Nov 30, 2012

PSU’s Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP) hosted the 10th Annual Region X Conference on November 16, and it was the most widely-attended Region X event in recent memory.  With participating universities including Oregon State University, Cal Poly Pomona, University of Oregon, University of Utah, University of Washington and Washington State University, the more than 100 registrants “really surprised” STEP President S. R. Thompson. “The turnout was high compared to previous years.” This is likely in part due to the first-time participation of the two Washington schools.

This year’s conference featured student research presentations and a poster session, as well as three afternoon breakout sessions that offered tours of effective transportation engineering examples in the Portland Metro area. Thompson reports a unanimously positive response to the breakout sessions from those tour participants who followed up with her after the conference adjourned.

The conference’s morning keynote was also popular and garnered plenty of student participation in the discussion that followed. “We did things a little differently for the keynote presentation this year,” Thompson said. The presentation featured a panel of notable transportation professionals from the Portland area who each discussed their respective entries into the transportation field as well as the joys and challenges of the work.

"We were lucky in terms of our panel...

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Nov 30, 2012

While the annual Region X Student Transportation Conference in November always attracts students from across the northwest, this year’s conference pulled some from much farther south: Pomona, Calif.

The conference is a showcase for student transportation research in the Pacific Northwest (Federal Region X), which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Region X serves as a microcosm of transportation for the entire country, making it a prime testing ground for studies in transportation operations and planning.

The conference was sponsored by OTREC and hosted this year by Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), the Portland State University Student Chapter of ITE.

When professor Xudong Jia of Cal Poly Pomona learned about the conference, he was determined that his students would find a way to attend. With the support of OTREC, Cal Poly Pomona sent five students to the conference, a mix of undergraduate and graduate students in civil and transportation engineering.  The students were interested in both the research and tours, as well as gleaning tips for how to organize a student-led conference: something the Cal Poly students will be doing when they host the TransModal Connection Conference in February in San Louis Obispo.

In addition to visiting the Western Federal Lands Materials lab in Vancouver, Wash., the team competed in the Oregon Section ITE William C. Kloos Traffic Bowl. Though a transportation mishap left them...

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Nov 30, 2011

In town to network and share research results, participants in the Region X Student Transportation Conference also saw the inner workings of the transportation system and even got to stop Portland traffic. 

The ninth annual conference drew around 75 people to Portland November 18. The conference showcases student transportation research in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska and is entirely organized and run by students.

This year, the conference also featured breakout sessions and tours with working transportation professionals. Groups visited the Oregon Department of Transportation Region I incident management command center, dug into city of Portland traffic signal systems and operations, toured the city’s bicycle infrastructure and explored the mechanics of Portland’s drawbridges in detail with three bridge lifts.

Portland State University’s student group, Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning, or STEP, hosted the conference, which was sponsored by OTREC. The conference provides plenty of formal and informal opportunities for students working at different universities to inform each other, said Kristi Currans, an organizer with STEP.

“My favorite part is just having all the students get together and find out all the research everyone is doing,” Currans said. “Even within Portland State, if people are working for different professors, I might not know what they’re working on.”

The conference drew students from Portland State...

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Feb 23, 2011

The 8th Annual Region X Student Conference was hosted by Oregon State University in Corvallis on Friday and 70 students attended. Conference organizer Jon Mueller said that a surprising number of students from the materials science and economics departments attended and that a significant number of undergraduates from OSU attended parts of the conference.

The conference featured a morning keynote presentation by Galen McGill, manager of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) unit for the Oregon DOT. The students learned about Oregon’s efforts to confront the challenge of scarce financial resources by applying technology to increase the productivity of existing infrastructure. Galen touched on recent advances in technologies such as OnStar and strategies such as Active Traffic Management, which has been adopted in Seattle and will soon be deployed in Oregon.

The late morning and early afternoon showcased student research. Eight students gave lecture-style presentations in the late morning and there was so much interest and so many questions that the session ran late and into the scheduled lunch hour. The presentations – four from PSU and four from OSU – revealed similar research interests between the campuses. The poster session in the afternoon provided a less structured forum in which the participants could interact.

The later afternoon offered students 3 workshops to attend. The group was divided into three subsets, each workshop was...

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Nov 15, 2007

Over 60 students from eight universities around the northwest visited PSU on November 16 to participate in a transportation research conference organized by and for students. Following a welcome breakfast, a panel consisting of representatives from TriMet, CH2M Hill, Port of Portland and Kittelson & Associates discussed “big picture” transportation issues with students. Ten students gave presentations about research or practice, and many of the students presented posters. The conference concluded with a keynote address from Professor Brian Taylor from UCLA on the topic of “Rethinking Congestion.” Many of the students who arrived the evening before also participated in the Oregon Section ITE Traffic Bowl at McMenamins Edgefield. Thank you to graduate student Oren Eshel, who led the conference organization and did an outstanding job.

May 14, 2007

Prof. Bertini and Hau Hagedorn attended the Northwest Universities Transportation Consortium (Region X) May meeting in Moscow, ID. Region X meetings include representatives from UTCs and state transportation departments in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Participants discuss regional collaboration for transportation research and education efforts. On the agenda was the creation a pooled-fund research study, for which a regional RFP would be issued each year. DOTs would identify the research needs. Education initiatives were also topics, including possible creation of a pilot distance education course that could be offered and coordinated between the Region X universities.

Jan 14, 2007

Prof. Robert Bertini has joined the Transportation Northwest (TransNow) Advisory Committee, effective January 2007. TransNow is the Region X University Transportation Center, established in 1988 as one of the original 10 regional UTCs administered by the USDOT. Bertini has served as a PI on several past TransNow projects, has provided peer reviews on previous TransNow proposals and final reports, and also works with TransNow as a partner in the Northwest University Transportation Consortium.