April 3, 2012

As both a budding Bridge to Doctorate Ph.D. Scholar in civil and environmental engineering (CEE) and a Bogalusa, La. native, Jaworski Sartin is familiar with hurricanes and traffic. Sartin is currently on track to research how large metropolitan areas similar to Houston, Texas and New Orleans, La. could be safely evacuated simultaneously in the days before a massive hurricane.

“Living in the south, hurricanes are something I have actually lived through and dealt with,” Sartin said explaining his interests in hurricane evacuation research. Sartin was a senior in high school when Hurricane Katrina hit and was on the LSU campus when Gustav roared through Baton Rouge, LA.

Sartin, a graduate of the CEE undergraduate program at LSU, is currently working with Dr. Brian Wolshon studying transportation engineering.

“We are looking at data we have from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita,” Sartin said. “It may not be that difficult to evacuate Houston and New Orleans individually, but what about the rural areas in between, such as Beaumont, Texas and Lake Charles, La., if the major cities to the east and west were also under orders to evacuate.  Our research will assess what the resulting traffic would look like and what kind of plans could be developed to safely and quickly evacuate everyone”

During his Ph.D. research, Sartin hopes to develop a large-scale model and to evaluate evacuation planning targeted toward multiple overlapping large cities called “Mega-Regions” for various types of natural and manmade disasters.

Sartin’s interest in hurricane evacuation research started while he was taking an undergraduate transportation course.

“The problems that you evaluate aren’t constant problems – each situation is different from the other. I enjoy that aspect of it,” Sartin said.

Sartin is interested in the future of transportation for our society. During a recent conference trip to Washington D.C., Sartin had his first encounter with the subway station.

“In transportation, we talk about cars, transit, rail and taxi. I always thought that if I lived in a big city, I wouldn’t take the subway or the metro. But during my trip, I used the subway a lot and I found it very efficient,” Sartin said.

In addition to hurricane evacuation research, Sartin is interested in the future of transportation.

“I wonder, will people continue to buy and drive cars, or will we move to a more universal transit system? I find that is very interesting,” Sartin said.

Sartin has a long history of outstanding academic performance at LSU. He is a former recipient of the LSU Taylor Scholarship, a College of Engineering scholarship open to past REHAMS, or Recruiting into Engineering High Achieving Multi-Cultural Students, participants and under-represented students in engineering. He is also a former TOPS recipient and was the first Taylor Scholar to graduate from the College of Engineering. As a Taylor Scholar, Sartin had the opportunity to attend academic and professional development seminars on topics including study tips, time management, interviewing skills and resume building.

“Because the Taylor Scholarship amount was much higher than a normal scholarship, I didn’t have to work during my undergraduate degree,” Sartin said. He could spend more time focusing on studying, and was more available to attend seminars and other extracurricular activities with other Taylor Scholar students.

Sartin said that one of his favorite parts of being a Taylor Scholar was getting to meet Mrs. Phyllis Taylor once a year for an annual Taylor Scholar dinner.

“I really enjoyed those,” Sartin said. “She wanted to devote most of her time to the students – that really shows what kind of person she is.”

Sartin eventually wants to work in academia.

“I think that teachers are some of the most influential people in the world,” he said. “When I think about some of the great people that I have come across, almost 90 percent of them were teachers and professors that I had. As a teacher, you are able to give advice and guide students not only through their choices in academia and their courses, but about also through their career choices and personal decisions. I just want to be one of those people.”

Sartin has already enjoyed serving as a mentor to other engineering students as a REHAMS camp counselor in 2007. The REHAMS camp program is sponsored by Shell Oil meant to give groups of students typically underrepresented in engineering the opportunity to gain exposure to the field.

“I got to meet the students and give them insight on where I was and how I had progressed in my engineering career at LSU,” Sartin said.

Sartin has enjoyed the opportunities that LSU has afforded expand his education through Taylor Scholar seminars and college courses in multiple disciplines. As well as his bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering, Sartin has a minor in business from LSU. 

“It is refreshing to study something outside of your major area of study,” Sartin said. But most of all Sartin appreciates the opportunities that the College of Engineering has given him to pursue his passions in both research and peer mentorship.

For more information on Taylor Scholars click here.

For more information on the College of Engineering pre-college programs, such as REHAMS, climate here.


Article written by Paige Brown, communications graduate student worker. For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092. 

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