Staff Spotlight: Jim Meister

MeisterJim Meister, senior research engineer, has been working at the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory facilities since 2006. Over the years, he has worn many different hats in his role at the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT), managing a variety of aspects of equipment and materials testing and facility maintenance, providing computer and network support for ICT, and training personnel in the proper use of research equipment, while enforcing safe laboratory practices.

Jim is also in charge of operating and maintaining the Accelerated Transportation Loading System (ATLAS) and supervising the construction and instrumentation of multiple full-scale test pavements.

“I think of the research engineering position as a pretty flexible and responsive unit,” says Jim. “The primary mission is to make sure the students can perform transportation materials testing in a safe, well-stocked and inventoried environment, with well-maintained and properly functioning equipment.”

Jim proved himself a great asset to the Illinois Center for Transportation because of the excellence he exemplifies in all his work. “His knowledge and abilities have only been overshadowed by his hard work ethic and dedication; he has been in charge of so many behind-the-scenes tasks that most staff members do not realize how much they rely on him,” says ICT director, Professor Imad Al-Qadi.

“He always approaches his colleagues with a how-can-I-help attitude, and this has particularly helped him establish a special relationship with students who have nothing but compliments for his patience, diligence, and helpfulness,” adds Al-Qadi.

Jim has recently accepted an offer with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Missouri Columbia where he will be assisting with the building of a new transportation materials testing and teaching laboratory.

About spending the past ten years of his career with ICT, he says that he has particularly enjoyed the huge array of people who have been through ATREL. And even though he believes professors are supposed to get this credit, he also finds it very rewarding to see the students who have been through the lab become professionals in their own right throughout the world. “It is fun to hear about what our students are accomplishing out in the world.”

On behalf of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the ICT family, we wish Jim the best of luck!