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Georgia Transportation Institute University Transportation Center 2011 Annual Report

Contents GTI/UTC Staff Dr. Michael Meyer Director

Statement from the Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Management Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Revenues and Expenditures for the GTI/UTC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Dr. Michael Hunter Deputy Director

Best Practices in Performance Measures and Standards for Effective Asset Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Dr. Laurie Garrow Associate Director, Research

The Impacts of Regional Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Taxes on County Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Susan Sumners Administrative Manager

Trucking in Georgia: Freight Performance Measures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Work Zone Technology Test Bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Sarah Banick Editor

GTI/UTC Seminar Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Brett Lorber Graphic Designer

Local High School Students Rule the Air! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

MARTA Interns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Christina Barry Selected for GDOT Transportation Program . . . . . . . . . . . 13 National Science Foundation Fellowships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Graduate Research Fellowships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Eisenhower Graduate Research Fellowships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Georgia Institute of Technology School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 790 Atlantic Drive Atlanta, GA 30332-0355 Phone: 404.894.0418 Fax: 404.894.5418 E-mail:

Eno Leadership Development Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Airport Cooperative Research Program Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 American Public Transit Association Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 National Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

This publication was produced by Georgia Tech, a member of GTI/UTC

Statement from Dr. Michael Meyer, Director of GTI/UTC This is the fourth annual report produced by the Georgia Transportation Institute/University Transportation Center (GTI/ UTC), and one that occurs amidst great uncertainty about the future of transportation research in the country. For many years, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) has adminisDr. Michael Meyer tered the university transportation centers program that has provided the nation with important research products, technology transfer, and new entrants into the transportation industry. In one of the most significant changes since the program began, all university transportation centers are being re-competed, with the number of centers being reduced from 67 to 22. Needless to say, this is going to cause hardship to some and opportunities for others. Our response has been to expand our horizons beyond the state of Georgia and explore exciting partnerships with other transportation research centers that complement our own expertise and capabilities. The GTI/UTC is partnering with several universities in developing a multi-state transportation center that will focus on several critical transportation issues of national importance. In talking with our colleagues at these other universities, I am impressed with the combined research, technology transfer, and educational resources available to the partner institutions. The proposed center will have ties to nationally recognized centers of excellence. State-of-the-art transportation research facilities will be available to conduct studies on a wide range of issues and topics.

The 2011 annual report provides an update on this year’s activities in research, technology transfer, and education/professional development. Once again it has been a very productive and exciting year for the GTI/UTC. We have expanded our research program with new projects being selected and supported primarily by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). We received funding from the Woodruff Foundation to support our efforts at enhancing the impact of the center’s work nationally. Our students continue to be recognized with prestigious scholarships and awards. The GTI/UTC faculty has had a very productive year with presentations at international and national conferences, and important articles and books published on a wide range of topics. We also welcomed Dr. Kari Watkins to the faculty in civil engineering at Georgia Tech. As an expert in wireless technology applications to transportation services, she will provide important contributions to our expanding research program in innovative technology. It is important for the GTI/UTC transportation research community to acknowledge and thank GDOT for its continued support of the center’s efforts. The university-state DOT relationship is not very strong in many states. I believe that Georgia has one of the strongest university-state DOT relationships in the country, in large part due to the willingness of GDOT leaders and staff to work closely with our researchers and students in providing the research opportunities that are so essential for continued success. We look forward to our continued interaction in the years ahead.

2011 Annual Report


Management Structure

The GTI/UTC is organized as shown below. An advisory board consisting of government, industry, and academic representatives provides overall guidance to the center management team. A steering committee consisting of representatives of the member universities provides management oversight of center activities. A research subcommittee has also been established to guide the project selection and management of the center’s research program.

