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Student Activities – PacTrans http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans Pacific NW Transportation Consortium Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:23:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 OSU Places 2nd at 2017 ITE Western District Traffic Bowl http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/osu-places-2nd-at-2017-ite-western-district-traffic-bowl/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 17:18:16 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=4415

This past quarter PacTrans supported the OSU ITE Student Chapter with travel funding to attend the 2017 ITE Western District Student Traffic Bowl. This event tests knowledge and expertise in areas of both transportation engineering and transportation planning. The OSU Student chapter was seeded first of twelve chapters coming out of the qualifying exam, they won their first round, which placed them in the finals, and ultimately earned second place overall. Congratulations OSU ITE Student Chapter!


PacTrans to Sponsor OSU Hosted 2017 National Student Steel Bridge Competition http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/pactrans-to-sponsor-osu-hosted-2017-national-student-steel-bridge-competition/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:53:17 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=4401

PacTrans consortium partner Oregon State University will be hosting the upcoming 2017 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), May 26-27, 2017, in Corvallis, Oregon. PacTrans is sponsoring this event. The event, which began in the 1980s as a competition between three universities, is a cooperative effort between the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In advance of the national event, 18 ASCE student chapters host conference competitions with approximately 200 schools from throughout North America participating. The top teams from the conference competitions advance to the national competition.

This national competition provides students with: design and management experience, the opportunity to learn fabrication processes, and the excitement of networking with and competing against teams from other colleges and universities.

At the NSSBC, student teams erect and test bridges that they have designed and fabricated to meet client specifications while optimizing performance and economy. Steel Bridge teams compete to be the best in aesthetics, lightness, stiffness, construction speed, construction economy, and structural efficiency. As the national host school, Oregon State students will lead the event planning and work with faculty advisors on fundraising, recruitment of judges, publicity, facilities and contracts, program, technical set-up, registration, and volunteer coordination.


OSU 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/osu-2017-summer-undergraduate-research-fellowship-program/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:45:20 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=4398

PacTrans has a steadfast devotion to the education and cultivation of the next generation of transportation professionals. We do this by offering fellowships and financial support, sending students to prominent conferences to listen to or present work, we sponsor student competitions and student chapters of professional organizations, we host seminars and workshops, and we recognize excellence with the annual Michael Kyte Outstanding Student of the Year Award.

One unique way that our consortium partner Oregon State University supports students is through their Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. This year, the program awarded upwards of twenty fellowships (up from eleven last year) to support hands-on research. This year’s focus is on “Engineering Solutions for Resilience, Safety, and Infrastructure Renewal.” During the eight-week program, students participate in a specific project related to one of those three focus areas, learned about the engineering that goes into such work, and develops research skills to increase graduate school opportunities.

Each student is equipped with a $4,500 stipend, and a research project with a faculty mentor, and has the opportunity to participate in field trips for site-specific field work, weekly seminars from noted speakers, and informal lunch meetings to discuss graduate school. At the culmination of the program the students will present at a final symposium to highlight their work. The date for that symposium is August 11, 2017. For more information about the program and the project list for this summer, click here.

This year, PacTrans is directly supporting the program by matching support for Scott Logan-Deeter’s appointment in the OSU Driving and Bicycling Simulator. We are very excited to be involved in such a great summer opportunity that both furthers students’ education and challenges them to go on to higher education.


Engineering for Resilience: OSU CCE’s SURF Students Present Research on Cascadia Subduction Zone Hazards http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/engineering-for-resilience-osu-cces-surf-students-present-research-on-cascadia-subduction-zone-hazards/ Wed, 17 Aug 2016 20:58:29 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=3833  

SURF 2016b

This summer, Oregon State University’s annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program provided eleven fellowships to support hands-on research toward increasing community resilience in response to Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquakes and tsunamis. During the seven-week program, students participated in a specific project related to CSZ hazards, learned about engineering for natural hazards resilience, and developed research skills to increase graduate school opportunities.

Each student was equipped with a $4,500 stipend, and a research project with a faculty mentor, and had the opportunity to participate in field trips to Newport, Oregon for site-specific field work, weekly seminars from noted speakers on earthquake and tsunami resilience, informal lunch meetings to discuss graduate school, and most recently a final symposium on August 4, 2016 to highlight the students’ hard work.

PacTrans consortium universities are committed to workforce development and to encouraging students to pursue higher level transportation related educations. This is one such example of the many ways that our partners are leading the fight to mitigate huge shortfalls in the field of transportation expertise.

