The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Transportation Engineering and Science Program

Transportation Seminar


Seminar on April 13, 2017

Topic: Design for the Unseen Site

[Abstract] This talk will introduce the unseen links between building and context, and how a designer considers these to produce architecture to closely connect to and intensify its place. In my professional work and in teaching and research, the physical context is always augmented by the unseen site-the ideas, histories, and cultural practices particular to each place. Of particular interest is how these ideas are activated in inventive housing designs and urban situations that mesh preservation and reuse.

[Speakers' Bio]Tricia Stuth, FAIA is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee and a partner and co-founder of the firm curb. In 2017 she was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects. She is a UT James R. Cox Professor, an Affiliated Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and her teaching has been recognized with multiple awards from the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Her research deals with understanding the unseen aspects of site as a method of fostering profound connections between architecture and its place.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on November 17, 2016

Topic: Identifying Transit Deserts in Eight US Cities: Where the Supplies Missed the Demands

[Abstract] The term "transit desert" is a new concept that looks at the gap between level of transit service (supply) and needs of a particular population (demand). These populations are often referred to as "transit dependent," people that are too young, too old, or too poor or who are physically unable to drive. "Transit deserts" in this case are defined as areas that lack adequate public transit service given areas containing populations that are deemed transit-dependent. This study aims to analyze and establish a clear method for calculating and quantifying gaps between transit demand and supply using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The study looks at eight major US cities: Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Portland, OR; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; and San Antonio, TX. Transit deserts often occur in neighborhoods surrounding historic downtowns; however, exceptions occur in very isolated rural areas.

[Speakers' Bio]Junfeng Jiao is an Assistant Professor in the Community and Regional Planning Program and director of the Urban Information Lab in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington and three Masters in Transportation Engineering, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Architecture from the University of Washington, University of Twente, and Wuhan University, respectively.

Dr. Jiao's research investigates the application of GIS and information technology to understand people's access to transportation infrastructures and the related health impact. He uses a variety of GIS and information technologies to examine people's access to food, biking, and transit facilities and the related health outcomes. His efforts have been supported by various funding agencies (USDOT, RWJF, NIH etc.). He has published over 25 academic papers and book chapters in different peer reviewed journals.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on November 10, 2016

Topic: Emerging Technologies in Transportation

[Abstract] Emerging technologies hold the potential to change the nation's transportation system and transportation agencies must manage and maximize the potential of these emerging technologies. Commissioner Schroer will discuss the impacts connected and autonomous vehicles will have on Tennessee.

[Speakers' Bio]John Schroer was appointed Commissioner of Transportation by Governor Bill Haslam in January 2011. He is the 29th commissioner of the state agency that oversees a statewide transportation system including highways, rail, airports, waterways and transit.

During his tenure, Commissioner Schroer has made safety a priority, creating new programs and initiatives like Quick Clearance, Protect the Queue and the nation's first Traffic Incident Management Training Facility.

Under Commissioner Schroer, TDOT has remained debt-free and he has saved taxpayers more than $457 million dollars by reexamining and reducing the scope of projects from wants to needs. With current funding challenges, he is focused on the difficult and expensive task of preserving and extending the life of our existing transportation infrastructure.

Commissioner Schroer serves as the chairman of the prestigious Standing Committee on Finance and Administration of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), an organization composed of peers from all DOTs across the nation.

Commissioner Schroer received a bachelor's degree in business from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee. He lives in Franklin with his wife, Marianne, and they have three children and one grandson.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 27, 2016

Topic: Development of a Security Platform for Vehicle to Infrastructure Network

[Abstract] Ensuring that the connected transportation ecosystem is cognizant of potential cyber-attacks is extremely important. Specifically, ensuring the secure communication between diverse stakeholders in connected transportation systems is perhaps the major challenge to the safe and reliable system operations. The primary security risks may originate in different interface levels in connected transportation systems, such as Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) or Infrastructure to Infrastructure (I2I). However, today's Information Technology (IT) security ecosystem, which relies on a combination of static perimeter network defenses (e.g., firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems), ubiquitous use of end-host based defenses (e.g., antivirus), and software patches from vendors (e.g., Patch Tuesday), is fundamentally ill equipped to handle the security issues in the connected vehicle ecosystem. In this presentation, a flexible and reliable security protection platform will be discussed. This platform leverages emerging network techniques that support the development of Vehicle to Infrastructure security solutions.