Advisory Board: Chair, Keith Golden, Interim Commissioner, Georgia Department of Transportation Jannine Miller, Executive Director, GRTA Rodney Barry, FHWA, Georgia Division Deb Butler, Norfolk Southern, Inc. Jane Hayse, Atlanta Regional Commission Ed Ellis, Kimley-Horn, Inc. Dr. Patrick McCarthy, School of Economics, Georgia Tech

Chuck Meadows, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Dr. Beverly Scott, General Manager/CEO, MARTA Dr. David Sjoquist, Georgia State University Doug Stoner, State Senator, Georgia Senate Dr. Yvette Taylor, FTA Region IV

Director: Dr. Michael D. Meyer Deputy Director: Dr. Michael Hunter Associate Director of Research: Dr. Laurie Garrow

Assistant: Susan Sumners

Steering Committee Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia State University

University of Georgia

Dr. Catherine Ross

Dr. Ted Poister

Dr. Ron Sawhill

Georgia Southern Southern Polytechnic University and State University Dr. Robert Cook

Dr. Thomas Currin

GTI/UTC Researchers and Scholars



Albany State University Vacant

Revenues and Expenditures for the GTI/UTC

Georgia Tech and the GTI/UTC spent more than $6 million in transportation-related research expenditures in FY 2011. The charts below indicate the relative contribution to just GTI/UTC research and education activities, a subset of the overall transportation and logistics research program. It is the primary goal of the GTI/UTC to support as much research as possible under its management structure. The expenditures indicated below represent reseach support for graduate and undergraduate students.







GDOT Universities Other (e.g. Foundations) Other (e.g. Government Agencies) 48%




Research Education / Professional Development Administration / Tech Transfer


2011 Annual Report


Best Practices in Performance Measures and Standards for Effective Asset Management

Photo courtesy of Bill Ruhsam.

Georgia Department of Transportation formally adopted Transportation Asset Management in 2009 to optimize infrastructure investment by applying program resource allocation and asset preservation techniques. Subsequently, Asset Management has been adopted as a core business process of GDOT, intended to serve as the basis for decision making throughout the agency. Recent developments in the Transportation Asset Management (TAM) program at GDOT include linking strategic goals with asset management, adoption of risk-based performance targets and factors for resource allocation, and development of performance metrics to manage performance. Performance measures are defined as indicators of system effectiveness and efficiency. Asset management is the management, financial, economic, engineering, and other practices applied to physical assets to provide the required level of service in the most cost effective manner. TAM and performance management are evolving practices; applications and best practices in these fields will continue to expand and improve systematically. This study focuses on outlining best practices for selecting performance measures and targets, and implementing performance management. The study was conducted through a literature review, a survey of the 50 states for common and best practices, an internal review of GDOT’s present TAM capabilities, performance measurement; and management procedures; a review of risk applications in TAM, and a case study demonstrating how uncertainty can be incorporated in project prioritization to enhance outcomes. Findings show that performance measurement alone is incomplete for effective TAM. Performance metrics must be applied in resource allocation decision making to help agencies achieve strategic goals. Agencies with effective TAMs will have fewer, clearer strategic goals, linked with


performance measures (including outcome measures) for which metrics are developed and used in resource allocation decisions. Performance management is an evolving practice, and agencies are at different levels in measuring and managing performance: • First-Generation or “Traditional” agencies (with large number of measures, not strategically aligned) • Second-Generation or “Hierarchy of Measurement” agencies (with many measures tracking system performance and organizational process improvement for a specific program and project decision-making purposes; but not usually linked meaningfully to other agency processes) • Third-Generation or “Catalyst-Driven” agencies (those using lessons learned to refine practices and have the flexibility to retool and adapt an established system in response to changing agency priorities and external pressures) Communicating performance to external stakeholders and those within the agency is critical for achieving strategic objectives. Recommendations include performance benchmarking against other state DOTs; linking performance metrics with resource allocation decision making and developing data and analytical capabilities for evaluating tradeoffs; refining metrics for use in broader agency functions (e.g., planning and management, operations, and design/management); refining performance reports to be more effective communication tools, and; addressing uncertainties in performance management. This research is led by GTI/UTC researchers Drs. Adjo Amekudzi and Michael Meyer.


The Impacts of Regional Special-Purpose LocalOption Sales Taxes on County Infrastructure

Photo courtesy of Timothy Rezendes.

