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Morgan State University Teacher Transportation Institute
Morgan State University held two Institute sessions--one in August 2013 and the second in December 2013--to engage teachers in hands-on-inquiry based lessons that included the use of engineering principles and technology. The Institute had two main foci: (1) STEM and Workforce Development and (2) Distracted Driving. Twelve teachers from 8 schools attended the first session and ten teachers from 9 schools attended the second.
The Institute was sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).
A report summarizing the goals, accomplishments and outcomes is available here.
Universities Collaborate on Research Projects
Five collaborative projects were selected for funding:
Structural Health Monitoring to Determine Long-term Behavior of AFRP Composite Bars in Prestressed
Concrete Panels for Field Deployment
Morgan State University (lead) and the University of Virginia will investigate the long-term performance of aramid fiber
reinforced polymer (AFRP) bars used in prestressed, precast concrete deck panels. In parallel with the
primary research objective, the project team will also investigate the feasibility of a non-contact optical
method, digital image correlation (DIC), and long-term performance monitoring.
In order for a paradigm shift in the design of concrete transportation structures using composites for
improved structural sustainability and design, monitoring and testing of such structures are needed. The
anticipated impact of this research has the potential to lead to a new class of precast concrete panels
(PCPs) that are prestressed with AFRP bars (and non-prestressed AFRP bars) to provide longer service life
for bridge decks, which will be more sustainable and durable.
Using Mobile Probes to Inform and Measure the Effectiveness of Macroscope
Traffic Control Strategies on Urban Networks
Dr. Vikash Gayah, Penn State, and Dr. Hesham Rakha, Virginia Tech, will use micro-simulation to derive
macroscope traffic relationships of various networks and combine this information with simulated probe
vehicle data to develop efficient strategies to reduce congestion. The effectiveness of these strategies
will also be examined using the mobile probes themselves, which will provide a foundation for eventually
testing these strategies in the field on real networks.
Modeling the Dynamics of Drivers Dilemma Zone Perception Using Machine Learning
Methods for Safer Intersection Control
Rural, high-speed signalized intersections are associated with vehicle crashes
due to dilemma zone problems. Dilemma zones (DZ) are defined in either time
or space, as zones
where some drivers may decide to proceed, and some may decide to stop at
the onset of yellow. This disagreement among drivers can lead to rear-end crashes
(when a driver
decides to stop while their follower decides to proceed) and/or right-angle
crashes (when drivers end up violating the red light and crash with side
joint proposed research between Virginia Tech, Morgan State University, and
will investigate the dynamic nature of driver’s perception of dilemma zone,
and whether that perception changes as a function of their experience driving
safe or unsafe
intersections. A matching project funded by Virginia Center for Transportation
Innovation and Research (VCTIR) is investigating different control methods
to minimize dilemma zone
related crashes, ranging from traditional advance detector and actuated control
optimal configuration to the use of advanced technologies such as Wavetronix,
systems, etc. These two efforts can lead to better modeling of driver perception,
control algorithms, and ultimately safer intersections.
Needs, Barriers, and Analysis Methods for Integrated Urban Freight Transportation
The proposed study seeks to help policy makers, planners, and other practitioners to
identify and assess alternatives for ensuring efficient and reliable freight movement by
trucks in large urban areas while minimizing the negative impacts (e.g., congestion, air
pollution, safety, etc.) of freight deliveries. A set of alternatives called urban
delivery integration (UDI) strategies will be analyzed. These include (1) improved
routing and scheduling efficiency, (2) consolidation of goods for multiple shippers and
customers on common vehicles, and (3) restrictions of deliveries to relatively
To analyze such alternatives, Dr. Paul Schofeld, University of Maryland, Dr. Hyeon-Shic Shin,
Morgan State University, and Dr. Avinash Unnikrishnan, West Virginia University, will
identify and classify various UDI-related schemes through literature review and
discussions with private and public sector experts, and develop new algorithms for
efficiently managing urban goods deliveries. These algorithms will determine through
optimization procedures (1) which vehicles should carry each shipment, and (2) how the
multi-stop tours should be routed and scheduled for each vehicle, subject to constraints
on vehicle capabilities, costs, pick-up and delivery times, work rules, service quality,
environmental effects, energy consumption, and other relevant factors.
