The State Board of Higher Education voted on April 3, 2009 to approve the Oregon Institute of Technology’s proposal to offer a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) degree. The degree will emphasize course offerings in structural and transportation engineering. This greatly enhances opportunities for students and working professionals in southern Oregon. The offering represents OIT’s first graduate-level transportation degree and the ninth masters-level degree from the Consortium. OTREC will be an integral part of this new degree through a sharing of curricula among the member universities and through graduate student research opportunities. OTREC Associate Director Roger Lindgren has been appointed MSCE Program Director.
On Thursday, April 2, 2009, OTREC invited Olivia Clark (TriMet), Chris Hagerbaumer (Oregon Environmental Council) and Randy Tucker (Metro) to offer insights on the progress of transportation legislation in the 2009 session of the Oregon Legislature. The panelists noted that both substance and process are being heavily affected by the economic turmoil, including the stimulus packages. Some of the policy ideas that the panelists mentioned include: Least Cost Planning, increasing the minimum share of project costs to bike and pedestrian improvements, tolling authority for Multnomah County, creating a transportation utility commission, travel options programs, and, of course, various responses to revenue difficulties. Available online are the podcast and either streaming or downloadable webcast.
Dr. Levinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota and Director of the Networks, Economics and Urban Systems (NEXUS) research group. On Friday, April 3, 2009, Dr. Levinson presented his research on ìTransport, Land Use and Valueî for Portland State Universityís Transportation Seminar Series. Using Minneapolis and London as examples, Levinson discussed the feedback loops that enable value to be generated by development and transportation investments. Following the seminar, members of PSUís transportation student group, STEP, several faculty members as well as partners from Metro, TriMet and ODOT joined Dr. Levinson for lunch. The appearance was made possible by OTRECís Visiting Scholars Program. For more information on Levinson’s research, visit the NEXUS home page
The USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) released their March 2009 UTC Spotlight, featuring OTREC Livability related research, mostly focused on projects at the University of Oregon led by Marc Schlossberg, Nico Larco and Yizhao Yang. New Secretary of Transportation LaHood has specifically mentioned livability as one of his priorities so this is a very timely publication. OTREC looks forward to continuing to address critical transportation needs in sync with national priorities.
OTREC is pleased to announce that its Education and Technology Transfer Program Manager, Jon Makler, has been offered a 3-year term on the Transportation Research Board’s Technology Transfer Committee. The committee is concerned with information exchange and research on the processes and methods for technology transfer, and assisting the Transportation Research Board and other TRB committees in their role as an agent for technology transfer. Jon is also a member of the Regional Transportation System Management and Operations Committee and was previously a member of the Transportation & Air Quality Committee.
OTREC helped sponsor the 50th Annual Forum of the Transportation Research Forum, held in Portland, Oregon March 16-18, 2009. OTREC faculty partner B. Starr McMullen of Oregon State University served as conference chair and OTREC sponsored the Keynote Speaker Daniel McFadden, 2000 Nobel Prize recipient in Economics, who presented “Sociality, Rationality and the Ecology of Choice.” OTREC faculty member Miguel Figliozzi presented “A Study of Transportation Disruption Causes and Costs in Containerized Maritime Transportation,” director Robert Bertini presented “Can Sensors Be Used to Provide Accurate Travel Time Information?,” and chaired a session on “Transportation Measures: Which Ones and How Do We Measure Them?,” PSU student Meead Saberi presented “Evaluating the Factors Affecting Student Travel Mode Choice,” PSU student Alex Bigazzi presented a poster “Adding Sustainability Performance Measures to a Transportation Data Archive,” PSU Student Meead Saberi presented a poster “Does Weather Affect Traffic Flow on Freeways?,” Miguel Figliozzi presented a poster with Kristin Tufte, “Integration and Visualization Challenges and Opportunities for Online Freight Data Mapping,” and PSU student Wei Feng presented a poster “Characteristics of Transitions in Freeway Traffic.” Congratulations to Prof. McMullent, TRF and all participants for a successful conference!
Robin Chase, founder of ZipCar and CEO of GoLoco, traveled to Portland through OTREC’s Visiting Scholars Program. Her visit included meetings with ODOT staff about their vehicle mileage fee initiative. On Friday, March 13th, Ms. Chase presented PSU’s weekly Transportation Seminar. Her talk, entitled “How Sharing and Openness Should Play a Critical Role in Our Transportation Future,” related her experiences with car sharing to combating climate change. The webcast is available to stream, download or as an MP3. Following the seminar, OTREC sponsored a luncheon for Ms. Chase. The photo (by Dave Brook), shows (from left to right): Randy Knapick, John MacArthur, Robin Chase, Ed McNamara, Jim Whitty, Gail Achterman, George Beard, Gil Kelley, Jon Makler, Brodie Hylton.
University of Oregon’s Sara Schooley was selected as one of 20 Eno Fellows, who are recognized as the nation’s top graduate students in transportation. She will attend the Eno Leadership Development Conference in Washington, DC in May 2009, where she will get a first-hand look at how national transportation policies are developed. In addition, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) has recognized the Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Strategic Plan with its AICP Student Project Award for Contribution of Planning to a Contemporary Issue. The student team includes: Sarah Coates, Joy Gipson, Matt Peterson, Ray Neff, Ryan Ojerio, Andrea Sparks, and Tracy Rogan and was advised by Bethany Johnson, AICP and Robert Parker, AICP. Members of the team will receive the award at the American Planning Association’s Annual Meeting in April. OTREC applauds these students for their achievements. Congratulations!
OTREC’s Board of Advisors convened at Portland State University on Thursday, March 5th. The Board is composed of 18 members from all sectors, representing public, private, academic, and non-profit organizations. The agenda on March 5th included the Consortium’s progress in 2008, its prospects after SAFETEA-LU expires, and its role in supporting transportation professionals around the state. Shown in the picture (left to right and top to bottom): Dr. Robert Bertini, PSU; Bill Upton, Oregon Modeling Steering committee; Randy McCourt, DKS Associates; Neil MacFarlane, TriMet; Phil Ditzler, FHWA; Ruth Harshfield, Oregon Alliance for Community Traffic Safety; Susie Lahsene, Port of Portland; Lavinia Gordon, Portland Bureau of Transportation; Rob Inerfeld, City of Eugene; Mike Hoglund, Metro; Tom Schwetz, Lane Transit District.
LiveMove, the transportation student group at the University of Oregon co-sponsored Bicycle Appreciation Days in Eugene in late February. The weather was lousy but, as this video from the Daily Emerald shows, the students are doing a great job! OTREC is pleased to sponsor student groups on each of its four campuses.
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