In response to issues of limited transportation funding and a need to address transportation problems and solutions from a regional perspective, the state of Georgia is proposing one percent regional Special-Purpose LocalOption Sales Taxes (SPLOSTs), which create 12 Special Tax Districts and affect all 159 Georgia counties. This research provides information on the challenges and strategies that other regional initiatives have faced and utilized in gauging voter support for such tax initiatives, implications for the relationship among existing county SPLOSTs and the proposed regional SPLOSTs, and strategies for successful implementation. The research identifies multi-jurisdictional initiatives for transportation sales taxes across the country in order to derive possible impacts of regional transportation sales taxes on the ability of individual counties to provide county-specific sales taxes for transportation. Case studies present voter approval of county-specific transportation sales tax initiatives occurring while a previous regional sales tax was in place, or vice versa. The Multilevel model and the Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) model are employed to identify major

factors associated with the success of Georgia SPLOSTs. The models are run separately by purpose of the SPLOST; including transportation only, education only, capital outlay projects only, and multi-purposes for transportation projects and other capital outlay projects. Each special tax district is examined using the SPLOST data to analyze which districts and counties are historically supportive of SPLOSTs and for what purpose. The results show that the new regional SPLOSTs may bring a minimal or no negative effect on county level transportation projects, because some portions of the proceeds from the regional SPLOSTs will be earmarked for local transportation projects. However, the regional SPLOSTs that propose only transportation projects may result in negative outcomes for new initiatives of other capital outlay projects at the local level, particularly when education SPLOSTs and the regional SPLOSTs are active in the same county. This implies that the competition and support vary based on the purpose of the SPLOST and are more critical than those between county-specific and regional SPLOSTs. This research is led by GTI/UTC researcher Dr. Catherine Ross.

2011 Annual Report


Trucking in Georgia: Freight Performance Measures

Photo courtesy of Stephen Berend.

This is a review of the recent literature on the development of truck freight performance measures; specifically, measures that can assist the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) assess and track the progress each year of how well the state’s freight highways support trucking movements within the state. Project activities were based on the following four step exploratory process: Task 1: Review the latest information on truck freight performance metrics Task 2: Assess the availability and quality of existing data sources Task 3: Generate example truck performance metrics from existing data sources

The following seven categories of performance measurement were discussed:

Task 4: Document findings, including identification of promising new data sources for use in performance measurement An efficient trucking sector is essential to Georgia’s economic prosperity. The recent and projected growth in long haul truck miles of travel will place a growing burden on the state’s highways, in terms of pavement maintenance and repair costs and congestion-induced traffic delays. Such delays can prove costly to the trucking companies, as well as to the companies that ship and the customers who receive the goods they are carrying. Planning effectively for such trucking activity requires measurement and tracking of current and


future system performance. Measuring transportation system performance on a periodic basis offers two important benefits to planners and policy makers. First, it provides quantitative evidence of how well the system is performing, and whether travel conditions have been improving or getting worse over time. Second, it offers useful benchmarks against which the success of the transportation planning process can be assessed, and possibly re-directed, where a particular trajectory needs adjustment. The performance measures reviewed support a quantitative analysis of long-haul truck freight movements within the state and are specifically meant for assessments of the performance of high volume truck freight highway (principally Interstate) corridors.

1. Network Supply 2. Travel Times 3. Travel Safety 4. Energy Security 5. Mobile Source Emissions 6. Monetary Travel Costs 7. Regional Accessibility This research is led by GTI/UTC researcher Dr. Frank Southworth and graduate student Jessica Gillett.


Work Zone Technology Test Bed

Photo courtesy of Flickr member cobalt123.

