- July 01, 2014
May 12, 2014
On May 2, Jeff Busby, Senior Manager, Project Development at TransLink in Vancouver, BC, came and talked to the University of Washington transportation graduate students at the graduate transportation seminar. He gave a very interesting talk about how areas in Metro Vancouver are using transit stations to stimulate better development and the relationship between development and transportation infrastructure. This is important because Metro Vancouver is projected to grow over the next 30 years, meaning that there will be an increase in the number of trips taken. TransLink hopes that the increase in person trips won’t result in an increase in vehicle trips. Achieving this goal involves everything from designing transit station access to choosing which benches to put at stations. The talk was an excellent opportunity for students to learn about issues in the transportation industry, and how those issues are being solved. One interesting thing about TransLink is that it is organized differently than many of its North American counterparts, as they fulfill the roles of both an MPO and a transit system operator, and also fund a lot of road infrastructure. This enables a degree of coordination that would be impractical in many jurisdictions. We would like to thank Jeff for speaking to our students, as it was a great experience for them.
April 28, 2014
PacTrans joined in the celebration of UW Engineering Discovery Days. Engineers and scientists from across campus displayed their most engaging research and projects during the 2 day event held from April 25-26, 2014. This event was free and open to the public with almost 600 students, parents and faculty in attendance. Some of the highlights included a PacTrans research project with a display of an earthquake table used by structural engineers to test how structures will withstand earthquakes. This sort of testing is crucial to figuring out how well a structure, such as a bridge, would be able to withstand a major natural disaster. STAR Lab as well as other labs conducting research demonstrated their research to people of all ages as well. The STAR Lab demonstrated video-based pedestrian detection systems, controllers used for traffic signals, and let kids play “Traffic Hero,” a game similar to Guitar Hero, in which players try to detect cars along with the detection system and score points if they can correctly do so.
April 11, 2014
PacTrans was among more than 30 research groups from the UW who shared their research at the annual Paws on Science weekend at the Pacific Science Center this year, from April 4-6, 2014. The exhibit, titled “Red Light Green Light” was co-sponsored by PacTrans and the STAR Lab, a University of Washington transportation research lab led by Dr. Yinhai Wang. Several STAR lab researchers volunteered their time over the weekend to speak with families and school groups about safe and sustainable transportation research in the region. Interactive pedestrian detection and the Drive Net transportation data analysis, visualization, and mapping platform were among the highlights of the exhibit. This weekend event was a great opportunity to engage the next generation of engineers and scientists in the research and development at the UW through hands-on activities and demonstrations. The Paws on Science event was very well attended, with over 11,000 adults and children participating over the weekend.
April 01, 2014
Women’s Transportation Seminar is one of the most important professional societies in the transportation field. The annual gala is an event held every spring to acknowledge people who have made great contributions to the transportation industry for the past year and to raise funds for upcoming year scholarships that are provided to college students interested in making transportation a career. The gala draws hundreds of people from major transportation consulting firms, government agencies and other transportation enthusiasts.
This year’s Gala was attended by more than 320 transportation professionals, entrepreneur and students including Menglin Wang who was sponsored by PacTrans. She is currently the student liaison chair of Women’s Transportation Seminar Puget Sound Chapter and has been actively involved in their activities. She was also one of the recipients of WTS 2013 scholarship award. Menglin Wang considers the gala a great platform to interact with other transportation professionals and present PacTrans as an active player in the transportation world.
This year’s 2014 WTS scholarship winners include three University of Washington students, two from Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the other from Evans School of Public Affairs. Mary E. Anderson is a recipient of the Helene M. Overly Graduate Memorial Scholarship. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Transportation. Amy Riley is a recipient of the Sharond Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship with a focus on structural engineering. Jennifer Malley is the recipient of Senator Scott White Memorial Scholarships and is pursuing a Master of Public Administration through the Evans School of Public Affairs. She aspires to serve as an advocate for progressive transportation policies that create environmentally sustainable, equitable urban communities and lasting social change.
Menglin Wang and Maria Bayya at the Women’s Transportation Seminar Gala held on March 27, 2014, at Westin Hotel, Seattle, WA