Lawrence Transit partners with KU Engineering

March 27, 2023

Lawrence Transit celebrates a second successful partnership with the KU Engineering SELF Program. As a SELF Community Partner, the Transit team presents students with a project that needs an engineering solution. The SELF students create a project plan and work toward implementation with Lawrence Transit acting as a client.

“The mission of the SELF program is to develop goal-oriented engineering and computing graduates who possess business, interpersonal, and entrepreneurial skills to lead the technology corporations of tomorrow,” said Gowri Nagarajan, Program Coordinator. “Through this project, our students learn both design thinking and project management, and the Lawrence Transit team has provided excellent opportunities to apply what we’ve learned in class to solve real-world issues.”

The Self Engineering Leadership Fellows (SELF) Program was established in 2007 as the result of a contribution to the KU Endowment Association from Madison “Al” and Lila Self. The Selfs’ intention for the program is to identify and develop students who have a passion for engineering and possess a “fire in the belly” mentality.

“Working with SELF students and collaborating with them to succeed as project managers and team members is always an enriching experience,” said Felice Lavergne, Transit Planner II. “The SELF program provides a strong framework for their learning and growth while giving community partners like Lawrence Transit a cohesive final product.”

Over the past two semesters, SELF students have been evaluating options for sound dampening on Lawrence Transit cutaway buses. Through months of research and prototyping, the students found a workable solution and implemented it through a build day with Transit staff.

“It’s always exciting to find ways for the City to partner with KU,” said Adam Weigel, Transit & Parking Manager. “The SELF Program is a great match of problem-solvers to real-world challenges, and we’re happy to partner with students again to improve the transit experience.”
The team took pre-and-post-solution decibel readings to confirm their sound dampening solution worked as intended. To learn more about the project and results, read the final report here.

“Working with Lawrence Transit and exploring all possible solutions for their proposed project has provided my team and I a unique opportunity to utilize project management and creative thinking skills these past two semesters,” said Sienna Sun, SELF Project Manager. “It has been an honor to work with the Lawrence Transit team who are constantly looking for ways to better the rider and general bus experience for the Lawrence community.”

SELF Students: Sienna Sun, Project Manager; Zachary Schneider; Josh Frerker; Ea Schmelzle; Caleb Prescott
Lawrence Transit Project Manager: Felice Lavergne, Transit Planner II
First Transit: Rene Tubic, Maintenance Manager
SELF Program Coordinator: Gowri Nagarajan

For more information, visit or call (785) 864-4644. Find Lawrence Transit on Facebook: @LawrenceTransit and on Twitter: @TransitLawrence.