Welcome to New Student Employee, Nathan Harriet!

A smiling young man wearing glasses and wavingPlease join us in welcoming WTI’s newest student employee, Nathan Harriet, a senior at Montana State University and a native of Billings, Montana. Inspired by his mother, a psychologist, Nathan is working on a degree in Marketing, using color and word selection to influence consumer choices. He’s also a driven student and on track to complete his degree in three years.

Nathan is particularly interested in improving his work efficiency and potential with the power of generative AI, which he studies in addition to his classes. He also hopes to develop the skills to find “location freedom,” and live wherever life takes him. While he would like to return to Montana eventually, first stop is Arizona, Texas, or the west coast. When asked what he’s looking for in his first job post-graduation, Nathan said an environment with experienced coworkers. He wants to learn as much as he can, from as many experienced people as he can, before starting his own independent business.

In his limited free time, Nathan practices fashion design, but wants to continue honing his skills before making any plans to sell his work. So, in the meantime, you can see his cool clothes when he’s commuting to school by bike or searching for Bozeman’s best Thai food.

In his new role at WTI, Nathan will be running the GoGallatin social media accounts and public outreach and assisting with other projects as needed. Make sure to like his social media posts and to say hello when you see him around.

WTI Director Plans Research Expansion

Portrait Kelvin C.P. WangAs I am entering the second month as WTI director, I have learned a lot about the organization, Montana, and the rural transportation improvements needed in the region. I am happy to report that WTI and partners submitted our proposal for the USDOT Region 8 University Transportation Center (UTC). In addition, Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and WTI have engaged in extensive dialogue about forging closer ties to solve transportation challenges in Montana. WTI is at a critical junction to grow and expand.

WTI has many strengths in transportation research with several programs of leading reputation, both nationally and internationally. This reputation was built on many decades of relentlessly pursuing excellence and I envision that these programs will continue to thrive and grow. I would like to expand the presence of transportation infrastructure research at WTI in collaboration with civil engineering and other MSU academic units. I also plan to renew our partnerships with existing labs and facilities in order to make the most of our joint efforts in the coming years, which will improve the operation, safety, and condition of the state’s pavements, bridges, and other assets.

The WTI operation figure below illustrates the general organization of WTI and its research focuses. In the weeks ahead, I look forward to further expanding these focus areas through discussions with WTI and MSU staff to further refine our approaches to anticipated growth and expansion. As I learn more about WTI and the state, more details about WTI’s future will be released in the coming months.

The organization of WTI and its labs at Montana State University