Allison Dane, staff member from Congressman Peter DeFazio’s office, who specializes in work with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, visited Portland State University in August for an update on transportation research conducted in the ITS Lab, at PSU and within the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC). PSU faculty, including Professors Bertini, Dusicka, Smith, Tufte and Maier discussed their ongoing research efforts. Prof. Higgins from OSU, and Betsy Boyd from UO, plus OTREC staff (Hau Hagedorn, Jenny Kincaid and Rie Anderson) also participated in the meeting.
Hau Hagedorn, OTREC Research Project Manager, participated in AASHTO’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting in Seattle, WA, August 6-9, 2007. RAC identifies research needs, defines research emphasis areas, utilizes research findings, maintains an overview of state related research activities and funding, and works to employ the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) effectively. Discussions were focused on the status of national transportation research programs and what is needed to prepare for the future of transportation and transportation research. Specific sessions covered research partnerships between departments of transportation and universities, research project management, and documenting the value of research.
Students and faculty from OTREC were very active at the July Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) District 6 Annual Meeting, covering 13 western states, and held in Portland.†A sample of our involvement can be found here: ITE District 6
Prof. Robert Bertini, Hau Hagedorn and Jenny Kincaid spent a few days in lovely Madison, Wisconsin to attend the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) annual meeting, held in the Fluno Center at the University of Wisconsin. Sessions were held on strategic planning, communication best practices, and RITA news/guidelines. In addition, OTREC staff appreciated the opportunity to meet with other administrative managers from centers around the country and to enjoy the UW terrace on Lake Mendota.
Proposals for 2007-2008 transportation research, education and technology transfer projects were due on May 25, 2007. OTREC received 82 proposals with a total request of $5.1M. There were 48 unique proposers, 42 proposals with multiple PIs, and 13 were multi-campus. OTREC is pleased to see the diversity of disciplines and collaboration between universities and with external partners. As governed by the OTREC Strategic Plan, all proposals will be peer reviewed by at least three expert reviewers, including one federal representative. Awards will be announced in the fall.
Dr. Peter Stopher, Professor of Transport Planning at the University of Sydney, was the OTREC visiting scholar at the CTS Seminar on May 18, 2007. Dr. Stopher's teaching and research is in transport policy and planning, survey methods, travel demand modeling, and environmental analysis, and he is pioneering the use of GPS devices in transport surveys. Current research has focused on using personal GPS devices to collect travel behavior data of individuals. Dr. Stopherís seminar, "Using a GPS Panel to Evaluate Travel Behavior Changes," described projects that have been conducted and are currently underway using GPS. He described survey procedures and provided an overview of early results from data collection. The seminar was followed by a luncheon with faculty, students and members of the Oregon Modeling Steering Committee (OMSC).
Prof. Bertini and Hau Hagedorn attended the Northwest Universities Transportation Consortium (Region X) May meeting in Moscow, ID. Region X meetings include representatives from UTCs and state transportation departments in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Participants discuss regional collaboration for transportation research and education efforts. On the agenda was the creation a pooled-fund research study, for which a regional RFP would be issued each year. DOTs would identify the research needs. Education initiatives were also topics, including possible creation of a pilot distance education course that could be offered and coordinated between the Region X universities.
OTREC Director and PSU Professor Robert L. Bertini received the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award at PSU Salutes on May 10, 2007. PSU Salutes, the university’s annual awards recognition event, celebrates the outstanding achievements of alumni, faculty, and friends of Portland State University. The award recognizes Dr. Bertini’s excellence in teaching and research, and dedication to the University and community. Prof. Bertini was honored to have several ITS Lab alumni and students in attendance, including Monica Leal, Edward Anderson, Aaron Myton, Michael Rose, Steve Hansen, Shazia Malik, Sirisha Kothuri and Lynn Peterson. Dr. Bertini dedicated the award to his students and thanked the members of his family who attended.
Rie Anderson has been hired as OTRECís Fiscal Operations Coordinator. Rie will manage the fiscal aspects of OTREC activities by tracking both grant and match expenditures, reviewing sub-award budgets, and communicating with department grant administrators and other universities on fiscal requirements. Rie is a Certified Public Accountant with eight years of experience in fiscal-related work both in public and private sectors. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from Kobe City University of Foreign Studies and a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting from Portland State University. She is a lifetime member of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, and most recently worked at PSU as the grant coordinator in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
In early May, OTREC hosted a visit by Dr. Susan Handy from the Sustainable Transportation Center at the University of California Davis. Dr. Handyís research focuses on the connections between land use and transportation, and she is well known for her work on the impact of neighborhood design on travel behavior. Dr. Handy presented, ìBicycling in Davis, CA: A Critical Look at Policy and Behavior in the First Platinum Bicycle City in the U.S.î at the CTS Transportation Seminar. The seminar was followed by a luncheon discussion with faculty, students and members of the Portland Platinum Advisory Committee. While at PSU, Dr. Handy was also a guest speaker at the weekly Environmental Sciences and Resources Seminar.