[Speakers' Bio]Ronnie Chowdhury is the Eugene Douglas Mays Professor of Transportation in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. His research primarily focuses on connected and automated vehicle technologies, with an emphasis on their integration within smart cities. BMW, Department of Energy (DOE), NSF, USDOT, and state departments of transportation have sponsored Dr. Chowdhury's research on connected and automated vehicles and vehicle energy systems. He works actively in collaborative transportation-focused Cyber-Physical System (CPS) research and education efforts with many industry leaders, such as BMW, CISCO, and IBM. Dr. Chowdhury is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications, and the TRB Committee on Intelligent Transportation Systems. He co-authored three textbooks on ITS, one on planning, the other on infrastructure security, and third one is in Big Data analytics. He is an editor of the IEEE Transactions on ITS and Journal of ITS, and an Editorial Board member of three other journals.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 13, 2016

Topic: Crowd Simulation in High Performance Computing Systems

[Abstract] Crowd simulations may aid in the analysis of different events such as disease propagation, evacuations or group control. To support fast decision making, there is the need to develop algorithms to solve interactively fundamental problems such as navigation, agent-agent and agent-obstacle collision avoidance. In his presentation, Dr. Hernandez will present scalable algorithms for simulating and visualizing real-time crowds in GPU (Graphics Processing Units) and GPU clusters. He will discuss crowd behavior modeling using Markov Decision Processes that take advantage of single GPU machines and will explain how crowd simulations can be scaled up for GPU cluster environments. Dr. Hernandez will introduce some fundamental High Performance Computing (HPC) concepts and how they impact the design of crowd behavior algorithms and will illustrate an adaptable visualization architecture that renders the simulation results using detailed 3D virtual characters.

[Speakers' Bio]Benjamin Hernandez is a computer scientist at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. He provides advice to TITAN Supercomputer users to enable scientific discovery through the development and implementation of scalable visualization and data technologies. Before joining the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center , Spain. Dr. Hernandez focuses his research interests in the intersection of real-time crowd simulation, human computer interaction and visualization using High Performance Computing.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 29, 2016

Topic: Mode Choice Behavior and Motorization of E-bike Users in China

[Abstract] China has seen unprecedented increases in motorization in the past decade, and will continue to see growth in vehicle ownership and use. While economic growth and the rising middle class influence this motorization trend, there are several factors that make this new motorization trend stand out from historical increases in motorization in the West.

This study examines household vehicle purchase decision concerned with regular vehicles and electric vehicles by two surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015 in China. The first survey explores vehicle purchase decision with broad geographic, environmental, and socio-economic characteristics focusing on a subset of households who own e-bikes and rely on a telephone survey from an industry customer database. From these responses, we estimate two three-level hierarchical choice models to assess attributes that contribute to 1) recent car purchases and 2) the intention to buy a car in the near future. The second survey aims at understanding new transportation mode's impact on adoption of vehicle purchase and symbolic meanings of electric vehicles in China. This study will assist policy makers in developing appropriate regulations or incentives that encourage judicious purchase and use of vehicles of various types, and suggest potential region-specific policy approaches to managing car purchase may be necessary.

[Speakers' Bio]Ms. Ziwen Ling is a PhD student studying transportation engineering with Dr. Christopher Cherry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She joined UT in August 2013. She obtained her master's degree in Transportation Engineering from Tongji University, China. Her research interests include sustainable transportation, transportation safety, and energy.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 22, 2016

Topic: Long Range Planning in a Fast Paced World

[Speakers' Bio]Tanisha Hall, Director of Long Range Planning, is responsible for the division which identifies transportation needs through research, analysis of travel and safety data, and engages communities to obtain public input on transportation investments. Ms. Hall's group is responsible for the development of a Statewide Freight Plan, corridor studies, the travel demand model, traffic and travel data collection, GIS as well as the development of TDOT's 25-year Long Range Transportation Plan.

Ms. Hall graduated from Southern University at New Orleans with dual degrees in Business Administration and Transportation and Logistics. Upon graduation, she studied at the University of Iowa and received a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Hall has over 19 years of experience in Urban Planning, specializing in Transportation Planning, Freight, Research and Travel Demand Management. Immediately preceding her employment at TDOT, she explored her entrepreneurial interests and helped expand the food truck scene in Nashville as a purveyor of New Orleans treats at private and corporate events as well as several large festivals around Nashville.