For more information about each student project, visit the program’s website here.

SURF 2016a


PacTrans Announces PhD Research Symposium on Transportation Science and Technology http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/pactrans-announces-phd-research-symposium-on-transportation-science-and-technology/ Wed, 20 Jul 2016 22:47:08 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=3771 Tongji Flyer

University of Washington Concrete Canoe Team Brings Home Gold at Regional Competition http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/university-of-washington-concrete-canoe-team-brings-home-gold-at-regional-competition/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:29:03 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=3616 Image1

Congratulations are in order: the UW team claimed first place at the Pacific Northwest Regional Concrete Canoe competition, held the weekend of April 7-9 in Moscow, Idaho.

UW was represented by 32 team members composed of freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior-level students under the lead of captains Kim Tsai and Kory Swabb. Competing against 13 teams from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, UW’s team had to show excellence in lightweight concrete design, project management, concrete construction, professional writing and presentation, and an overly exciting day of racing their concrete canoe on the Snake River at Chief Timothy Park, WA.

The canoe was named Edgewater in honor of the last remaining gasification plant in the U.S. at Gasworks Park, picking the historic name for what is known today as Wallingford. The artistic design of the 20 foot long and 196 pounds “light” canoe features an inlay of the colorful pipe system inspired by the industrial display at Gasworks Park on the inside, and a swarm of kites pulling the charcoal hull on the outside.

The technical highlight of this year’s canoe is beyond doubt the addition of post-tensioning to the lightweight concrete design — a first in UW’s long history of concrete canoes. Adding post tensioning to the delicate shell design required several innovations which the team achieved with outstanding success, creating the first concrete canoe showing no noticeable cracks even after a rough day of intense racing.

The biggest fun, however, remains the race day; and what a day it was!  Carefully gauging the competition, trying to identify the hardest contestants, making the last adjustments to the race strategy. Excitement took over as the men’s and women’s endurance races were clearly dominated by UW.  After 28 runs by 14 men’s teams and 14 women’s teams, UW’s women only got beat by our own men’s team; 26 competitors trailing behind.  The remaining day went similar till, at the final race, our team won a four length sprint race by a full length margin over any competitor — what a finish!

UW’s Concrete Canoe team won the regional competition through consistent good performance in all categories (technical paper, presentation, final product, and races) and will compete next at the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition in June 9-11 at the University of Texas at Tyler, TX.

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Prospective Graduate Transportation Engineering Students Meet with PacTrans and STAR Lab http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/prospective-graduate-transportation-engineering-students-meet-with-pactrans-and-star-lab/ Mon, 08 Feb 2016 22:44:45 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=3299 prospectives

Last week Friday, February 5, 2016 a group of about twenty prospective graduate transportation engineering students camp to the University of Washington to see the campus, the department, the labs, and meet with the faculty.

Dr. Yinhai Wang, representing both PacTrans and the STAR Lab (he is the director of each), spent about 45 minutes with the prospectives; highlighting our strong partnerships, abilities, technologies, and projects.

We were honored to host, and excited for the chance to showcase our fantastic capabilities. We hope to see many of those bright, intelligent faces around the halls and in our labs come next fall.

TMCs – Nerve Centers of the Operation Activities of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/tmcs-nerve-centers-of-the-operation-activities-of-the-washington-state-department-of-transportation-wsdot/ Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:52:43 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=2845 A site visit last December 7 by 23 UW transportation engineering students to the Northwest Region Transportation Management Center in Shoreline, one of the six regional Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) of WSDOT, paved the way to better understand a 24-hour, 7 days a week complex operation. The TMC is the operation center of the many Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) used to make the system run more safely and efficiently. ITS devices include roadside cameras, ramp meters, variable message signs, speed and lane control signs, and radios. 

With increasing traffic and challenges in managing resulting congestion, the Northwest Region TMC has grown to a team of approximately 30 engineers, technicians, and UW interns managed by Chris Thomas, coupled with the expertise of Maan Sidhu and Tim McCall. The TMC has grown with the expansion of ITS technologies such as variable speed limits and lane control with Active Traffic Management (ATM), tolling of SR 167 HOT Lanes and I-405 Express Toll Lanes, and the new SR 99 bored tunnel and retrofitted I-90 tunnels.

