Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award

The Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award is presented annually to a team of individuals who have collaboratively drawn on their diverse expertise to achieve significant impacts on transportation. The award is named in honor of former CTS director Robert Johns, who provided visionary leadership in recognizing that the most effective research to address today’s complex transportation challenges is often a result of interdisciplinary teamwork and partnerships. He demonstrated this by developing and leading several major CTS studies, including transportation and regional growth, transportation and community design, and access to destinations. He continued to champion interdisciplinary research as director of the U.S. DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.


This award recognizes research projects within the CTS program that have the following qualities:

  • Included an interdisciplinary research component led by University of Minnesota faculty or research staff
  • Involved University of Minnesota students
  • Produced significant findings that have influenced transportation practice and/or policy
  • Generated measured benefits as a result of the impacts of the research
  • Involved a team of individuals representing one or more sectors of society (i.e., public, academic, private, non-profit)


Exploring Links between Medical Conditions and Safety Performance in Tractor Trailer Drivers

This year’s recipient is a project that explored the links between medical conditions and safety performance in tractor trailer drivers. The project included an analysis of multiple aspects of a motor-carrier-based obstructive sleep apnea program, as well development of the capacity for future analysis of medical conditions and safety outcomes.

University of Minnesota Morris: Stephen V. Burks, Jon E. Anderson Bibhudutta Panda, Rebecca Haider, Jesse Eklund, John Zaharick

Harvard Medical School: Charles Czeisler, Stefanos Kales

Precision Sleep Solutions: Mark Berger, Wendy Sullivan

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute: Jeffrey Hickman, Erin Mabry

Schneider Enterprise Resources, LLC: Don Osterberg, Tom DiSalvi, Andrea Sequin

For additional information about the project, visit the research project page or read coverage from the April 2018 issue of CTS Catalyst.

Past Winners

View a list of research projects that have previously received the Research Partnership Award.