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2021 TRB Annual Meeting: Dr. Martha Grabowski 2020 W.N. Carey, Jr. Distinguished Service Award Recipient

In recognition of her outstanding service to TRB and safety-critical systems research, Martha Grabowski is the 2020 recipient of the W.N. Carey, Jr., Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Grabowski is the McDevitt Distinguished Chair in Information Systems and Professor and Director of the Information Systems Program at Le Moyne College, as well as a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Carey Award—named in honor of W.N. Carey, Jr., TRB’s Executive Director from 1967 to 1980—recognizes individuals who have given leadership and distinguished service to TRB.

Since 1991, Dr. Grabowski has provided continuous volunteer service to TRB, the Marine Board, and the National Research Council (NRC) of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. From 2001 to 2008 she served as a member, vice chair, and chair of the Marine Board. In 2015 she again brought her expertise to the Marine Board where she now serving her second term vice chair and will again be chair this November. She has also provided her expertise to TRB as a member of the Technical Activities Division’s Task Force on Marine Safety and Human Factors, as well as on the Standing Technical Committee on Marine Safety and Human Factors.

Dr. Grabowski has chaired or served as vice chair of 5 NRC policy studies, including the 2014 Responding to Oil Spills in Arctic Marine Environments report for 8 study sponsors, with the Polar Research Board, the Ocean Studies Board and the Marine Board. That study identified critical shortfalls and research needs in the nation’s Arctic oil spill response capabilities, and is one of the NRC’s most frequently downloaded and accessed reports. Dr. Grabowski was also vice chair of the Tsunami Readiness and Preparedness Report for the Marine Board and the Ocean Studies Board, and she chaired the NRC committee that produced TRB Special Report 273: Shipboard Automatic Identification System Displays, which was used by the United States Coast Guard to develop its shipboard automatic identification system requirements. She also chaired the NRC committee that produced TRB Special Report 306: Naval Engineering in the 21st Century: The Science and Technology Foundation for Future Naval Fleets, which underscored the value of the National Naval Responsibility for Naval Engineering (NNR-NE), and identified research and programmatic needs to support that national responsibility. She has also been an influential member of three other NRC consensus study committees, including the 2019 study examining shipboard stability regulations for the U.S. Coast Guard in the wake of the loss of the container ship El Faro.

As a researcher, Dr. Grabowski focuses on the impact of technology in safety-critical systems, risk analysis and risk mitigation in large-scale systems, and the role of human and organizational error in high-consequence settings. Her current research utilizes advanced data analytics and machine learning techniques to develop predictive safety analytics for U.S. Navy surface ships, and explores the impact of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in Arctic emergency response, municipal firefighting, and global supply chains. Her research resulted in a patent for wearable, immersive augmented reality for shipboard navigation in 2020. Over the years, her work has resulted in honors and awards including the Navy Achievement Medal, Le Moyne College’s MBA Teacher of the Year Award, the Upstate New York Ecosystem Catalyst Entrepreneurship Award, the IEEE/ACM Educator of the Year Award, the C-STEP Mentor of the Year Award, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s Outstanding Professional Achievement Award. In 2003 she was recognized as a National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Dr. Grabowski has a B.S. in nautical science and marine transportation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, as well as an M.B.A in management information systems, a M.S. in industrial and management engineering, and a Ph.D. in Management/Information System, Expert Systems, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This Summary Last Modified On: 10/2/2020

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