Ms. Hall is a member of Tennessee American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners. She is also involved in several local non-profit organizations. A native of New Orleans and gardening enthusiast, Ms. Hall loves living in Nashville with her husband Byron, their two sons, Brandon and Darin and dog, Rex.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on August 25, 2016

Topic: Using simulation or the HCM to assess LOS in highway facilities: The case of 2-lane highways and 2+1 highways

[Abstract] The seminar will start with a brief introduction of the Escuela de Ingenieros de Caminos at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM), and its exchange program. In some consulting circles, in recent times, microsimulation has been embraced as the main tool to analyze how transportation, and in particular, highway facilities run, what are their capacities and to what Level of service (LOS) are they operating. In this regard, tools like the HCM are being overlooked as obsolete, or primitive. Is this correct? Has microsimulation completed the run to displace all other tools? Mostly, the validation and calibration efforts have to be taken into account when budgeting the study, and quality of the final model has to be discussed. In the seminar we will introduce the subject and consider two examples: 2-lane highways and 2+1 highways. We will introduce this new (for most of the US) kind of highway, and discuss MOEs to assess the quality of any simulation. The available macro models, research results and microsimulation results will be compared. We will also mention the upcoming version of HCM (6th Edition). Finally, comments on the role of Civil Engineers in the next generation of transportation studies will be discussed, in a time when digital infrastructure is starting to play a major role in transportation studies and facility management.

[Speakers' Bio] Manuel G. Romana is a Vice-Dean in charge of International Relationships and Accreditation at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) and has a PhD from the UPM, Madrid in 1995. Since 1986, he has been involved in projects dealing with all aspects of infrastructure engineering, planning, traffic studies, design, evaluation, rehabilitation and advice during construction. He has taught traffic engineering, operations, infrastructure management, earthworks, drainage, subgrade formation, road tunnels and several PhD level courses.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on August 18, 2016

Topic: New Advances in Cooperative Games Based Highway Cost Allocation

[Abstract] The objective of Highway Cost Allocation (HCA) is to divide fairly and rationally construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and operation costs of highways and bridges among vehicle classes using them. This presentation highlights a new HCA approach that recognizes variable capacity and pavement thickness requirements among vehicle classes. Considering vehicle classes as players and groups of vehicle classes as coalitions, a characteristic function of the game is proposed to estimate the cost for each coalition considering lane and traffic loading requirements. The cost of the grand coalition (including all players) is allocated by a linear programming formulation with constraints representing three requirements of a game-theory model known as the least core: completeness, marginality and rationality. If the optimal basic solution is unique, it is known as the nucleolus. Otherwise, the nucleolus is the average of all multiple solutions. A primal-dual tie breaking procedure is used to determine the nucleolus without identifying the multiple solutions.

[Speakers' Bio] Saurav Kumar Dubey is pursuing his PhD in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research interests include strategic cost management, game theory, cost/benefit optimization, and transportation economics. Kumar Dubey has been active presenting his research findings on cooperative games-based highway cost allocation at national conferences such as the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), and Transportation Research Board (TRB). He holds a Master's degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on April 28, 2016

Topic: Traffic Signal Control Systems Transforming to Connected and Driverless Vehicles

[Abstract] Hardware/software improvements to traffic signal control systems are proposed to provide cost-conscious solutions and technologies to supplement existing transportation systems and alleviate rural arterial congestion with built in safety features. The optimization models for better traffic flows have three layers.

The fundamental layer is the traffic propagation models, which take traditional traffic data and connected vehicle data (with some penetration rate) in real time as input. The traffic then propagates from one intersection to another to provide near team forecast. In the middle layer, the splits of phases are adjusted to balance the predicted upcoming demands of approaches of all intersections based on the real time information above. In the outer layer, the models optimize offsets of all intersections simultaneously. Dynamic programming is utilized to solve the offset optimization. An advanced traffic simulator with connected vehicle communication/traffic signal hardware-in-the-loop simulation capacity, ETFOMM, was selected to program, debug, implement, and evaluate the performance of the models. Case studies with connected vehicles penetration rates of 10%, 25% and 50% on an arterial, at State Street in Jackson, MS, were conducted. The field signal timing plans were coordinated and optimized using TRANSYT-7F as the benchmark. The simulation results indicate the models significantly outperform TRANSYT-7F with about at least 50% control delay (second per vehicle) reduction, and with an increase of throughput (no less than 4.4%) in both directions of major and minor streets.