Work zones are a major source of non-recurrent congestion. Real-time information regarding travel time and delays in and around work zones is a critical component of Traveler Information Systems. For years, the Georgia NaviGAtor system has provided traffic information to commuters. With the advancement of 511 traffic information systems, the demand on the Traffic Management Center to provide more detailed and accurate information regarding freeway work zone travel times is increasing and services will likely be expanded to cover major arterials. The accuracy of travel time information in work zones is heavily dependent on: 1) The precision and accuracy of detection equipment. 2) Deployment configuration, including number of detectors, location, and layout of detectors, etc. 3) Equipment calibration and calibration stability. 4) Detector robustness in terms of accuracy degradation under different weather conditions (e.g. fog or rain) or location challenges (e.g. placing a detector at a distance or near objects that may interfere with detector signals). Commercially-available detection and communications systems are numerous. Systems are typically expensive, and manufacturer claims of accuracy and robustness are often not independently confirmed. Establishing a test bed to evaluate detector and data communications systems will

help inform Georgia’s equipment selection decisions and provide for efficient use of scarce resources. This project will create an arterial work zone test bed where ITS technologies can be deployed and tested. The team will select and test a variety of vehicle detection, vehicle monitoring, and data communication systems for the purposes of monitoring real-time work zone travel times and delivering the data to the traveling public. During the field testing, the team will evaluate the accuracy, precision, and robustness of the various technologies selected for deployment. The team will create a series of white papers that quantify the accuracy and performance characteristics of the systems tested, including ease of deployment, deployment costs, equipment limitations, and potential issues that may arise in more widespread use of the technologies to monitor work zone travel times throughout Georgia. Based upon statistical analyses of field testing results, the team will recommend technologies for further experiments and/or implementation in active freeway and arterial work zones. Once the test bed is operational, field testing can become a routine component of technology evaluation. The test bed, deployment testing framework, and unbiased equipment recommendations can help the Georgia Department of Transportation select the best equipment for work zone deployments. This research is led by GTI/UTC researchers Drs. Randall Guensler, Michael Hunter, Jochen Teizer, Angshuman Guin, and Wonho Suh.

2011 Annual Report


GTI/UTC Seminar Speakers Juan Carlos Munoz Abogabir

Peter Appel

Associate Professor Pontificia Universidad Cat贸lica de Chile

Administrator Research and Innovative Technology Administration U.S. Department of Transportation

What Services Should You Operate in a Bus Corridor?

Driver Safety Behavior

February 25, 2011

March 16, 2011

Robert Bertini

David Boyce

Deputy Administrator Research and Innovative Technology Administration

Adjunct Professor Northwestern University Unique User-equilibrium Road Traffic Flows for Two User Classes

Transforming Transportation Through Connectivity

October 29, 2010

November 23, 2010

Laetitia Dablanc

Gary McVoy

Senior Researcher French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (IFSTTAR, ex INRETS)

New York Department of Transportation Director Operations Division

Smart Policies for Urban Freight January 21, 2011

September 2, 2010

Anthony Perl

Lucio Soibelman

Professor and Director Simon Fraser University Urban Studies Program

Professor Carnegie Mellon University

Planning for Post-Carbon Mobility: How to Make the Most of Coming Transport Revolutions

Data Management, Visualization and Knowledge Discovery for Advanced Infrastructure Systems

December 10, 2010

September 17, 2010

Ardalan Vahidi

Seth Young

Assistant Professor Clemson University

Associate Professor Department of Aviation, The Ohio State University

Predictive Energy Management in Networked Vehicles: Exploring Traffic and Terrain Preview for Fuel Savings September 24, 2010


Sustainability, Transportation, and Perspective

On the Forefront of a New Generation of Aviation System Performance May 13, 2011


MARTA Interns

(L-R): Phillip Cherry, Matt Crane, Chris Silveira, Jean-Pierre Bourget GTI/UTC and the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority (MARTA) are continuing the summer intern program, now in its fourth year. The program, designed to attract new talent to the transit industry, gives students the opportunity to work closely with MARTA staff on the real issues that transit agencies face today. The 2011 interns are: Phillip Cherry is a second-year master’s student in the Georgia Tech transportation program. Cherry is working on the Atlanta Streetcar Project (, designed to facilitate economic development and connect downtown tourist attractions. Cherry is a graduate research assistant at Georgia Tech and has completed internships with Kimley-Horn Associates and HNTB Corporation. Originally from Dallas, Cherry earned his bachelor’s in civil engineering at Purdue University. Matt Crane, a first-year master’s student in Georgia Tech’s civil engineering program, is also a part of the Atlanta Streetcar Project and may work on the 2012 transportation referendum. A co-op student, Crane has interned with Lusk & Associates and Southern Company. He is an Eagle Scout and has received the Mundy and Toyota scholarships.

