Students to Receive Intelligent Transportation Grants

Two teams involving Civil & Environmental Engineering students have been approved to proceed with research projects of interest to the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of Connecticut. Both teams are advised by assistant professor Nicholas Lownes, Director of the Center for Transportation & Livable Systems.  Each team will receive $4,000 upon successfully completing their projects.

One aim of the ITS student grant program is to solve problems or complete ITS projects of interest to the Connecticut transportation community that may not otherwise be completed by a consultant or a public agency. Intelligent transportation systems encompass diverse technologies that can contribute to improved safety and mobility; reduced congestion, energy costs and environmental impacts; and enhanced economic productivity.

In announcing the competition, ITS of Connecticut identified five topic areas of particular interest: methods for informing the public of traffic conditions, performance assessment of traffic signal video detection systems, ways to combat distracted driving, assessment of digital video cameras for traffic management, and assessment of adaptive signal control technologies and equipment.

The two teams and their projects are summarized below:

  • A team comprising Civil Engineering undergraduates Yasser De Jesus and Corey Hollmann, joined by doctoral student Ashrafur Rahman, will
    explore adaptive signal control technology (ASCT). ASCT captures information concerning prevailing traffic conditions and traffic demand, and applies this data to coordinate smart traffic signal networks. Noting that fewer than three dozen ASCT devices have been deployed nationwide – due to high cost, design complications and maintenance requirements – the team intends to investigate different ASCT design approaches and what has prevented widespread implementation.
  • A multidisciplinary team of Civil Engineering graduate students Qixing Wang (corresponding) and Alexandria Byrd, joined by Computer Science & Engineering graduate students Sherif Tolba and Lance Fiondella, will develop a decision support system to estimate the impact of winter weather conditions on road network vulnerability. The system will be used to prioritize winter road maintenance services, enabling more effective and economical use of resources.

Commenting on the teams’ successes, Dr. Lownes remarked, “The ITS student grant competition is an excellent way for students to explore extensions of their work in self-directed research and to interact with leading professionals around the state through the involvement of the ITS-CT board of directors.  It is a great opportunity – I’m proud of our students for this recognition and am sure they will produce quality work as a result.”

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