New Members for Research, Innovation Committee

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has appointed Melissa Batula (above at left) and Brent Rewis (above at right) to serve four-year terms as the Region 1 and Region 2 members, respectively, on its Special Committee on Research and Innovation.

The Special Committee on Research and Innovation supports AASHTO, its members, and the transportation community at large by delivering strategic, high-quality research results while addressing development, technology transfer, and implementation.

PennDOT’s Melissa Batula

Batula – who also serves as vice chair of AASHTO’s Council on Active Transportation – is the acting executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Her current role at PennDOT includes overseeing investments in the agency’s assets, ensuring quality and safety across the department, while also advancing innovative strategies to solve Pennsylvania’s 21st century transportation challenges.

Batula began her engineering career in the private sector in 1987 and then joined PennDOT in 2006 as a senior civil engineer, progressing through several management positions including chief of the agency’s accelerated bridge program, assistant chief bridge engineer, and asset management division chief within PennDOT’s bureau of maintenance and operations.

In 2014, she became highway delivery division chief in charge of PennDOT’s roughly $3 billion construction and consulting contracts. She then took on an additional role of acting director for the agency’s bureau of project delivery in 2018 before becoming deputy secretary for highway administration in January 2020 and then PennDOT’s acting executive deputy secretary in March 2021.

Batula is a professional engineer in Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University with a focus in organizational leadership.

SCDOT’s Brent Rewis

Rewis serves as deputy secretary for intermodal planning at the South Carolina Department of Transportation; a position he has held since January 2020.

The intermodal planning division within SCDOT includes the statewide planning office, office of intermodal & freight programs, and road data services.

Rewis, a registered professional engineer, has 22 plus years with SCDOT where he has served in a variety of roles within the agency’s construction, maintenance, preconstruction, and planning divisions.

He is a 1997 graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering.

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