Prior to joining WSP, Lupa worked with the City of Colorado Springs, both before and after the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire. Together with planning partners, including the director of the office of emergency management for Colorado Springs, she put together a traffic plan to assist in household evacuation in case of a wildfire.
“This plan successfully estimated the time to evacuate and has been instrumental in the city’s playbook for evacuation since then,” Lupa said. “It has also been published and presented at the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board.”
Lupa’s emergency communication research for the fellowship is just one of the projects on her plate this year. Her role with WSP typically involves the development and application of travel forecasting models, and she is currently working on a travel demand assessment for the I-294 tollway in DuPage County, Illinois, and a travel model update for Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“In travel demand modelling, we bring a skills toolbox to each project,” she said. “We identify the best tools for each project although we usually end up crafting a new tool along the way. Problem solving is always a thrill.”
One of the things that makes her work at WSP successful and rewarding is the collaborative nature of her colleagues.
“My WSP colleagues around the globe are always willing to provide advice and expertise to my clients,” Lupa said. “A key phrase of mine is, ‘I am not an expert in that area, but let me connect you with someone who is.’ The depth and breadth of knowledge across the firm is remarkable.”