June 2-7, 2019
Mobility21 UTC’s 2018 – 2020 Women in Transportation Fellow, Bonnie Fan, participated in the Eno Leadership Development Conference this week in Washington, DC. Fan won a scholarship to attend the conference through the Council of University Transportation Centers.
Eno is a non-partisan transportation think-tank started by William Phelps Eno, the “Father of Traffic Safety,” who famously invented the stop sign. The Eno Leadership Development Conference is an opportunity for up and coming student leaders to tap into ENO’s strong network and leadership development programming.
Fan referred to the conference as “…something between a transportation policy crash course, a week-long networking session with industry titans, and a nerdy sleep-away camp for graduate students.”
Fan reported feeling intimidated at first but quickly started to feel at ease as the twenty students started discussing bike-ped access, VMT funding and then falling asleep to conversations about autonomous vehicle regulation. Fan noted that she learned just as much from the other fellows as she did from the sessions themselves.
The ENO learning experience is structured around a barrage of panels. Eno president Rob Puentes and Eno Weekly’s Jeff Davis provided high level insights into transportation industry trends and policy.
The panels balanced representation from different organizations – trades, DOT, associations, industry – as well as perspectives – political, federal, local, private. Each speaker also took time to illuminate the path they took and advice on how they got there.
The whole week’s events are considered “off the record” – which meant the panelists could speak very candidly. The fellows learned more about the interplay between organizations, as well interesting disconnects.
Fan said one of her major takeaways was a desire to incorporate lessons and standards established in aviation around automation, operations and safety into other modes. She is excited to take the lessons learned and connections made from this experience into her academics and work.