News from ITE & WTS Student Chapters

ITE and WTS student chapters across the STRIDE universities at GaTech, UAB, FIU, NCSU and UF were bustling with activity this Fall 2015. Check out what these student organizations were up to in this summary of activities.

ITE News - Fall 2015

Florida International University

Mr. Rick Mitinger, P.E., and Mr. Sunil Doddapaneni, P.E., from ATEC, Inc. with the ITE and WTS members

During Summer and Fall 2015, the FIU ITE chapter hosted three distinguished professionals as guest speakers: Dr. Srinivas Reddy Geedipally, P.E. from Texas A&M Transportation Institute talked about the 4Es in traffic safety and Mr. Rick Mitinger, P.E. and Mr. Sunil Doddapaneni, P.E. from Advanced Transportation Engineering Consultants, Inc., presented on innovative transportation engineering solutions and active traffic management strategies.  

FIU: ITS Florida Board Meeting and Networking EventThe chapter also arranged six graduate seminar events where transportation graduate students presented their research. The group hosted ITS Florida Board Meeting and Networking Event, where transportation professionals and industry experts shared their experiences with FIU transportation faculty, researchers, and students. As a service activity, ITE members gave a tour to 17 high school students in the FIU Summer Transportation Camp of the Miami International Airport, the airfield, and the Miami Intermodal Center. Members also participated in several Civil Engineering Career Orientation events, includng the District 10 ITE/ FSITE Annual Meeting in Tampa where members participated in the student poster competition, and attend technical sessions. During the Annual Meeting, FIU ITE received the ITE District 10 Best Student Chapter Award for outstanding activities during the year 2014-2015. 

Georgia Institute of Technology

GT: Dr. Kari Watkins interacting with ITE members during game night. This summer, three Georgia Tech ITE members participated in the GA ITE Annual Summer Seminar in St. Simon’s. Once fall began, a welcome meeting was hosted jointly between ITE, WTS, and ASHE. The same three organizations co-sponsored a game night where professors came to interact with their students at the GT Rec Center. October’s monthly meeting had a special guest: Matthew Henry, CEO and President of Fehr & Peer presented company opportunities and demonstrated the company’s ITE@GT members at Walker Park for October’s Team Buzz event. ASAP platform, MXD+ tool and TrendLab+ tool. 

Also in October, members volunteered at GT’s Team Buzz community service event by cleaning Walker Park. 

North Carolina State University

NCSU hosted Joe Boardman, Amtrak President and CEO, for the annual Shaw LectureIn September, five members of NCSU’s ITE attended the inaugural meeting of the Intelligent Transportation Society of the Carolinas, participating in the discussion sessions and networking events.  A group of students visited the intermodal freight facility at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Several of our members are interested in rail, and attended the annual AREMA conference in Minneapolis, Minn., in October.  NCSU: The semi-annual Adopt-a-Highway event was also held in OctoberThe group hosted Joe Boardman, Amtrak President and CEO, for the annual Shaw Lecture, then for the October chapter meeting, welcomed Dewberry’s Beth Smyre, who spoke on coastal road projects in North Carolina, including the Bonner Bridge and NC-12.  The semi-annual Adopt-a-Highway event was also held in October; the group participated in GoTriangle’s “Adopt a Bus Shelter” program.

A potluck picnic social was held in November at a park adjacent to campus where the group welcomed Norfolk Southern’s Randy Bowman, president of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), for the chapter meeting.  The chapter participated in the NCSITE Annual Meeting with student presentations and a quiz bowl team.  


University of Alabama at Birmingham

The UAB ITE student chapter members participated in the Smart Sustainable Cities that was held at UAB on October 1, 2015. Eight student members also traveled to Prattville, AL for the ALSITE Fall Meeting on October 29, 2015 to attend scheduled presentations.  At this meeting, Ms. Rachael Thompson, a UAB ITE student member, was recognized as the 2015 recipient of the 2015 Billy Jones Memorial Traffic Engineering Scholar Award.  UAB ITE Student Chapter at the Fall ALSITE Meeting, 10/29/15On October 30th, invited speaker Mr. Michael Kaczorowski, principal planner for Transportation for the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham talked about “Federal Funds for Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure and Ongoing Projects”. Moreover, Dr. Virginia P. Sisiopiku, ITE Student Chapter Faculty Advisor, offered a Career Information Session focusing on Transportation Engineering on September 17, 2015. Undergraduate UAB engineering students attended the presentation and learned about the transportation engineering profession and its potential benefits as a career path.  As part of a fall service project, the UAB ITE student chapter assisted ALSITE to assemble a clearinghouse of digital information related to teen driving. 