Chris Silveira is a second-year master’s student at Georgia Tech, earning two MS degrees: City and Regional Planning, Transportation; and Civil Engineering, Transportation. Silveira is assigned to the Special Projects & Analysis division of the Office of Transit System Planning on bus stop management projects, and he also assists with GIS mapping and data analysis. Silveira earned his bachelor’s in history and geography at The College of William & Mary. Jean-Pierre Bourget is a rising senior at the University of Georgia. He is majoring in sociology, but plans to go to graduate school to obtain a degree in urban planning. Bourget works with the office of Transit Oriented Development, which focuses on developing livable transit-oriented communities on properties owned by MARTA, including Lindberg Center Station, as well as the Clifton Corridor, and the 1-20 East project. According to Dr. Michael Meyer, director of the GTI/UTC, “our continuing partnership with MARTA represents a win-win situation for MARTA, the UTC and most importantly our students.”

2011 Annual Report


Building Engineering Local High School Students Achievem A Traffic Rule the Air! Engineering Program

The students of the Rule the Air! Summer Camp at the Delta Air Transit Heritage Museum.

Thirteen high school students learned how to reach for the stars – or at least the friendly skies – at the 2011 Rule the Air! Summer Camp.

sengers. With this new information in mind, each student designs a logo for his or her airline and establishes a frequent flyer program.

The one-week camp let participants compete against other would-be CEOs in charge of their own complete simulated airline, managing air craft, selecting routes, scheduling flights, and other specific details. Camp participants make real-time decisions using software provided by the airline industry. Known as AIRLINE Online and produced by Simulate! Pty, it runs on a high fidelity realistic simulation platform.

Camp participants took two field trips to learn more about the aviation industry. First, they visited Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and were taken on a tour “backstage.” The second trip was to the Delta Air Transit Heritage Museum, which chronicles Delta Air Line’s story from its early days in crop dusting through earning its wings as one of the largest airlines in the world.

“The main focus is around the simulation software,” says doctoral candidate Brittany Luken, who directed the camp with help from CEISMC and other graduate students. “The idea is the student will create and make business and operation decisions for their own airline. They decide everything, from the aircraft they lease or purchase to where and when they are flying and maintaining the aircraft, to setting the fares.” The dynamic environment lets students compete with each other for the highest profits or highest liquidated value. The participants don’t spend all day working at the computer. They are taught the physics of flight, probability, and gravity; as well as the business end of aviation, including finance, fleet management, marketing and advertising, and how airlines manage the science of booking pas-


On the last day of camp, parents were invited to see the results of the students’ hard work. Parents also participated with the students in a game of Jeopardy!, and learned how to craft paper airplanes. Funding for the 2011 camp came from associate professor Laurie Garrow’s CAREER award, sponsored by NSF. Funding for last year’s camp was part of a Garrett A. Morgan grant from the Federal Highway Administration awarded to Fulton County School District, CEISMC, and CEE. UTC staff would like to acknowledge the many individuals who assisted with this year’s Rule the Air! program: Lauren Jones, Chris Cappelli, Susan Hotle, Dr. Tom Kieker, Margaret-Avis Akofio-Sowah, Stefanie Brody, Moniqua Williams, Ana Eisenman, Elise Barella, JP O’Har, Alex Khelifa, Greg Macfarlane, Dwayne Henclewood, and Simulate! Pty. Ltd.


ment through Transportation: m for High School Students Several UTC students have won state-level awards this past year. Congratulations to all of our winners! Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers McGee Scholarship (ASHE) Phillip Cherry Greg Macfarlane

Georgia Chapter of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) Aaron Greenwood Katie Smith Chris Toth

Georgia Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Susan Hotle Chris Rome Adam Rosbury Stephanie Box

Georgia Chapter of the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Elise Barrella Susan Hotle

Christina Barry Selected for GDOT Transportation Program Christina Barry is the 2011 recipient of the Transportation Engineers of the Future scholarship. This scholarship, funded by area transportation professionals and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), is the equivalent to a graduate research assistant, offered to Georgia Tech students pursuing a master’s degree in Transportation. Barry completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering this spring. She originally sought a degree in bassoon performance at Carnegie Mellon University but when she discovered she had an interest in civil engineering, decided to switch majors and transfer to Georgia Tech.

