Robert W. “Bobb” Stokes, a past president of the Kansas Section, former member of the ASCE Board of Direction and civil engineering professor emeritus at Kansas State University, has died. He was 70.
He had 40 years of experience in general transportation planning and applied transportation research, focused on the design and implementation of urban, rural and intercity transportation planning studies; highway design, planning and operations; traffic engineering; design and operation of turning lanes; traffic safety; and transit planning, design, operations and land-use impact studies.
Stokes, Ph.D., F.ASCE, represented Region 7 on the ASCE Board from 2008 through 2010. He also served on the Region 7 Board of Governors, was a past chair of the ASCE Committee on Student Activities, and the ASCE Program and Finance Committee.
As department head and professor of civil engineering at K-State, Stokes taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in land development, traffic engineering, engineering economics, and other topics, and engaged in sponsored research projects. He served on 60 graduate student supervisory committees, six of them as major professor. He also served on numerous university, college, and department committees, including as College of Engineering Representative in the K-State Faculty Senate (2004-07) and on the College of Engineering Promotion and Tenure Committee (2002-11).
Stokes spent 10 years as manager of the Urban Mobility Program at the Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University, during which time he was responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring applied transportation research projects under the sponsorship of local, regional, state, and federal highway and public transportation agencies. Much of his work was conducted in a multijurisdictional context, which required coordinating the efforts and priorities of various city, county, and state agencies to develop workable solutions to real-world transportation problems.
Stokes was also an active consultant, and he codirected the Traffic Assistance Services for Kansas (TASK) program. Since 2002, Stokes had developed and delivered nearly 100 on-site highway safety training courses to city and county transportation agencies across rural Kansas. As well, he authored or coauthored nearly 125 journal publications and technical research reports, and was responsible for securing and administering nearly $6 million dollars in research funds.
A Chi Epsilon member, he was a Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (2008) and past-president of the Kansas Association for Uniform Traffic Control. The Ohio native became a certified trainer for the National Safe Routes to School program and helped with delivery of SRTS training courses in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. He also worked as a “domestic” Peace Corp (VISTA) volunteer in the mountains of rural South Carolina.