University of Florida

UF ITE traffic bowl team with ITE Vice Presidential Candidate Shawn Leight.UF ITE members participated in three seminars since last summer. The first seminar titled “Eco-Driving in Simulation using VISSIM” was presented by Alvaro Garcia Castro, a visiting scholar from the Technical University of Madrid. The second seminar was presented by Mahmood Zangui, a senior systems engineer at Optym with the project SkySYM. The most recent seminar given by Greg Moore, a senior project manager at VHB, was a technical presentation on Critical Movement Analysis. Members of UF ITE competed in the District 10 ITE Traffic Bowl Competition on May 28, 2015 in Orlando, Fla. (Winner: University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez).

Greg Moore talking to the UF ITE student chapter.UF ITE members also took part in two workshops related with transportation. The first workshop held on July 31, 2015, was a platform designed for the interns, who participated in the Transportation Research Internship Program (TRIP) last summer, to share their innovative work. The second workshop held on September 3, 2015 was about traffic management for football games. Matt Weisman from Weisman & Associates and Tim Lomax from Texas Transportation Institute came to discuss with us the method, patterns and approaches of traffic control occurring pre- and post-football games. 

WTS News - Fall 2015

Florida International University

FIU: Introduction to transportation engineering for freshmen, October 13 2015On mission to encourage students toward engineering education, FIU WTS members participated in a wide variety of activities in Summer and Fall 2015. Members volunteered during summer 2015 as tour guides for a middle school field trip to Miami International Airport. A presentation was made at an introduction to transportation engineering seminar to FIU freshman in September, with tours of the IITS and driving simulation labs. In October, members made an engineering presentation to FIU juniors. Tours were given of the labs in October for University of Columbia faculty.

FIU: Graduate Seminar event, October 2nd 2015FIU WTS Members invited outside guest speakers for presentations this fall semester, as well as held two graduate student seminars for sharing research work. Members attended the 2015 FSITE Annual meeting in Tampa and participated in the poster competition. The group also completed data collection tasks and are finishing a final report from FDOT project “Evaluation of Downtown Pedestrian Priority Zone Strategies.”

Georgia Institute of Technology

Scholarship Roundtable Discussion hosted by WTS-GTGaTech WTS began the fall semester with a joint “Welcome Back” meeting with ITE and ASHE, with 25 total members present.  The group hosted a Scholarship Roundtable Panel with current graduate students who have been very successful scholarship recipients serving as panelists. Panelists shared advice on writing essays, obtaining recommendation letters, and targeting specific scholarships. A packet of scholarship advice, which included a detailed list of Transportation Engineering fellowships and scholarships along with their deadlines, was prepared for all attendees. WTS-Georgia Tech is also hosted an a Roundtable Panel Discussion in November on ‘The Future of Non-Motorized Transportation in Atlanta”  with panelists including: Amy Goodwin (Principal Planner from ARC Livable Centers Initiative), Becky Katz (Chief Bicycle Officer of City of Atlanta), Catherine Owens (Principal Engineer - Atlanta Beltline Inc.), Rebecca Serna (Executive Director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition), and GaTech’s Dr. Kari Watkins.

Team Buzz Volunteer Day at Georgia Tech with two WTS-GT officers (middle: Xiaodan Xu; and right: Hanyan Li)Members have maintained a presence at the WTS-Atlanta Transportation YOU volunteering events held at Grady High School, and also volunteered at the Georgia Tech Team Buzz volunteer day, providing general clean-up and maintenance for a 5 mile loop of biking and walking trails at Walker Park. Members won three of the four WTS Scholarships offered this year:  Alice Grossman (Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship and the Beverly Swaim Staley Leadership Legacy Scholarship); and Corinna Slater (Molitoris Leadership Scholarship for Undergraduates).

University of Florida

WTS members Samaneh (FIU), Megan (UF), Jessica (UF) and Leila (FIU) at the 2015 WTS International Conference. This past summer, UF WTS members Megan McGinley (current president) and Jessica Wallet (former president) traveled to Chicago for the WTS International Conference. Their favorite sessions were “Relationship Building” and “Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom”, as well as hearing from keynote speaker Erin Brockovich.

WTS and ITE members participated in the Sustainable Transportation Fair in October, providing UF students with information explaining how engineering decisions impact and promote sustainability. A few topics of focus were electric charging lanes in the UK, the new FDOT standards for minimum bike lane widths on state roads, and the automated bike storage system in Japan.

UF: WTS and ITE members at the Sustainable Transportation Fair in October.In November the UF WTS student chapter hosted the 5th Annual Transportation Symposium. The free event provided a chance for students, faculty, staff and transportation professionals to hear and interact with expert guest panelists regarding their research or experiences on “Automated & Connected Vehicles”. Panelists included: Dr. Carl Crane, Director of the Center for Intelligent Machines & Robotics, UF; Ben Walker, P.E., associate vice president of HNTB Corp.; and Dr. David Metcalf, Senior Researcher, Institute for Simulation Training, UCF