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. Li Zhang received his MS in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Mississippi State University. Dr. Zhang is the president of his own private company, which has been awarded US DOT small business awards and other FHWA subcontracts over the last few years. Currently, he is working with FHWA using said awards to develop and promote a cloud based microscopic traffic simulation to help the research and education community.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on April 14, 2016

Topic: Transport Analysis and GIS

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Gegraphy. Hyun's research interest centers on the Geography of Transportation and Geographic Information Science (GIS) with several key research themes. His current research topics include (1) reliable transportation network design and analysis, (2) spatial and economic analysis of transportation systems, and (3) GIS for socio-economic applications. Given these key research themes, he has built a strong research background in both geography and interdisciplinary fields by participating in various research projects at the University of Tennessee.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on April 7, 2016

Topic: Some Tips to Prepare for Successful Careers: (Transportation) Engineering Education and More


Seminar on March 24, 2016

Topic: Playing with Brio qualifies you to undertake Transportation Research: How a Maritime Lawyer ended up at Oak Ridge National Lab studying Freight

[Speakers' Bio] Marc Fialkoff, is a lawyer and a doctoral student at Virginia Tech. He currently works at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on February 25, 2016

Topic: Bureau of Transportation Statistics(BTS)

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on February 4, 2016

Topic: TDOT Regional Traffic Management Center and Emergency Response Unit

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on January 28, 2016

Topic: Your Texting While Driving Pays for My Ferrari

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 29, 2015

Topic: Incorporating Behavioral Effects from Vehicle Choice Models into Bottom-Up Energy Sector Models

[Abstract] Many types of models are used for evaluating climate-change-related programs and policies, ranging from "top down" models of the entire economy (e.g., computable general equilibrium, or CGE models) to specialized models focused exclusively on specific markets (e.g., Oak Ridge's MA3T model of the personal vehicle market). Somewhere in the middle are "bottom up" models of the energy sector (so-called E4, or "energy/economy/environment/engineering" models). A major concern is that E4 models, despite their high level of technological detail, yield unrealistic consumer market responses, calling into question their value for making policy decisions. We have developed a theory-based framework for modifying E4 models to produce more realistic market behavior, by incorporating behavioral factors from more detailed models like MA3T.

[Speakers' Bio] Professor Bunch is an internationally recognized expert on discrete choice modeling methods, which are used to understand and predict consumer choices when they select one product from a competing set. His research interests include new product development and introduction, travel behavior, and vehicle choice, including market potential for alternative fuel vehicles. He has consulted on transportation policy issues for state and federal agencies, public utilities, and the airline industry. He received his PhD in Mathematical Sciences from Rice University (1985).

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 22, 2015

Topic: Energy Management, Eco-driving and Traffic Coordination Systems: Paths to Address Transportation Efficiency

[Abstract] Environmental concerns along with stronger governmental regulations regarding automotive fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emissions are contributing to the push for development of more sustainable transportation technologies. Furthermore, the widespread use of the automobile gives rise to other issues such as traffic congestion and increasing traffic accidents. Consequently, two main goals of new technologies are the reduction of vehicle fuel consumption and emissions and the reduction of traffic congestion. While an extensive list of published work addresses the problem of fuel consumption reduction by optimizing the vehicle powertrain operations, particularly in the case of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), approaches like eco-driving and traffic coordination have been studied more recently as alternative methods that can, in addition, deal with the problems of traffic congestion and traffic accidents. This talk will address the equivalent consumption minimization strategy and approaches to tune its equivalent coefficient to achieve more efficient operation of hybrid electric vehicles. It will also include an overview of research efforts to address transportation efficiency through the implementation of eco-driving and traffic coordination systems.

[Speakers' Bio] Jackeline Rios-Torres received her PhD Degree in Automotive Engineering from Clemson University in 2014 and her B.S. Degree in Electronic Engineering from the Universidad del Valle, Colombia in 2008. Her research focuses on modeling and energy management control of HEVs/PHEVs, eco-driving assistant systems, intelligent transportation and connected vehicles. Dr. Rios-Torres has been a recipient of the Southern Automotive Women Forum SAWF scholarship and the Smith fellowship at CUICAR.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 08, 2015

Topic: Transportation Energy Transition: Using TEEM software to model transitions

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 1, 2015

Topic: Efficient Algorithms for Networked Data Processing Challenges in Connected Vehicle Networks

[Abstract] With advances in vehicle-to-vehicle communication, future vehicles will have access to a communication channel through which messages can be sent and received when they get close to each other. This enabling technology makes it possible to view connected vehicles as a networked computational platform, where a range of algorithmic challenges arise for processing data efficiently. In this seminar, we consider a few challenges related to this platform, focusing on two key problems: first, how can we process distributed user queries efficiently within delay bounds? Second, how can we generate estimates on collected sensing data from vehicles with limited computational resources? We present approximate and probabilistic algorithms for both challenges, and provide insights on how to implement the algorithms in future vehicular testbeds.

