Highlights from the 6th Annual UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region, Clemson, S.C.

Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku (at left) and her student, Troyee Saha who won first place in the podium presentation for her work on “Investigating the Impact of Lane Closure Control on Work Zone Mobility.”

This year’s UTC Conference was hosted by the Center for Connected Multimodal Mobility (C2M2) at Clemson University, which attracted students, faculty, staff, state DOT representatives, and other transportation professionals in the southeast region. The STRIDE Center was one of the co-sponsors of this event, and several students, faculty and staff representing the Center were in attendance.

On day 1, Ines Aviles-Spadoni, M.S. STRIDE Research Coordinator, provided an overview of the STRIDE Center during the “Introduction of the Sponsoring Transportation Centers”, where each sponsoring University Transportation Center (UTC) was invited to provide highlights from their centers. Dr. Griff Jones, an Emeritus Professor from the University of Florida’s College of Education, who has worked extensively with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to produce classroom videos and lesson plans, presented a session on “Lights – Camera – Crash! Using IIHS in the Classroom”. During this session, Dr. Jones spoke about the various resources available to promote STEM literacy and career awareness. Dr. Jones also held a hands-on workshop that very same day, and taught participants how to use the lessons and activities geared towards kids. Running concurrent with Dr. Jones’ session was a State DOT Panel, where representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation (David Jared, PE), South Carolina DOT (Terry Swygert), and North Carolina DOT (Steven Bolyard) gathered to discuss how state DOTs engage with UTCs.

On day 2, Dr. Clark Letter of the University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI) participated in the STRIDE/C2M2 Autonomous Vehicles Workshop. Dr. Letter spoke about I-STREET, which is a real-world transportation technology testbed running on local streets in Gainesville, Fla., and on the UF campus. There were other UFTI/STRIDE led workshops as well during the conference. Dr. Nagui Rouphail and Dr. Behzad Aghdashi of North Carolina State University, hosted a workshop on “Freeway Analysis and Reliability in FREEVAL: A Hands on Workshop Freeway Analysis”. The workshop was related to a 2013 STRIDE funded project titled “Dynamic Traffic Control Interventions for Enhanced Mobility and Economic Competitiveness”. This workshop covered the freeway facility methodology currently documented in the HCM 6th Edition with a focus on applications for operational analysis, reliability and model calibration. A second workshop affiliated with the UFTI was led by Mr. Bill Sampson, P.E., Director of the UFTI’s McTrans and Technology Transfer centers. The workshop titled “Highway Capacity Analysis” gave participants an overview of the changes in the HCM6 as compared with HCM2010 and included various methodological details.

As for STRIDE-affiliated student participation, there were various posters and podium presentations during this conference. A big congratulations to Chris Brown of The Citadel for winning second place for his poster on Traffic Congestion, Planning, Rural Transportation and Troyee Saha of the University of Alabama at Birmingham for taking first place in the podium presentation on Investigating the Impact of Lane Closure Control on Work Zone Mobility.

See pictures below from the conference.