Other News and Activities

STRIDE Showcases Student Research at TRB
STRIDE Graduate Student Co-authors a Paper on Federal Discretionary Grants Program
WTS Student Chapter at Georgia Institute of Technology
WTS Student Chapter at UF
ITE Student Chapter at FIU
ITE Student Chapter at Georgia Tech
ITE Student Chapter at UF


STRIDE Showcases Student Research at TRB

 The Transportation Research Center at the University of Florida hosted a reception during the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board along with STRIDE-affiliated faculty, students, and staff. The well-attended reception was held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C, and included a STRIDE Student Research Poster Competition. Twenty-nine posters from students representing the partner institutions were selected for presentation. The winners of the student poster competition were Jay Shannon, 1st Place, Mississippi State University; Tabitha Combs, 2nd Place, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Xuanwu Chen, 3rd Place, Florida International University. Congratulations to these students!

Student Poster Participants Don Watson, Ines Aviles-Spadoni and Ben Reibach
STRIDE Student Poster Competition Participants during TRB.  Don Watson, Ines Aviles-Spadoni, and Ben Reibach

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STRIDE Graduate Student Co-authors a Paper on Federal Discretionary Grants Program

Amy Cavaretta, a master’s student in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Florida and a 2012 Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellow with the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, D.C., has co-authored a study entitled Lessons Learned from the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program. The paper, published on the Eno Center for Transportation website [view paper], evaluates funding allocation, provides information on the creation and maintenance of the program, and offers recommendations for future discretionary funding programs.


WTS Student Chapter at Georgia Institute of Technology

WTS GaTech SocialAt the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, the Executive Board of the WTS chapter at Georgia Tech (WTS @ GT) developed a strategic plan outlining the chapter’s goals for the year. These goals were to: a) stimulate conversation on transportation-related topics, b) enhance professional development, c) increase networking opportunities, d) develop community service as a priority, and e) improve exposure to WTS beyond civil engineering graduate students. WTS @ GT used these goals as the foundation on which it built a successful school year, which began in August, 2012 with a joint introductory meeting with the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Student Planning Association, and Students for Progressive Transit. Over the next couple of months, the students learned about scholarships from a panel of their fellow graduate students and engaged in conversation about transportation safety and security with two women in the industry—one from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and the other from the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

ARCADIS PresentationDuring the fall semester WTS, ITE, and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering hosted a Transportation Group Mixer, giving faculty, staff, and students an opportunity to mingle. Each semester, WTS had a company spotlight, made possible by transportation engineers from STV Group, Inc. and ARCADIS. The students also viewed presentations from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) at their February and March 2013 meetings. In February 2013, the group learned about GDOT research from the Department’s Research and Development Branch and that March heard about the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering DayIn addition to those events, WTS @ GT participated in the WTS Atlanta scholarship luncheon, a Christmas Party with WTS Atlanta, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, and Transportation YOU with a robotics competition team at Grady High School. WTS @ GT ended each semester with a study break, complete with bowling in December 2012 and pizza in April 2013. That April, we also tied up loose ends with a final meeting and ushered in the next Executive Board who will continue to build on the foundation that will help to “transform the transportation industry through the advancement of women”.

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WTS Student Chapter at UF

UF WTS ChapterThe organization kicked off the fall 2012 semester with participation in the UF Alternative Transportation Fair on September 12, 2012. During the fair, members helped UF’s PedBike Resource Center and the City of Gainesville with bicycle/pedestrian safety surveys and helmet fittings. To encourage camaraderie amongst new and current members, the group also hosted basketball socials on October 8 and 13, 2012. The student organization also supported UF’s Habitat for Humanity by running in a 5-kilomenter race at Boulware Springs Nature Park in Gainesville, Fla., finishing in 18th and 34th place out of 62 participants. Other key activities included tabling at the Civil and Coastal Engineering Alumni Homecoming BBQ on November 10, 2012 and hosting a Bike Helmet Fitting Certification Event on November 29 along with the UF Transportation Institute’s Technology Transfer Division.

