State DOT panel discussion at UTC ConferenceUTC Conference for the Southeastern Region Held in Atlanta, Ga.

The University Transportation Center (UTC) Conference for the Southeastern Region was held March 24-25, 2014 and hosted by the National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management (NCTSPM), a Tier-1 UTC at Georgia Tech. Approximately 160 people attended the conference. There were 36 papers and 47 posters presented. Sessions included Operations and Management, Bike/Pedestrians, Transit, Safety, Infrastructure, and Economics and Freight, and a state DOT panel titled “How can universities better assist state highway agencies (SHA) with deployment of research results” was held with DOT participation from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi. The welcome and opening remarks were given by Dr. Mike Hunter, director of the NCTSPM, and GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden.  During this time, directors of the conference’s eight co-sponsoring UTCs (Albert Gan, FIU; David Block, UCF, Burak Eksioglu, MSU; Lily Elefteriadou, UF; Stephen H. Richards, UTK; Michael P. Hunter, GaTech; John Sobanjo, FSU; and Joel M. Volinski, USF) were invited to introduce themselves and give a brief description of their centers.

Student participation was also part of the conference with a special session set aside for student chapters of WTS and ITE where collaboration was discussed to materialize in a community service event that will held simultaneously by all chapters. The event will be advertised, with updates posted to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Catherine Ross of GaTech speaks with students at the UTC ConferenceThe conference closed with a state agencies and private sector panel discussion moderated by Dr. Catherine Ross of GaTech (pictured at left speaking with Bahreh Inanloo and another student). Toby Carr of GDOT, Commissioner Todd Long, and Randy Stashick of UPS discussed the transportation challenges they face and how UTCs can help. 

The UTC conference was conceptualized by STRIDE a regional UTC housed at the University of Florida.  STRIDE hosted the first conference in March 2013, and it is expected this conference for UTCs will become a tradition in the southeast.

To view a complete gallery of images from the conference, click here.