Technical Review Panel Chair Spotlight: Mark Seppelt

Mark Seppelt is the Electrical and Mechanical Unit Chief in the Bureau of Design and Environment at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). He has been with IDOT for 20 years and has assisted with several IDOT- sponsored research projects administered by the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT).

Mark Seppelt

Currently, Mark serves as Technical Review Panel (TRP) chair for project R27-172 “Roadway Lighting’s Impact on Altering Soybean Growth,” which examined the relationship between roadway lighting and the growth and maturation of soybeans. “Specifically, this project evaluated light spill into soybean fields in situ and then compared those levels of light to the development, growth, and yield of the soybeans planted in the same field,” Seppelt said.

The results of this work are expected to provide satisfactory answers to questions about the impact of light level on soybean growth and maturity; impact of spectral distribution on soybean growth and maturity; and measures that can be adopted to limit the impact of roadway lighting on soybean growth and maturity.

Seppelt also chaired the TRP for projects R27-76, “LED Roadway Lighting Evaluation and Field Testing” and R27-123 “LED Street Lighting Evaluation—Phase II: LED Specification and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis”. This research investigated technological advancements in light emitting diode (LED) roadway lighting to determine applications where IDOT can reduce costs or improve lighting.

“The use of LED as a light source in roadway lighting has potential in saving energy costs and reducing the frequency of maintenance” Seppelt said. “This study helps determine the current state of technology in LED roadway lighting and identifies the best (in terms of reduced costs and improved lighting) commercially available LED roadway luminaires for roadway lighting applications.”

Seppelt earned his engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla and his MBA from Sangamon State University. Prior to IDOT, Seppelt held various engineering positions at Central Illinois Public Service Company and later Ameren.