On March 31 and April 1, the Center for Transportation Research hosted the 2016 University Transportation Center Conference for the Southeastern Region. The conference Theme was Safety, Mobility, and Sustainability. This was the fourth conference in the annual series. CTR is the lead program of the Southeastern Transportation Center.
The innovative and fast-paced conference brought together faculty, students, practitioners, and public agencies in the southeast to showcase recent achievements and collaborations. In particular, this event emphasized the contributions students are making to the many-faceted field of transportation.
Seventy-one graduate students and 11 undergrads attended the conference, representing 18 Southeastern universities. More than 60 students presented posters during the networking reception, and 21 competed in the 3 Minute Thesis Competition; the winners were:
- 1st Place: Samwel Zephaniah, University of Alabama: Impact of Crash Congestion on Interstate Mobility in Alabama Using Mixed Logit Model
- 2nd Place: Alireza Shams, Clemson University: Highway Cross-Slope Measurement Using Mobile Laser Scanning Data
- 3rd Place: Nabarjun Vashisth, Clemson University: Road Safety Assessment and Test Application of iRAP along National Route 3 in Haiti
Conference speakers included TDOT Commissioner John Schroer; Paul Trombino III, AASHTO President and Iowa DOT Director; Peter Kelle of LSU, who gave the Cross-Cutting Session, Performance Measurement and Simulation of Intermodal Freight Transportation. Jurek Grabowski, Director of Research for the AAA Foundation, delivered the final keynote address about older driver safety and the impending “Silver Tsunami” that is currently hitting our roads.
left to right: John Schroer, Paul Trombino III, Jurek Grabowski
During the late afternoon break on Thursday, the STC demonstrated its Seatbelt Convincer while Dr. Subhadeep Chakraborty displayed and discussed his instrumented Hummer used for driving data acquisition.
The conference wrapped up with a special workshop from North Carolina State University: Dynamic Software Tool to Assess the Value of Active Traffic Management (ATM) Strategies in a Freeway Facility Context.
The College of Engineering was a major sponsor of the event, continuing its long-standing support of the UTC Program in both our region and the nation. All eight Southeastern UTCs contributed and supported the conference:
- Southeastern Transportation Center: University of Tennessee (lead)
- Electric Vehicle Transportation Center: University of Central Florida (lead)
- National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management: Georgia Institute of Technology (lead)
- Center for Accelerated Bridge Construction: Florida International University (lead)
- Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population: Florida State University (lead)
- National Center for Intermodal Transportation for Economic Competitiveness: Mississippi State University (lead)
- National Center for Transit Research: University of South Florida (lead)
- Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation Development and Education Center: University of Florida (lead)