PacTrans News

  • July 10, 2015

    Save the Date: PacTrans Regional Transportation Conference

    PacTrans regional transportation conference, transportation safety, technolgy

    Join the Pacific Northwest transportation community for a time of networking, education, collaboration, research sharing, research funding, and updates on technology.

    October 16, 2015
    University of Washington
    Cascade Room, Haggett Hall

    Check back for more details in the coming weeks.

  • July 9, 2015

    Dr. Haizhong Wang Recognized for Journal Reviewing Excellence

    Haizhong Wang

    Dr. Haizhong Wang, Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering at Oregon State University, was recognized by the editor of the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering as an ASCE 2014 Outstanding Reviewer. The award was presented “in recognition of outstanding service as a reviewer.”

  • July 8, 2015

    Casavant Presents at 2015 ITEA Conference

    Ken Casavant

    Dr. Ken Casavant, Director of the Freight Policy Transportation Institute at Washington State University and member of the Board of Directors of Pactrans presented a paper at the International Transportation Economics Association Conference June 18th, 2015.  The paper, co-authored with Dr. Jeremy Sage as lead and You Zhou, was entitled, “Applying Practical Design Methods to Multi-Modal Supply Chains.” The overall aim of the conference was to promote scientific excellence in the field of transport economics and to provide a forum for stimulating scientific exchange.

  • July 2, 2015

    Students, Teachers Visit PacTrans STAR Lab

    This June, 19 incoming first year women pre-engineering University of Washington students and high school science teachers had the unique opportunity to visit the PacTrans STAR Lab. As part of the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) UP Summer Bridge program, participants learned about the lab’s work in intelligent transportation systems, data science, detection and data collection technologies, and conventional transportation engineering issues.


    Graduate student Kristian Henrickson presented an overview of STAR Lab, while John Ash explored DRIVENET, and Ruimin Ke demonstrated unmanned aerial vehicles.

    The WiSE UP program allows young women to explore engineering majors, gain a better understanding of STEM professions, and prepare for academic success at the collegiate level.

  • June 23, 2015

    Student Spotlight: Ryan Hughes

    Ryan Hughes is one of four PacTrans Fellows for this 2014-15 academic year. As he nears the completion of his Master of Science in Civil Engineering, we spoke with Ryan to learn more about his time and involvement with PacTrans.

    Why did you choose to enroll in this program?

    I chose to enroll in the PacTrans program here at UW because it aligned really well with my career goals. The PacTrans program, which would allow me to take more courses and have an internship getting real work experience at the same time, was really appealing to me as someone looking for just a master’s degree that would prepare me more for the workforce directly. The fact that I could do it in one year and have it funded was also very appealing.

    Ryan Hughes

    Ryan Hughes, PacTrans Fellow

    I have tried to tailor my studies more toward transportation planning and with a mix of urban planning and public policy. Those are things that really interest me and it seemed like the coursework here at UW was more aligned with those fields. I’ve taken two courses in the Evans School of Public Affairs, which I really enjoyed, one on science policy and one on economic development for communities.

    Tell us about your experience as a PacTrans fellow.

    It’s been a whirlwind, only nine months in and I’m almost finished. I think what stands out the most with me is my experience with my peers and classmates. It’s very collaborative and supportive, so a lot of working together, and hanging out after class and on the weekends, and doing social events, formal and informal with each other.

    As a PacTrans student, I kind of felt it my responsibility to be aware of what’s going in the region in terms of transportation. I went to most of the PacTrans seminars that were great for understanding research or listening to hot topics. Also talking to people at work about transportation issues in Seattle, and discussing with my peers and professor all the different issues of the region, or even expanded nationally what’s going in transportation.

    You’ve worked while completing the program. What kind of work are you doing?

    I am a transportation planning and engineering intern with a firm called Fehr and Peers. It’s a transportation consulting firm and our office focuses on long-range planning for local communities and cities, municipalities, counties, and whatnot. My work there has been also various, but I’ve done a lot of mapping work in ArcGIS and supporting those long-range plans with visualization of our different data and graphics. I have worked in transportation modelling software to help with long range modelling for the region. I’ve also gotten a lot of experience writing because I’ve been able to help draft some of those long range transportation plans.

    Have you been involved with other projects in the program?

    My faculty advisor is Don MacKenzie, and although I’m a PacTrans professional master’s student, he included me in his research group early on, which is really valuable for me. I was able to, and still do, attend his research group meetings, which were bi-weekly and would discuss various research topics they were looking at. I could present my own research work challenges to them and try and sort those out.

    What classes, experiences, or lessons learned in the program have had the most impact on you.

    One thing I’m taking away is that we have an enormity of transportation issues to solve in the future and they’re only getting bigger and more complex, but there are a lot of different ways I can come at those problems. I think I have a much better understanding of the problems that are out there, and how we as individuals, engineers, and as societies and cities are going to best attack those problems.

    What sort of opportunities have opened up as a result of this program and PacTrans?

    Very early on, even before I had gotten here, I was looking for my internship, and I had two opportunities open up for me the summer before I started here because of PacTrans.

    I do have a job offer now starting next fall, and I know a big part of that offer was the PacTrans program and the firm recognized the program as being very aligned with what they want to see in an engineer, as a program offering internship experience and extensive course, rather than focused solely on research.

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