The chapter’s signature event, the WTS Transportation Symposium, was held on November 6, 2012 and focused entirely on leadership. Three distinguished female panelists were invited to participate in this event, which included Marcia Ferranto, president of WTS International, Laura Kelley, deputy executive director of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, and Kathy Caldwell, president of Caldwell, Cook and Associates, and past president of ASCE National. The spring 2013 semester began with traveling to the 92nd Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. in January and attending the various poster and presentation sessions, and representing the student chapter at events such as the WTS International Reception and the UF/STRIDE Reception. Also in January, the student organization participated in UF’s Spring Organization Fair and they adopted a road in Gainesville, Fla., which they regularly maintain. The WTS student chapter also was very active volunteering with the various workforce development activities. Those activities included the Engineers Change the World: A Hands-on Workshop for Girls 13-18 Years Old workshops, the UF Engineering Fair for K-12 students, GatorTRAX, and two Family Engineering Nights. Finally, the student chapter hosted a very interesting Ethics and Workplace Dynamics Workshop, which was facilitated by Marsha Anderson-Bomar, a principal with STANTEC, who is a strong supporter of the WTS student chapter at UF.

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ITE Student Chapter at FIU

The FIU ITE Chapter attends the FSITE Annual Meeting / Transpo 2012
The FIU ITE Chapter attends the FSITE Annual Meeting / Transpo 2012

The ITE Student Chapter at Florida International University (FIU) hosted a total of 19 distinguished professionals from the either academic or industrial fields of transportation engineering from fall 2012 to spring 2013. These guest speakers included the current ITE Florida Section President of District 10, Edward J. Kant and Hani Mahmassani, Ph.D., chair and professor of transportation engineering at Northwestern University. The ITE FIU Student Chapter also hosted scholars from Czech Technical University and held more than a dozen of graduate seminars that consisted of technical webinars and presentations given by professors, research associates, and graduate students about their ongoing research.

During the past academic year, the student-run organization organized four technical field trips to various transportation-engineering-related destinations such as the FDOT District 6 Traffic Management Center, the developing Port of Miami Tunnel, the developing Miami Intermodal Center, and the Turnpike Control Center. Our members also attended eight professional conferences and meetings including FSITE Annual Meeting, Transpo 2012 and the UTC Conference of the Southeastern Region. As for recruitment, the FIU ITE reached a historical high with 24 members participating in the 92nd Annual Meeting of the TRB. The student chapter also took part in the FIU Engineering Expo 2013 where they hosted a series of presentations and demonstrations and served as tour guides.

Visiting the developing Port of Miami Tunnel
The FIU ITE Chapter visits the developing Port of Miami Tunnel

The chapter held social activities during the fall and spring semester, such as community services, philanthropy events, and promotions of transportation engineering and ITE membership. The members mentored more than one hundred students at South Dade Middle School and provided general engineering guidance. As part of their technical service to the community, the FIU ITE student chapter initiated a project of signal optimization at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique campus.

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ITE Student Chapter at Georgia Tech

In September 2012, the ITE student chapter at Georgia Tech selected its new executive board and in October, the chapter hosted SERCO, a consulting firm that met and interviewed with many students, offering career-related advice. Mid-semester, an alumnus working with the Foresite Group spoke to students about his experiences in the workforce, and in December, Kittleson & Associates gave a presentation on transportation and livability. The beginning of the 2013 year meant preparations for 40 to 50 students from Georgia Tech to attend the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. A lunchtime meeting was arranged where veteran students gave advice to first-time attendees. In February, the student chapter hosted a seminar on planning and invited Georgia Tech’s resident transportation planner, Aaron Fowler, to present on campus initiatives and projects. In March 2013, Georgia Tech’s ITE student chapter invited Mike Carragher from the Orlando, Fla., office of VHB, a civil engineering consulting firm, to speak on alternative analysis work being done for two intersecting corridors in Kissimmee, Fla.

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ITE Student Chapter at UF

During the second week of October 2012, three University of Florida (UF) transportation engineering doctoral students shared their research abroad at the 9th Post-Graduate Research Forum in Beihang University (BUAA) in Beijing. The Forum hosted local students as well as graduate students from 27 research institutions and 16 countries in four international sub-forums. UF students Nagendra Dhakar, Miguel Lugo, and Roosbeh Nowrouzian, were invited to present their respective papers on route choice analysis, bicycle ownership, and land use impacts at the International Transportation Science and Engineering Sub-forum, organized by BUAA’s School of Transportation. Also in October, ITE students attended Transpo 2012 in Bonita Springs, Fla., for the ITS Florida Annual Meeting and the Florida Section and District 10 ITE Annual Meeting. In January 2013, various members of the ITE student chapter came together to develop and implement a traffic simulation workshop for high school students. The workshop taught students how to construction and operate a simulated intersection and coordinate signal operations in CORSIM a simulation tool maintained at UF. Apart from working in tandem with the WTS student chapter on workforce development volunteer activities, the ITE chapter also continued to host their Transportation Seminar Series and collaborate with WTS.

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