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. Qing Charles Cao is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois in 2008. Dr. Cao is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ACM. His research interest focuses primarily on networked embedded systems, distributed data analytics, and cyber-physical systems. He has published more than 50 papers in various journals and conferences.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 24, 2015

Topic: Decentralized Optimal Control of Connected and Automated Vehicles

[Abstract] Recognition of the necessity for connecting vehicles to their surroundings is gaining momentum. In this "new world" of massive amounts of data from vehicles and infrastructure, what we used to model as uncertainty (noise or disturbance) becomes an extra state information in a much higher-dimensional vector. This talk will address the problem of coordinating vehicles that are wirelessly connected to each other at different transportation segments, e.g., intersections, merging roadways, to achieve a smooth traffic flow without stop-and-go driving. We present a closed-form solution that optimizes the acceleration profile of each vehicle in terms of fuel consumption while avoiding collision with other vehicles. The proposed solution is validated through simulation. The results show connectivity can significantly reduce fuel consumption and travel time.

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. Andreas A. Malikopoulos received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2004 and 2008, respectively in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include analysis, optimization, and control of cyber-physical systems; large-scale optimization; and learning in complex systems. Andreas is the recipient of several prizes and awards, including the 2007 Dare to Dream Opportunity Grant from the Univ. of Michigan, the 2007 University of Michigan Teaching Fellow, and the 2010 Alvin M. Weinberg Fellowship. He was selected by the National Academy of Engineering to participate at the 2010 German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium and for 2012 Kavli Frontiers of Science Scholar by the National Academy of Sciences.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 3, 2015

Topic: On-Road and Test Cycle Fuel Economy: Is the Gap Growing?

[Abstract] US government fuel economy tests are used: 1) to monitor automobile manufacturers' compliance with fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards and 2) to inform consumers about the fuel economy of passenger cars and light trucks. This study analyzes a unique database of 75,000 fuel economy estimates self-reported by customers of the US government website ( to evaluate the effectiveness of the government's estimates for these two purposes.

The analysis shows great variability in individuals' own fuel economy estimates relative to the official government estimates, but much smaller bias relative to the sample average. The analysis also examines correlations between individuals' fuel economy estimates and specific technologies, vehicle class, driving style, method used to calculate fuel economy, manufacturer, and state. There is some evidence that the shortfall between test cycle fuel economy estimates and in-use fuel economy estimates has been increasing since 2005.

If this trend continues, it could affect the benefits realized by fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. David L. Greene is a research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Senior Fellow of the Howard H.Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. In 2013 he retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Corporate Fellow. He is an author of more than 275 professional publications on transportation and energy issues, including 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and twelve National Research Council reports.

The 2012 recipient of the Transportation Research Board's Roy W. Crum Award, he is also an emeritus member of both the Energy and Alternative Fuels Committees of the TRB and a lifetime National Associate of the US National Academies. He received the Society of Automotive Engineers' Barry D. McNutt Award for Excellence in Automotive Policy Analysis, the Department of Energy's 2007 Hydrogen R&D Award, DOE 2011 Vehicle Technologies R&D Award, and DOE Distinguished Career Service Award.

Greene was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for contributing to the IPCC's receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

View as web page:

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on August 27, 2015

Topic: Driving Volatility in a Connected and Cooperative Vehicle Environment: Algorithms for Driver Warnings and Control Assists

[Abstract] Innovative connected vehicle solutions will address major societal problems of safety, mobility, energy, and air quality. A technical challenge in this regard is to enable drivers to take advantage of new and intelligent technologies and estimate how drivers will respond to such information, and how warnings and controls assistance can help improve performance.

Especially important in this context is driving volatility, characterized by hard accelerations/braking, jerky movements, sharp lane changes or turns, and abnormally high speeds for the operating conditions. Can these be mapped to a combination of local and global traffic states surrounding the vehicles? Are they related to how surrounding vehicles behave and are they related to socio-demographics of drivers?

These questions will be discussed in the context of connectivity between vehicles and civil infrastructure. Chakraborty will review several analytic procedures for understanding driving volatility, as well as the use of empirical data for generating valuable information and driver feedback. Specifically, he will discuss algorithmic means to formulate and evaluate parameters of a Markov Decision Process based model, which will be a step towards anticipating instantaneous driver maneuver decisions.

He will also present a framework for learning driver-specific estimates of rewards and penalties for available maneuver choices in a particular situation, using a Bayesian Inverse Reinforcement Learning framework. Gossip algorithms to incorporate the effect of social persuasions from other drivers in an autonomous and connected vehicle environment will also be discussed.

