IRF holds 2008 Fellowship Orientation & Executive Leadership Program

Fellows-2008The International Road Federation (IRF) Fellowship Program for graduate engineers and transportation managers has been a cornerstone in the work of the IRF for more than 50 years. The Program provides a one-time grant toward the costs of university graduate study in fields related to the development of better and safer roads and road networks worldwide. Each year, the International Road Educational Foundation (IREF) awards grants to graduate engineers and other transportation professionals from around the world in support of full-time academic training.

The IRF conducted the 2008 Fellowship Orientation and Executive Leadership Program (FOELP) from January 9 - 19 in Washington, DC. This annual event brings the current class of Fellows together to spend 10 days learning about the IRF, being introduced to IRF Members who can help to shape their careers, gain exposure to many of the public and private organizations that are active in the road industry, and hear first hand from top-level executives what it takes to become leaders who will make a difference in the road industry.

The Fellows Class of 2008 consists of 24 students from 19 countries. For the first time in the history of the program, this year's class included two Fellows from the United States. Jeff Reed, President, Valley Slurry Seal Company, and Chairman of IREF said that it is very timely for US students to be involved in this program.

"It's important for US Fellows to experience the interaction with future international leaders in the road industry," said Reed. "And it will also be very helpful to have the availability of the US perspective on a daily basis for the international Fellows."

Throughout the 10-day program, the Fellow's visited The World Bank, the Turner Fairbanks Research Facility, Transportation Research Board meetings, met with associations such as AASHTO and ITE, visited private-sector firms Parsons, Louis Berger, and PB, and made a site visit to the Springfield Interchange to hear a presentation on this massive $650 million project.

"All of the visits helped the Fellows understand the 'real world' of the road industry," said Mike Dreznes, Deputy Director General, IRF-Washington. "One of the goals of the FOELP is to ensure the Fellows receive a practical education about the road industry. The Fellows are already 'book smart' and the FOELP experience will help them gain the practical exposure that will help them translate the academic to the practical."

The following is a slide show video presentation highlighting the activities of the IRF Fellows during their 10-day Orientation and Executive Leadership Program.

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