Past NITC education grants to Oregon Tech provided funding for developing new graduate-level coursework in transportation (2014-15) and to support development of learning activities related to smartphone/ipod sensors for transportation structural health monitoring (2015-16). The request this year (2016-17) proposes to build on the success of these past two grants and support specific coursework development by the creation of learning activities (primarily field laboratory modules) related to vehicle operating dynamics with the use of both application-specific and smartphone/ipod technology.
The field collection of vehicle dynamic response is a topic not commonly found in undergraduate programs and not all that common in graduate-level electives. Yet, these crucial vehicle acceleration/deceleration values have a fundamental impact on the design of roadways. Most civil engineering students study vehicle operating dynamics from the textbook and thus do not fully appreciate how these accelerations/decelerations “feel” to the driver, the ultimate consumers of their engineering designs.
This project aims to develop a series of laboratory/field exercises where students collect and process vehicle acceleration/deceleration readings and evaluate the results in comparison to values used in city, county, state and federal roadway design manuals.