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Staff and students present at Transportation Research Board annual meeting

Staff and students from NDSU’s Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute attended and presented at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C., Jan. 12-16.

The meeting covered all modes of transportation with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 800 sessions and workshops. The institute attendees were among the nearly 14,000 scholars, professionals, practitioners, students and policy makers from around the world who attended.

UGPTI staff and students who presented research at the meeting included:

• Bhavana Bhardwaj, Pan Lu, Raj Bridgelall and Neeraj Dhingra presented “Signal feature extraction and combination to enhance the detection and localization of railroad track irregularities.” Bridgelall is director of the Center for Surface Mobility Applications and Real-Time Simulation Environments, Lu is a researcher with UGPTI, and Bhardwaj and Dhingra are NDSU transportation and logistics doctoral students.

• Bridgelall presented a poster, “Autonomous Vehicle Impacts on Traffic: Model Contrast for Two Cities.” Derek Hungness of SRF Consulting Group was a co-presenter.

• Lu moderated a keynote presentation at the annual International Association of Chinese Infrastructure Professionals Workshop during the annual meeting. The keynote, “Empowering and Rejuvenating the Civil Engineering Profession with Informatics, Automation and Actuation,” was presented by Genda Chen, professor of civil engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

• Ranjit Godavarthy, UGPTI researcher, presented “Opportunities for State DOTs to encourage Shared Use Mobility Practices in Rural Areas” to two standing Transportation Research Board committees – the Committee on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation and the Committee on Emerging and Innovative Public Transportation and Technologies.

• Dale Heglund, director of the North Dakota Technical Assistance Program, presented “Development of a New Daytime Process for the Evaluation of Sign Retroreflectivity.”

• Jill Hough, director of the Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility, presented “Mobility Services and Needs of North Dakota’s Transit System to provide for North Dakota Residents” as part of a panel titled “Rural Transportation for Everyone: Policy and Practice in 2020.” She also served as one of several facilitators who guided small group discussion on how equity can be addressed in a variety of transportation issues and modes.

• Ihsan Khan, transportation and logistics doctoral student, presented “Survival Analysis of the North Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program to Predict Recidivism” as a poster. NDSU mathematics doctoral student Shantanu Awasthi, NDSU transportation and logistics doctoral student Yun Zhou and NDSU assistant professor of statistics Bong-Jin Choi were co-authors of the study along with UGPTI researchers Kim Vachal and Seguy Tchakounte-Wakem.

• Jeremy Mattson, UGPTI researcher, presented “Relationships between Land Use, Transit, and Household Expenditures in Small Urban Areas.”

• Elvis Ndembe, UGPTI researcher, presented “U.S. Ethanol: Evolving Supply Chain and Rail-Truck Competition.”

• Denver Tolliver, UGPTI Director, and Pan Lu, UGPTI researcher, presented “Forecasting railroad fuel consumption by train type.”

• Kim Vachal, director of the Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center, presided over the “Occupant Protection in Rural Communities” session. Vachal also presented a poster, “Promoting Youth Occupant Restraint Based on Need.” In addition, Vachal presented “Assessing Administrative Record Systems for Use in Impaired Driving Prevention Programs” at a poster session.

Other institute staff who attended included: Joy Annette, Jody Bohn Baldock, Alan Dybing, Brenda Lantz, Diomo Motuba, Kshitij Sharma, and Seguy Tchakounte-Wakem. Transportation and logistics doctoral student Yihao Ren also attended.

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