PacTrans News

  • October 3, 2014

    2014 Pactrans Regional Transportation Conference Updated Agenda

    There is still time to register for the 2014 Pactrans Regional Transportation Conference: The IOUs of Safety – Infrastructure, Operations and Users, coming up on Friday, October 17 at the University of Washington, Haggett Hall. The conference will feature opportunities for networking, discussing research and applications, meeting top student researchers, and discovering potential collaborations.


    The SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study: Summary and Future Opportunities for Researchers

    The SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), is the largest naturalistic driving study ever conducted, and includes over 3,100 drivers, 3,900 years of driving data, and 2.5 million trips.

    John Campbell  will summarize the objectives and methods associated with the SHRP 2 study, and describe how researchers and practitioners can access and use the data from this landmark study to improve future roadway design and traffic safety.

    John Campbell is a Research Leader with Battelle’s Center for Human Performance and Safety, located in Seattle, Washington. There, he leads a team of behavioral scientists and engineers that provide a human-centered approach to the development and evaluation of transportation programs, products, and systems.

    Since 1985, Dr. Campbell has conducted numerous research studies involving driver behavior, vehicle safety, and driver assistance systems, using on-the-road vehicles, driving simulators, and test tracks.  He helped design the SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), and also served as the site manager for the Seattle data collection site, which contributed over 700 drivers and over 850 years of driving data to the overall study.


    8:30 AM

    Yinhai Wang, PacTrans Director and Transportation Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

    8:45 AM

    John Milton, Director of Enterprise Risk and Safety Management at  Washington State Department of Transportation

    9:00 AM

    Keynote Address: Naturalistic Driving Study
    John Campbell, Research Leader with Battelle’s Center for Human Performance and Safety, Seattle WA

    10:00 AM

    Brief introductions by PIs for poster session
    David Hurwitz, Assistant Professor, Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University

    10:30 AM



    Research Session: Preparing for a Driverless World
    Edward Mantey, Senior Vice President Vehicle Planning, Corporate Strategy, Technical Administration, Toyota Technical Center

    User Safety:  From the Perspective of the Cyclist/Pedestrian
    Dongho Chang, City Traffic Engineer, City of Seattle

    User Safety: From the Perspective of the Driver
    Ted Trepanier, Executive Director, Inrix

    Infrastructure Safety:  From the Perspective of Autonomy
    Guoyan Wu, Research Engineer, University of California,  Riverside

    Operations Safety:  From the Perspective of State Research Needs
    Michael Bufalino, Research Manager, Oregon State Department of Transportation

    12:00 PM

    Lunch and Poster Session
    David Hurwitz, Assistant Professor, Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University

    1:00 PM

    Workforce Development, Panel Discussion
    Bruce Haldors, CEO, Transpogroup

    Carolyn Morehouse, Chief or Research Development and Technology Transfer Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

    Professional Organizations
    Jim O’Brien, American Society of Civil Engineers

    Wayne Kittelson, Principal at Kittelson & Associates, Inc.

    Teresa Adams, Professor of Transportation Engineering and City Planning in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Director and Principal Investigator, National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education

    2:00 PM

    Tech Transfer, Presentations
    Doug Brodin, Research Manager, Washington State Department of Transportation

    Santiago Navarro, Technology Transfer Program Manager at Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, Department of Transportation

    Education Project
    Kevin Chang, Assistant Professor,  Department of Engineering, University of Idaho

    Idaho Snowmobile
    Dan Cordon, Clinical Faculty, Mechanical Engineering, University of Idaho

    2:45 PM


    3:00 PM

    Breakout Groups – Strategic Directions
    Anne Goodchild, moderator, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Washington

    4:30 PM

    Report Back/Closing Remarks
    Yinhai Wang, PacTrans Director and Transportation Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

    5:00 PM

    Social Hour and Networking

    6:30 PM

    End of Conference


    Register for the conference today.

    Registration for the Student Conference can be found here.

  • September 30, 2014

    Tsinghua University Delegation Visits PacTrans to Discuss Smart Cities

    A delegation led by Professor Zhang Yi, vice provost in global affairs, from Tsinghua University was welcomed by PacTrans and members of the University of Washington community on September 11th, 2014. The exchange brought faculty and administrators from both universities together to discuss cutting edge research in intelligent transportation and smart cities.

    Professor Zhang of the Tsinghua delegation, who hosted the UW delegation in 2008 and visited the UW in 2010, expressed enthusiasm for long-term cooperation between the institutions. “I’m excited to see that seed grow,” responded Dr. Yinhai Wang, PacTrans director.

    Dr. Wang led the presentation, introducing PacTrans’ research, the work of Smart Transportation Applications and Research (STAR) Lab, and important questions for research. Though there are many questions, Dr. Wang explained, the most important thing is to effectively use the data and derive effective solutions from data-driven research investigations.

    It may be the “age of big data,” but certain data challenges persist, such as the quality of existing data, the sensitivity of sensors, and missing types of data. PacTrans researchers work toward solutions for these issues, including e-Science transportation framework, the Digital Roadway Interactive Visualization and Evaluation Network (DRIVE Net), and new sensor technologies for pedestrian detection and safety.

    A robust discussion time following the presentation revealed a strong interest in big data, as many connected with the challenges surrounding its definition and data quality, as well as the opportunities of big data in civil and environmental engineering.


  • September 22, 2014

    2014 PacTrans Student Transportation Conference on October 18th, 2014

    Registration is now open!

    PacTrans student conference 2014

    This event will attract a diverse group of 60-70 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students alike from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho, bound by a common interest in transportation engineering and planning. The theme of this year’s event is success: namely, we hope that participants will gain valuable knowledge of the skills and tools necessary to be successful in their future careers, as well as current trends in engineering, and the kinds of jobs are available for young aspiring transportation professionals. This event is free to attend for all interested students.

    Register for the conference here!

  • September 12, 2014

    Board of Directors Convene at University of Washington

    The PacTrans Board of Directors (BOD) met at the University of Washington on September 3rd, 2014 to discuss center activities, research, and technology transfer. During the full-day meeting, the BOD covered a range of matters, recounting the successes of the year thus far and establishing goals and strategies for upcoming endeavors.

    The BOD reviewed the PacTrans Region 10 Conference taking place on Friday, October 17th and its student conference on the following day, and anticipates another productive and popular event. Research topics and projects were also considered under the new safety center.

    With processes streamlined and responsibilities of principal investigators identified, the BOD looks forward to a successful fall.

    PacTrans Board of Directors meeting

  • September 9, 2014

    WSDOT and PacTrans Join for Partnership Building Event

    PacTrans welcomed officials from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to the University of Washington on August 6, 2014 to build and strengthen the organizations’ partnership. Dr. Yinhai Wang, PacTrans director, presented the opportunities, strategic goals, and challenges facing the University Transportation Center.

    With the theme of data-driven safety, many opportunities exist for universities, transportation agencies, and private industry to work together. Dr. Wang explained that such possibilities include establishing a collaboration platform and reforming transportation curriculum to address modern transportation requirements and challenges.

    WSDOT also confirmed their participation in the PacTrans Region 10 Transportation Conference and will provide an update on their research priorities for funding at the event.



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