STRIDE Hosts First UTC Regional Conference for the Southeastern Region in Orlando, Fla.

Mike Hunter, Greg Nadeau, Lily ElefteriadouMore than 180 people attended the University Transportation Center (UTC) Conference for the Southeastern Region in Orlando, Fla., on April 4-5, 2013, which showcased UTC projects and helped enhance collaboration amongst academic, private, and public sectors in the Southeast. STRIDE organized and hosted the conference, the first such event in the region, which aimed to bring together faculty, students, practitioners, and public agencies in the Southeast, to disseminate information about on-going activities at all partner universities, and to further enhance collaboration among the academic community as well as the private and public sector agencies in the region.

Keynote speakers included FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau and FDOT Assistant Secretary Brian Blanchard. This day and a half event was sponsored by the four UTCs in the region—STRIDE, the National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management (NCTSPM) at Georgia Institute of Technology (GaTech), the National Center for Intermodal Transportation (NCITEC) at Mississippi State University (MSU), and the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the University of South Florida (USF) —as well as the University of Florida’s Office of the Vice President.  The conference incorporated 32 faculty presentations, 15 student presentations, a student poster session with 45 posters, and student poster and presentation competitions. Regional state DOT representatives held a panel discussion on research needs and potential collaborative activities.

Tiffany Jackson of WTSThe Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) student chapters organized a special session to discuss opportunities for regional events and activities, including the creation of additional WTS student chapters in the region. Tiffany Jackson, WTS director of chapter development, spoke during the session and met with several students interested in forming WTS student chapters at their respective universities. STRIDE and the University of South Florida (USF) also sponsored a poster presentation and reception to showcase workforce development projects. In addition, a tour of the Florida Turnpike Traffic Control Center was offered, and was well attended.

The faculty presentations covered a wide variety of projects including Traffic Performance and Access Management, Planning and Economics, Infrastructure and Safety, and Intermodal Transportation and Observational Studies. Students presented on subjects ranging from traffic engineering and urban planning to women in the workforce and safety-related projects. The 45 student research posters showcased multiple topics with a strong emphasis on education in the region.

Conference participants originated from the following academic institutions: Florida International University, GaTech, Hampton University, North Carolina State University, MSU, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Central Florida, University of Denver, UF, USF, University of Memphis, University of Mississippi, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Representatives from consulting firms such as Atkins, the Corradino Group, and Comprehensive Engineering Services, Inc., attended the conference. Also in attendance were delegates from state agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration, Floridians for Better Transportation, Florida DOT, Georgia DOT, and Mississippi DOT. Several Florida city and county agencies were also represented, including City of Palm Bay, Fla., City of Delray, Fla., Metro Plan, Jacksonville Port Authority, Manatee County Public Works, Highlands County Board of County Commissioners, and the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority.

Student Poster Participants

Florida Turnpike Traffic Control Center Tour

(Images from top: 1) Mike Hunter, Gred Nadeu, and Lily Elefteriadou; 2) Tiffany Jackson of WTS addresses a room full of students during the UTC Conference; 3) Group photo of student poster session participants; 4) Tour of the Florida Turnpike Traffic Control Center.

Student Presentation & Poster Winners


1st Place: Thomas Chase, Master’s student, UF

Instrumented Vehicle Study and Micro-simulation Models of Pedestrian-Vehicle Interaction at Midblock Crosswalks

2nd Place: Anya Abseen, Master’s student, NCSU

Method and Case Study for Quantifying Local Emissions Impacts of a Transportation Improvement Project involving Road Re-alignment and Conversion to a Multi-Lane Roundabout

3rd Place: Rachel Mulholland, Master’s student, University of Denver

Women in Transportation: A model for Job Seeking in the Transportation Industry


1st Place: Clark Letter, Doctoral student, UF

Incorporating Probability of Breakdown into Fuzzy Logic Ramp Metering

2nd Place: Prabha “Popa” Pratyaksa, Doctoral student, GaTech

Safety Performance Evaluation of Converging Chevron Pavement Markings

3rd Place: Erica L. Schmidt, Doctoral student, UAB

Development of Comprehensive Physical, Sensory and Cognitive Assessment Battery for Driving Safety and Behavior

To view conference presentations, posters, and photos, visit the conference web page.

Return to Top