April 1, 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
March 19, 2014
Consistent with PacTrans’ goal of improving transportation safety, PacTrans and the Washington State chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE Washington) jointly hosted a meeting to discuss contemporary issues in transportation safety on the UW campus on March 18. An audience of nearly 60 students, researchers, and transportation professionals attended, representing UW, public agencies such as the City of Bellevue, the City of Federal Way, Snohomish County, and private organizations such as Transpo Group, Traffic Data Gathering, as well as other private consultants.
Chris Madill, the Director of Program and Services at the Washington State Safety Commission gave a talk on Target Zero, Washington State’s ambitious plan to reduce the number of annual traffic fatalities to zero by 2030. The plan sets priorities in reducing crashes, the largest of which is driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Target Zero will be the goal for several agencies that are interested in improving the safety of roads in Washington State. These relevant parties have already met several times to discuss ideas.
Matt Neely, the WSDOT Priority Programming and Scoping Engineer gave a talk on the advantages of new techniques for analyzing stretches of road where collisions are frequent. In the past, accidents were analyzed by plotting locations on maps and then identifying accident hot spots. With the advent of modern technology and data analysis techniques, it is now possible to use data over multiple years to look for long-term trends to find the regions that most need to be improved.
The two presentations triggered a lot of discussion. Additionally, attendees took the opportunity to talk to each other and network. While attending, people learned about multiple issues in transportation safety, along with the innovative ways that the issues are being dealt with. The event made several current and future transportation researchers and professionals aware of Washington State’s goals for reducing traffic fatalities and the cutting-edge accident analysis techniques that will help us get there.
March 10, 2014
We would like to offer our best wishes to University of Idaho mechanical engineering professor and PacTrans board of directors member Karen Den Braven, who has retired. During her time at Idaho, Dr. Den Braven was the director of the National Institute of Advanced Transportation Technology and faculty advisor to the UI Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge team, which has won over 70 awards since it was founded in 2000. She has additionally contributed significantly to transportation research, including over fifty publications on engine efficiency. She has accepted a job as the Director of Engineering Programs for the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, in which she will be working with accelerated high school students, universities, industry leaders, and the South Carolina government. We would like to thank her for all of her contributions, and wish her the best of luck at her new job!
For more information about Dr. Den Braven’s research, click here.
January 24, 2014
Pactrans Seminar Series: School Siting and Children’s Travel – Planning to Support Active Transportation
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Ruth Steiner from the University of Florida. She will be giving a talk on Wednesday, February 5th in the HUB (room 334) on the UW Seattle Campus from 10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
The talk is free and everyone is welcome.
Additional information: PacTrans_WinterSeminar_RuthSteiner_February-5-2014.pdf
January 10, 2014
If you plan to attend TRB this year, please take a look at the list of presentations by grad students and researchers at PacTrans consortium universities and Region 10 agencies.