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. Subhadeep Chakraborty is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and a dual MS in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Chakraborty's research focuses on control and analysis of spatially distributed dynamical systems. Specifically, his research on evolution of socio-cultural behavioral dynamics in locally connected networks has resulted in several interesting findings in the context of connected and cooperative vehicles.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on January 29, 2015

Topic: Nationwide Population Analytics Through Big Data-The Power of Where and When

[Abstract] Recently named as one the fastest growing private companies in America and to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list, AirSage is a pioneer in the transformation of wireless network data into powerful mobility information. Through exclusive contracts with nationwide cellular carriers, AirSage collects and analyzes cellular signals to produce over fifteen billion anonymous data points every day throughout the United States.

By utilizing this data, transportation planning professionals and engineers, universities, advertisers, retailers, and a host of other industries now have easy access to data that they can use for modeling and forecasting the location, movement and flow of people throughout the day. This data has lead to innovative approaches to age old problems, as well as new data opportunities that were not even considered in the past.

[Speakers' Bio] Shannon Fain, PE, is a Business Development Consultant for AirSage Inc., located at their home office in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining AirSage, Shannon worked for thirteen years as a city planner and transportation engineering researcher and consultant. He has worked for HNTB, ITRE, Stantec, Delcan, Parsons, as well as an independent consultant.

A graduate of the UT College of Engineering (undergrad in 2000, grad school in 2002), Fain is a Smart Growth proponent and is heavily involved in ITE . He has served on the executive council of the ITE Ped/Bike Committee and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition for multiple years.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on November 13, 2014

Topic: TRB's Critical Issues in Transportation

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on November 06, 2014

Topic: Tennessee Traffic Incident Training Facility

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on October 30, 2014

Topic: Race Traffic Planning and Operations for Bristol Motor Speedway

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 25, 2014

Topic: Tennessee Department of Transportation's 25 Year Long Range Transportation Plan

[Abstract] The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is creating a new long-term vision for transportation in Tennessee. This 25-Year Long-Range Transportation Plan provides the foundation for prioritizing transportation investments across the State. The updated plan will aid in accomplishing TDOT's mission to serve the public by providing the best multimodal transportation system in the Nation. This presentation is the first in a series of public outreach opportunities to involve and inform the public about TDOT's mission, decision points, and the multiple facets of the DOT program. The information gathered through this and other public outreach opportunities serve as a direct input into the plan development process in order to ensure that the final policies and programs satisfy the needs of the changing conditions in Tennessee.

[Speakers' Bio] Jack Qualls is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a BS in Urban Studies. Prior to joining TDOT, he worked as a transportation planner for a Regional Development District in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Jack also has experience working as a land use planner with the City of McMinnville and as a transportation coordinator for the Kingsport Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Kingsport Area Transit Service.

Nick is a 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a BS in Political Science and a minor in Aviation Administration. Nick is a 2011 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's School of Public Administration. He has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Transportation. Prior to joining TDOT, Nick worked for four years as a Transportation Planner for the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency in Omaha.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 18, 2014

Topic: Real World Practical Influences on Vehicle Routing and Urban Delievery

[Abstract] Logistics activities at major corporations and supply chains around the world include the routing and delivery of products to hundreds of locations spread over large geo- graphical areas. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of routing and delivery operations, transportation managers regularly utilize supply chain software packages to solve multiple versions of the vehicle routing problem. These solutions are implemented by transportation managers and dispatch managers of the vehicle fleets responsible for product delivery. However, the stability of traditional algorithms may not be consistent when faced by real world conditions including variations in spatial patterns of delivery locations and problems created by traffic, construction or other unexpected events. This is especially true in urban environments where last mile delivery has become a major is- sue for transportation companies across the nation. This presentation covers the results of research in vehicle routing under real world conditions, and also highlights an on-go- ing stream of research that focuses on strategies and analytical approaches for solving urban delivery and routing issues. Results from this research stream have implications for transportation managers and are expected to shed light on new challenges and future opportunities for transportation researchers and practitioners."

[Speakers' Bio] John E. Bell is DSI Forums Distinguished Scholar & Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in Manage- ment from Auburn University. His research interests design, vehicle routing, and supply chain risk.

William J. Rose is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to entering the doctoral program at Tennessee, William spent eight years working with the Housing Department at the University of North Texas.

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar

For downloading the presentation slides, please click:


Seminar on September 11, 2014

Topic: Computational Transportation Science: Challenges and Opportunities in Traffic Modeling and Simulation

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Transportation Seminar Webinar


Seminar on September 4, 2014

Topic: The Transportation Revolution Revisited

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Seminar on April 17, 2014

Topic: Tennessee's Highway Traffic Safety Culture - What We Think We Know

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Seminar Webinar

[Abstract] 14,850 individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways from 2000 through 2013. The encouraging news is that both the number of annual fatalities and the fatality rate have declined substantially in the state since 2004. Unfortunately, almost 1,000 Tennesseans were killed in traffic crashes in 2013, thus the highway safety issues facing Tennessee are far from resolved. In 2011 the Tennessee Traffic Safety Culture Survey was initiated through a partnership between the UT Center for Transportation Research (CTR) and the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO). It measures attitudes and opinions about traffic safety issues and driving habits of Tennesseans. Since 2011, thousands of Tennesseans have participated in this annual survey. This seminar will present research findings from the survey program.

