The Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Research Council (NRC), is the major annual meeting for transportation-related research. The 95th TRB Annual Meeting was held on January 10-14, 2016. For many years, the TRB annual meeting has been the cornerstone activity of the student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). This year, 36 student members made the trip and many were involved in oral and poster presentations. Examples include Eisenhower Fellow Andy Wagner’s presentation on “Applications of Bluetooth Probe Data for Freeway Systems,” and CCEE Senior Caroline Bojarski’s presentation of her invited paper on “Positive Train Control: A Progress and Projection Analysis,” In total, thirty-one papers were presented by researchers affiliated with the department. Student researchers were co-authors on many of these papers.
Of particular note is that fact that CCEE’s string of best paper awards is now at four years and counting. The Work Zone Traffic Control committee’s 2016 best paper award went to “Innovative Work Zone Capacity Models from Nationwide Field and Archival Sources” by Chunho Yeom (PhD 2015), former post-doctoral research associate Ali Hajbabaie, Bastian J. Schroeder (BSCE 2004, MSCE 2005, and PhD 2008), master’s student Chris Vaughan (BSCE 2007), Xingyu Xuan (MSCE 2014), and Nagui M. Rouphail. The paper enables transportation system managers to provide improved mobility through better understanding and prediction of the impact of work zones on freeway speeds and throughput. Another CCEE paper, by PhD student Tanzila Khan and Chris Frey, was recognized by the TRB Transportation and Air Quality committee as its “spotlight paper” based on having the top reviews out of 110 papers submitted to the committee.
Approximately one third of the papers presented by department affiliates were identified by TRB as “practice-ready.” The contributions of these papers span topics ranging from improved accuracy of vehicle fuel-use and emission models to an asset management framework for critical earth retaining walls. Two key areas of CCEE contributions, represented by several papers each, were: (1) asphalt testing, maintenance and repair; and (2) strategies for the safe and efficient design and operation of a never type of unconventional interchange.
CCEE and ITRE hosted a reception for alumni, friends, and supporters The reception provided an opportunity for faculty and students to say “thank you” to alumni, friends, and supporters of the department’s integrated education and research mission. The reception would not have been possible without the generous help of our sponsors, including: Platinum level sponsor Kittelson & Associates, Inc.; Gold level sponsors AECOM, Kimley-Horn, McKim & Creed, Q-Free Open Roads, Ramey Kemp & Associates, and Transpo Group; Silver level sponsors DigiWest, Forum 8, HNTB, HW Lochner, IEM, Mulkey Engineers & Consultants, Troxler Electronic Labs, and WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff; and Bronze level sponsors Assets Management Associates, ETC Institute, Metropia, and UNC Charlotte.
Personal costs to the students were kept low through the generous support of: the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE); University of Maryland National Transportation Center; NC State Student Government; CCEE; Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE); and the chapter’s fundraising activities.