous Winners:

    2015    Danielle Scharf
    2014    Terry Little
    2012    Alyssa Reynolds
    2010    Michael Sanderson
    2005    David Butzier            

2004    Kenneth W. Ackeret
2002    Douglas A. Hattery
2001    Paul D. Kiser
1998    Richard T. Romer
1994    Timothy P. Harpst
1993    Ralph W. Zimmer

1991    Glen S. Thurgood
1988    Ellis L. Mathes
1987    Gerald H. Blair
1986    Wayne T. VanWagoner
1985    James R, Naegle
1984    James L. Pline

Ellis L. Mathes Scholarship

Ellis L. Mathes, P.E., was a pioneer of the Western District and the Intermountain Section and remained active in ITE until his passing. Even though he had significant physical disability, he attended meetings and had a friendly smile. He was typical of traffic engineers in his willingness to encourage young engineers and share his knowledge and ideas with the profession. In memory of his contributions to the traffic engineering profession, the Intermountain Section Scholarship was named in his honor in 1996, and was awarded to deserving students pursuing studies in transportation engineering.

Previous Winners:
    2020    Samantha Lau - BYU
                Zhiyan Yi - UU
    2019    Zhaocai Liu - USU
                Logan Bennett - BYU
    2018    Matthew Campbell - MSU
                Nuzhat Azra - UU
    2017    Conor Seat - BYU
                Jianqing Wu - UNR
    2016    Natalia Brown - BYU
                Jordan Frustaci - BYU
    2015    Anusha Musunuru - UU
                Brett Seely - UI
    2014    Ivana Tasic - UU
                Scott Shea - UU    
    2013    Than Le - UU
                Yue Zhao - UNR
    2012    Samuel Ahiamandi - UNR
                Milan Zlatkovic - UU
    2011    James Fishelson - USU
                Luis Miguel Hidalgo - USU
    2010    Brian Church - MSU
                Jeremy Searle - BYU
    2009    Joey Staszcuk - MSU
                Scott Shea - BYU
    2008    Charles Allen - BYU
                Xuan Wang - UNR
    2007    Ivana Vladisavljevic - UU
                Pak Ho (Samuel) Cheung - UNLV

    2006    Aimee Birdsall - BYU
                Kordel Braley - BYU    
    2005    Ganesh Karkee - UNLV
                Dhruva Lahon - UU    
    2004    Matt Horrocks - USU
                Michael Lowry - BYU
    2003    Laila Maqbool - BSU
                Jared Williams - USU
    2002    Joey Paskey - MSU
                Chintan Jhaveri - UU
    2001    Binu Abraham - UI
                Meagan Powers - MSU
    2000    Heli Kilpala - USU
    1999    Blake Hansen - UU
    1998    Lani Tribbett - MSU
                Thomas Miller - UNLV
    1997    Randy W. Carroll - MSU
                Blake Hansen - UU
    1996    Matthew Ulberg - MSU
                Diane I. Morse - UNLV
                John Howorth - UI   
    1995    No award given
    1994    Michael Leonard - UNLV
    1993    Bryan Chamberlain - UU
    1992    Kevyn Smeltzer - BYU
    1991    Thomas Burton - UNLV

Student Paper Awards

info here

Previous Winners:

  1. Zhiyan Yi (UofU): Statewide Hourly Traffic Volume Estimation via XGBoost – A Scalable Tree Boosting System
  2. Bangyu (Bruce) Wang (BYU): Evaluating the Quality of Signal Operations Using Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures
  1. Yi He (Utah State University): “Factors Influencing Electric Bike Share Ridership: Analysis of Park City, Utah”
  2. Matt Miller (University of Utah): ???

1st Place - Zhiyan Yi - UU - "Statewide Hourly Traffic Volume Estimation via XGBoost - A Scalable Tree Boosting System"
2nd Place - Bangyu (Bruce) Wang - BYU - "Evaluating the Quality of Signal Operations Using Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures"

1st Place - Yi He - USU - "Factors Influencing Electric Bike Share Ridership: Analysis of Park City, Utah"
2nd Place - Matt Miller - UU

1st Place - Jianqing Wu - UNR - "Vehicle Pedestrian Near-Crash Identification with Roadside LiDAR Data"
2nd Place - Amirhossien Jafari - MSU - "Investigation of Passing Lane Length and Spacing on Two-Lane Highways"

1st Place - Natalia Brown - BYU - "Trip-based Models and Activity-based Models"
2nd Place - John Zhang - UNR - "Driver Distraction Analysis on Familiar Roads using Naturalistic Driving Study Data"

1st Place - Holly Lloyd - USU - "Safety Analysis of the Diverging Diamond Interchanges in Utah"
2nd Place - Dongmei (Maggie) Lin - UNR - "Efficient Signal Phasing for Serving Bicycle Movements"

1st Place - Yue Zhao - UNR - "Screening Urban Road Network for Corridors with Promise"
2nd Place - Ali Gholami - UNR - "Estimating Intersection Turning Volumes from Traffic Signal Information "

1st Place - Ali Gholami - UNR - "Using Detector Information to Determine Turning Movement Proportions at Signalized Intersections with Shared Lanes"
2nd Place - Rasool Andalibian - UNR - "A Probabilistic Approach Determining When to Turn on/Turn off Coordination Plans"

1st Place - Yue Zhao - UNR - "Safety Performance of Marked Versus Unmarked Pedestrian Crosswalks at Unsignalized Intersections"
2nd Place - Saeedah Farivar - UNR - "A Capacity Model for Right-Turn Channelized Intersections under Blockage Conditions"

1st Place - Derek Freckleton - USU - "Evaluation of Transportation Network Resiliency with Consideration for Disaster Magnitude"
2nd Place - Yue Zhao - UNR - "Guidelines for Marked and Unmarked Pedestrian Crosswalks at Unsignalized Intersections"

1st Place - Derek Freckleton - USU - "Human Factors and Safety Challenges in Transitioning to an Automated Electronic Transportation System"
2nd Place - Samuel Ahiamadi - UNR - "Comparison of Roundabout with Other Intersection Controls"

1st Place - Xuan Wang - UNR - 2nd Place - Peifeng Hu - UNR

1st Place - Ozlem Ozmen - UNR
2nd Place - Xuan Wang - UNR

1st Place - Xuan Wang - UNR

1st Place - Natchai Wongchavalidkul and Venu Parimi - UNLV - "Analysis of the Platoon Dispersion Factor: The comparisons of VISSIM and TRANSYT-7F"
2nd Place - Ritchie Smith - BYU - "The Future Looks Bright for Crosswalk Safety"

1st Place - Michael Grandy - BYU - "Achieving Long-Term Success with TRAX"
2nd Place - Brent Turley - BYU - "Highway Hysteria: an Analysis of Highway Criticisms"

1st Place - Brent Turley - BYU - "Provo's 'Student Village': Can a Nontraditional Neighborhood Solve Student Housing, Parking, and Traffic Problems?"
2nd Place - David Jensen - BYU - "Ramp Metering - Relief for Overburdened Roads"

1st Place - Lee Cabell - BYU

If you have served on the Intermountain Section Board and have additional history or were awarded a Student Paper Award and are not listed above, please let us know as we try to complete this history.