[Speakers' Bio] Dr. Everett is a research director at CTR. His core expertise is with transportation planning and its relationship to land use development, highway safety, and air quality. At CTR, he is the program manager of several GHSO grants. Additionally, he performs research and provides management oversight for STEM education, transportation planning, travel data collection, travel demand modeling, and highway safety culture projects. Jerry has worked professionally in transportation since 1991, including seven years with the Federal Highway Administration in Washington, D.C. He is an active member of TRB and is the incoming Chairman of TRB Committee ADA30 - Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities. He holds a PhD., M.S., and B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Seminar on April 10, 2014

Topic: Why Plan for Mobility?

The presentation will be webcast and archived. The URL access is: Seminar Webinar

[Abstract] The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) coordinates a comprehensive transportation planning process for the entire Knoxville Region. The safe, efficient mobility of people and goods by all modes of transportation is critical to achieving a high quality of life and economic vitality in our region. The TPO provides a regional decision-making forum; the goal is to maximize scarce transportation funding resources that will achieve the region's shared vision for the future. The speakers will discuss the TPO's transportation planning process, covering both technical and non-technical aspects of transportation planning required to provide the information, tools, and public involvement needed for improving overall regional mobility. They will emphasize the importance of taking a balanced approach that considers the impacts both on and by transportation on land use, the environment, and overall livability.

[Speakers' Bio] Jeff Welch has over 30 years experience in transportation planning and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has directed the Knoxville Regional TPO since 1985. From 2006 to 2013, Jeff served on TRB's Strategic Highway Research Program 2 - Technical Coordinating Committee for Capacity. He has also served on the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations Policy Committee.

Michael Conger is a Senior Transportation Engineer with the Knoxville Regional TPO. His chief responsibilities include maintaining a regional travel demand forecasting model and ensuring the TPO's plans and programs meet air quality conformity requirements. Mike is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Tennessee and is currently Vice President of TSITE, and President of the Tennessee Model Users Group.

Seminar on April 3, 2014

Topic: Forging a New Road to the Future:Five Maxims for Creating Value

[Abstract] Transportation is fundamentally changing. Regulatory issues, demographic forces and financial constraints have changed the industry, particularly for motor carriers. While some have viewed transportation as a commodity, easily purchased and performed, the factors mentioned previously may soon change this perspective. This presentation will address this topic as well as report on a host of topics from strategy to operations, offering a current assessment and insights that were gained from more than 1,000 top logistics executives-and purchasers of transportation-related services.

[Speaker's Bio] Dr. Mary Collins Holcomb is Associate Professor and Gerald T. Niedert Supply Chain Fellow at The University of Tennessee. Prior to academia, her professional career involved some eighteen years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in transportation research and policy issues for the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Defense. Dr. Holcomb's background also consists of industry experience with the former Burlington Northern Railroad, General Motors, and Milliken & Company. She has performed consulting and executive education services for numerous companies including Lowe's, Phillips Consumer Electronics, Sony, CVS, Brunswick Boat Group, Ernst & Young, and Capgemini U.S. LLC.

Seminar on March 13, 2014

Topic: Designing Power Electronics to Meet the Demands of Future Electric Vehicles

[Abstract] In March 2012, President Obama announced the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge-to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as an affordable and convenient form of transportation for the American family to replace gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022. Meeting these objectives will require significant advances in the electric-drive systems of PEVs, including 40% reduction in weight, 400% reduction in cost, and 40% reduction in power losses. At the heart of these systems are power electronic circuits, which control and convert between chemical, mechanical, and various forms of electrical energy. This talk will give an overview of the role of power electronics in the electric vehicle and their affects on transportation; it will present design tradeoffs and ongoing research at UTK that address the needs of future generations of electric vehicles.

[Speaker's Bio] Daniel Costinett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013. In 2012, he assisted with research and course development as an instructor at Utah State University. His research interests include resonant and soft switching power converter design, high efficiency converters for data centers, energy harvesting, implantable devices, and electric vehicles.