A reliable system for the flow of goods is critical to the U.S. economy and to
our quality of life. However, this activity is adversely affected by congested
scarcity of suitable spaces for loading and unloading vehicles, and itself contributes
urban congestion, emissions, energy use and safety hazards.
2012 Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference
Martin Pietrucha, general chair
December 5-7, 2012
Brian St. John, McCormick Taylor, program chair
Five optional pre-conference workshops are available at this year's transportation conference:
Adaptive Traffic Signal Systems in Pennsylvania: The Planning, Design, Construction,
and Operation of Systems
New Perspectives on Roadside Safety
Highway Capacity Manual 2010
Posting and Bonding of Local Roads
Working with the Highway Safety Manual
Wednesday's keynote speaker at lunch will be Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation, Barry Schoch.
Thursday's keynote speaker at lunch will be John O. Norquist, President and CEO of Congress
for the New Urbanism.
Thirty sessions are planned covering a myriad of topics in safety, operations,
planning, and design.
For the complete agenda and information on registering, visit the transportation conference website.
2011 Outstanding Student of the Year
MAUTC's 2011 Outstanding Student of the Year, will be recognized at the Council of University
Transportation Centers' (CUTC) annual banquet for his outstanding accomplishments
in academics and research.
Mr. Himes is a research assistant at The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation
Institute. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering, having earned both his BS and
MS degrees in civil engineering at Penn State. His research focuses on the operational and safety
effects of highway geometric design. His current research includes performing research
participant assessments and vehicle installations for the Strategic Highway Research Program
(SHRP) 2 naturalistic driving experiment. He also co-authored a FHWA informational guide
related to speed concepts, and was an investigator on NCHRP Project 15-34, “Performance-
Based Geometric Design Analysis of Highways and Streets.” He has been the laboratory
instructor for an introductory class in transportation engineering, a class in traffic engineering,
and Penn State’s capstone highway design course.
Mr. Himes is a young member of the TRB Committee on Geometric Design and a friend of the
TRB Committee on Operation Effects of Geometrics. He has reviewed papers for the American
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Transportation Engineering as well as for his TRB
committees. He has been involved in the Penn State student chapters of the Institute of
Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the ASCE. He has published four refereed journal articles,
two technical reports, and presented findings from his research at several technical meetings. He
has been nominated for the MAUTC student of the year award because of his outstanding
research contributions, effective teaching, and service to the transportation profession.
Penn State and University of Virginia Collaborate on Infrastructure Management
Researchers from Penn State and the University of Virginia (UVA) are collaborating on
the regional project, Infrastructure Management. This research will develop a
prioritization and funding framework to adequately address critical freight
infrastructure needs to maintain economic vitality. The framework will be developed
for prioritizing and funding infrastructure investments for highways critical to
freight-based factors such as their age and design life, design load, total volume,
freight volume, projected freight volume, economics costs and benefits, every usage,
sustainability, safety and mobility. The goal of the research is to provide adequate
knowledge for decision makers to make sustainable, informed decisions to support freight
and economic activity.
The research is divided into two projects: In project A, Developing a Framework for
Prioritizing Infrastructure Improvements on Critical Freight Corridors, UVA will
develop performance measures to prioritize infrastructure investments. In project B,
Penn State researchers will link fee mechanisms, taxes and other revenue-generating
mechanisms and associated institutional structures for varying funding arrangements to
the performance measures.
Virginia Tech and University of Virginia Collaborate on Regional Project
The researchers seek to extend the current understanding of traffic signal system control through the development of algorithms that characterize the
traffic stream state using VII data. In addition, the researchers will identify
detection features that can be integrated to improve traffic signal operation. The
potential use of VII data to reduce traffic demand on transportation networks through
road pricing will also be investigated. This project is being jointly funded by MAUTC and VDOT.