Mechanical Engineering Student Wins Outstanding Student of the Year Award

Brent Kostich with the bicycle he helped design.

Brent Kostich, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, received the University Transportation Center Program’s Outstanding Student of the Year Award in Washington, D.C. in January.  The University Transportation Center Program advances research and technology in many disciplines involving transportation.

Dr. Jun-Seok Oh, director of WMU’s Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities, nominated Kostich for his work in a research project for the center on the “Effect of Cycling Skills on Bicycle Safety and Comfort Associated with Bicycle Infrastructure and Environment.” Kostich designed and implemented the sensor system and data collection for the project.

Kostich said the project involved “using bits and pieces from all of my classes with other outside knowledge to aid in the design process.” He was interested in the project because it was dynamics related, which he said is a passion of his. Kostich also is passionate about engineering as a field and said he would love to inform people in a practical way of what makes an engineer. “If people truly understood engineering -- what engineers do, how they solve problems and contribute to the world – I believe there would be more individuals interested in engineering and other STEM fields.”

Kostich, who is from Clarkston, Mich., is teaching a recitation class this semester. “It’s very rewarding helping undergraduate students get a better understanding of the material,” he said. He will be graduating this spring.