Seminar on February 27, 2014

Topic: The "Big Move:" Challenges in Transporting a Super Heavy and Over Sized Load

[Abstract] The Big Move was a project to transport the largest electric generator component of Dominion Power's Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center from Knoxville TN to St. Paul VA-a 176-mile, 19-day trip. An intricately specialized 28-dolly rig was chosen to handle the extreme weight and size of the stator. Weighing 1.4 million pounds, the rig with the stator was 265' long, 23' wide, and more than 17' tall; its top speed was 10 mph and it could not back up during the haul. The rig had more than 224 tires, and was powered by as many as six trucks with 600+ horsepower each. Several state police vehicles, utility bucket trucks, support trucks, and escort vehicles accompanied the rig. Key safety, risk management, and operational considerations included roadway geometrics, load/stress limitations on bridges and pavements, clearance envelopes, and traffic control along the route. The project required specialized route control documents and engineering support for innovative techniques for hauling across bridges, as well as intense stakeholder coordination, and a context sensitive approach to communicating with affected communities. The seminar will highlight challenges involved with this unusual and complex transportation situation, and present the innovative and successful strategies adopted to address them.

[Speaker's Bio] Chris Kirby is a licensed professional engineer and project manager for CDM Smith in Knoxville. Chris has served in a variety of project engineering and management roles for local government, consulting companies, transportation companies, and research facilities. Chris is a graduate of UT with a BS in Engineering and an MS in Transportation Engineering. He is a past president of the Tennessee Section Institute of Transportation Engineers (TSITE) and helps facilitate TSITE's Leadership Development Program.

Seminar on February 20, 2014

Topic: The Future of Transportation Finance

[Abstract] Motor fuel taxes at the state and federal levels have for nine decades provided a very large share of the revenue used by transportation agencies to build, maintain, and operate transportation systems. Falling fuel tax revenues have put transportation agencies into deep fiscal crisis because fuel taxes have not been increased in twenty years. Rising infrastructure costs and improved fuel efficiency of vehicles have reduced the real value of fuel taxes by more than half. This seminar will review the decline in these revenues and will look at several alternative mechanisms for funding transportation programs. Short- term and longer term solutions to this problem will be discussed. Especially highlighted will be local option sales taxes that are widely used by counties in California and longer term prospects for replacing motor fuel taxes by mileage based user fees which are advocated by many academics but which face a wide variety of challenges in the political arena.

[Speaker's Bio] Martin Wachs is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directed the Institute of Transportation Studies. He earlier spent 25 years at UCLA, where he was Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning for eleven years. After retiring from the University, Wachs became the Director of the Transportation, Space, and Technology Program at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. He is now semi-retired, teaching courses and conducting research at UCLA in transportation policy and working on transportation policy projects at RAND. Wachs is the author of 180 articles and wrote or edited five books on subjects related to transportation finance and economics, relationships between transportation, land use, and air quality, transportation needs of the elderly, techniques for the evaluation of transportation systems, and the use of performance measurement in transportation planning. His research also addresses, equity in transportation policy, crime in public transit systems, and the response of transportation systems to natural disasters including earthquakes. Dr. Wachs was the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) during the year 2000, and he served on its Executive Committee for nine years. He is a Lifetime Associate of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of numerous other awards, honors, and recognitions such as Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships, the Pyke Johnson Award for the best paper presented at an annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, and the Carey Award for service to the TRB.

Seminar on February 6, 2014

Topic: Freight 2.0-A New Paradigm for Freight Security & Safety Systems in a Connected World

[Abstract] The Freight 2.0 initiative integrates emerging technologies by leveraging current DOT initiatives with those already developed ORNL Sensor and Information Technologies and Applications; thereby enabling a Freight 2.0 data highway. Freight 2.0 utilizes the same underlying social media and social networking methods and sensors that permit users to share photos and keep in touch with their friends and family by re-purposing the technology for supply chain stakeholders. Freight 2.0 leverages years of ORNL Sensor and IT R&D including testbed collaborations with military, state and local first responders, multi-model freight service providers, private sector shippers, and federal and international government partners.

[Speaker's Bio] Randy Walker is the Transportation Programs Manager for the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has worked as a systems engineer, instructor, operations manager and program manager during his career in areas such as transportation of hazardous materials and their regulations; compliance in the packaging and transportation of radioactive materials; rail, air, motor and intermodal freight economics and pricing; and transportation program development with DOE, EPA, DOT, DHS, DoD, and the commercial defense contractor sector. He is internationally recognized as a subject matter expert in the development of technology-driven security and safety policies for the international hazardous materials supply chain.

Sponsored by: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Center for Transportation Research, Southeastern Transportation Center, and the ITE Student Chapter at UT.


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