Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning Megan Ryerson, who also holds an appointment in Electrical and Systems Engineering (Transportation) at Penn Engineering, is the 2015 recipient of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) – Philadelphia Chapter Woman of the Year Award. The WTS is an organization committed to the advancement of women within the transportation industry.
“I love to teach, advise, and mentor,” says Ryerson. Her dedication to mentorship—actively recruiting women to pursue careers in aviation engineering and helping them to overcome any barriers to success—played a crucial factor in the WTS’s decision. “Mentoring women in transportation, in transportation planning, and transportation engineering is so important to me. There in’t a huge amount of women particularly in engineering, and certainly at the upper ranks, and I really see it as my role to bring women into the field and encourage them to pursue careers that they want to pursue.”
“Mentorship isn’t just showing people success, it’s showing them how to get there.”
Ryerson’s current research areas include: airports and airport planning; aviation network resilience in the aftermath of a climate event, using mathematical algorithms in re-routing plans; municipal subsidies for airlines; both theoretical and actual links between economical development and airport capacity.
Ryerson leads a research group of doctoral and master’s students, along with an undergraduate investigating air traffic in Philadelphia. Looking ahead to 2016, she will continue to build her group and support their efforts to get work published “to affect change” in the field.