The TMC facility in Shoreline, being a data bank, has its own massive server room, ninety 46-inch screens, radio dispatched system, uninterrupted power supply and generator that can keep the facility operating for up to 7 days. The center can be activated as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during a major, long-term closure that will impact the transportation system. For the future, TMC is moving towards practical design, improved metering and tolling, and shoulder use lanes on congested corridors.


Chris Thomas, Manager of the Northwest Region TMC in Shoreline, shares information about the new facility.


Timothy McCall shares the center’s hub of ninety 46-inch TV screens and the center’s Traffic Buster System.


The Northwest Region Transportation Management Center (TMC) at City of Shoreline.


Maan Sidhu explains that the center can be activated as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during real-time crisis that will impact the transportation system. He also provided a brief tour of the massive server room of the center.

Traffic Bowl Competition – UW ITE Student Chapter, First Place Winner http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/traffic-bowl-competition-uw-ite-student-chapter-first-place-winner/ Tue, 01 Dec 2015 21:00:53 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=2824  

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter at the University of Washington was honored to attend the 8th Annual Bill Kloos Traffic Bowl in Portland, Oregon. The team of graduate students of the STAR lab who attended the event were Salvatore Antonio Biancardo, Kai Kuo, Luka Ukrainczyk, Ruimin Ke, Xinqiang Chen, and Wenbo Zhu.  Four members of the UW ITE team (Salvatore, Kai, Luka, and Wenbo) joined the Traffic Bowl competition, which was modeled after the Jeopardy TV show. The UW team competed against teams from the University of Portland, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Institute of Technology. The question topics ranged from transportation modeling and the Highway Capacity Manual to transportation-related Video Games, and actual Jeopardy questions from the show. The UW team took home first place, with UP and PSU winning second and third place, respectively. After some rousing celebration later that night, the UW team joined the rest of the contestants for a tour of the Kittelson & Associates and HDR offices, as well as the Oregon DOT traffic management center. The team was also lucky to stay at the house of PSU ITE President Nicholas Stoll, who offered his hospitality to the UW team for the second year in a row.Capture

Congratulations to PacTrans 2015 Outstanding Student of the Year! http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/congratulations-to-pactrans-2015-outstanding-student-of-the-year/ Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:11:06 +0000 http://depts.washington.edu/pactrans/?p=2786 John Ash is a second year Ph.D. student in the Smart Transportation and Applications Research (STAR) Laboratory working under Dr. Yinhai Wang at the University of Washington (UW). John is originally from Wisconsin and came to the UW in 2014 after completing his M.S. in civil and environmental engineering (with a transportation emphasis) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also completed his B.S. with a double major in civil engineering and mathematics in 2012. His major research interests include traffic safety (which was the focus of his M.S. thesis in Wisconsin), intelligent transportation systems, and applications of data science in transportation.

This past year, he had two papers accepted for presentation: one at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting and one at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Smart Cities conference. John received the Valle Scholarship at UW for the 2014-2015 school year. In terms of service, John has reviewed papers for both the TRB Annual Meeting and IEEE Smart Cities conferences.

Additionally, he has actively participated in activities on campus to recruit new graduate students, promote science and engineering to elementary/middle/high school students (e.g., Engineering Discovery Days), and showcase lab research to visitors from academia and industry. Recently, he worked with one other student to plan the 2015 PacTrans student conference. Further, he shows his dedication to the lab by working with international students to help them revise their papers and publications. When not busy with school, John likes playing soccer and going to concerts.

John Ash UW




Andrea Mather is focusing on Transportation Engineering in the second year of her MS program at Oregon State University. In 2014 she obtained her BS in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and her engineering in training certification. Andrea has been selected for the student of the year award because she is a top student in the graduation transportation engineering program. She has showed her skills as a highly effective team member on group projects ranging from technical reports, presentations, and designs. Andrea has been an excellent Graduate Teaching Assistant and in that role served as a mentor for undergraduate engineering students.

Andrea’s passion for public service has been shown through her four internships at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). The internships have increased in responsibility and ranged from field inspector on a large construction to managing her own project and to this past summer working in the transportation and land use planning section. Andrea has also distinguished herself as a student leader and is currently the president of both transportation student chapters on campus (ITE and AREMA). In addition, she is also active in Women’s Transportation Seamier group in Salem and acts as a liaison to the students.

Andrea’s MS research spans both bus and rail modes of public transportation. She is using advanced data acquisition technology and a crash test dummy to characterize vehicle dynamics that are associated with tipping incidents of wheeled mobility aids.

Andrea has the personality and skills to become a leader in the transportation industry.



Andrea Mather OSU