While an undergraduate, Barry interned with the Federal Highway Administration in Alabama and with the Eastern Federal Lands Highway division. She earned Dean’s List and Faculty Honors. She was the president of Chi Epsilon for the 2010-2011 school year and was also member of the CEE student advisory council. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has earned her EIT. She still pursues her love of music as a member of the First Baptist Atlanta Sanctuary Orchestra. Barry looks forward to working with GDOT upon completion of her master’s, a requirement of the scholarship. The Transportation Engineers of the Future scholarship is open to students interested in structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering and planning, finance, public policy, and construction engineering. Recipients agree to work a minimum of three years for the GDOT.

2011 Annual Report


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships GTI/UTC is pleased to announce that two of our graduate students have been awarded 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. Josephine "Josie" Kressner and Susan Hotle are among the 2,000 national awardees recently honored by NSF. Jamie Fischer and Greg Macfarlane received Honorable Mentions. NSF Graduate Research Fellowships provide three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based masters or doctoral degrees. They are intended for students in the early stages of their graduate study. The

Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) invests in graduate education for a cadre of diverse individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of NSF. The National Science Foundation GRFP helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in the United States and abroad.

Josie Kressner has completed her second-year as a doctoral student. Her research leverages existing, disaggregate data sources that are not typically used in a planning context to improve residential location choice models. This research is investigating the use of credit-reporting data and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dyanamics (LEHD) data in combination with the American Community Survey (ACS) to test the application of lifestyle segmentation variables, retrospective data, and the workplace location decision in relation to residential location. She received a President’s Fellowship from Georgia Tech, an Airport Cooperative Research Fellowship, an $11,500 Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship (see below), and she was recently named the 2011 recipient of the WTS International President’s Legacy Scholarship, which recognizes women who demonstrate leadership in the transportation industry and a commitment to community service. Kressner was recognized for her work in co-founding Revive Atlanta (, a non-profit organization created to convert underutilized properties into community assets, such as parks, edible community gardens, and playgrounds. Through her research into the people and neighborhoods of Atlanta, Kressner seeks to make a lasting, positive impact on the quality of life for everyone in Atlanta. Susan Hotle conducted research under the advisement of Dr. Laurie Garrow, and she is now planning her graduate studies. As an undergraduate, she helped develop teaching modules based on airline planning software; these modules have been used in Georgia Tech’s Freight and Airports course, a high school summer camp on simulations, and high school math classes in Georgia. Hotle is interested in researching the effects of product debundling in the airline industry. She recently submitted a journal article on the topic. Hotle is an Engineer-in-Training, and recipient of the Women in Transportation’s Sharon D. Banks Undergraduate Scholarship, the Mundy Travel Scholarship, Institute of Transportation Engineers Scholarship, and President’s Undergraduate Research Award. With the Mundy Travel Scholarship, she traveled to Egypt and Dubai to study transportation systems in the Middle East. She also earned a partial Eisenhower Fellowship. She is interested in using simulation methods to study air passenger behavior as part of her graduate studies.



Eisenhower Graduate Research Fellowships It was a banner year for GTI/UTC students, who set a record in 2011 for the number of Dwight David Eisenhower Fellowship Program awards received. In addition to doctoral candidates Tom Wall and Greg Macfarlane, who earned multi-year fellowships, another six students were given travel awards to attend the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. Georgia Tech has never received more than six awards in a given year. Travel award winners are Josephine Kressner, Brittany Luken, John Patrick O’Har, Brent Weigel, Aaron Greenwood, and Susan Hotle.

This represents two new records for Georgia Tech. This is the first year that Georgia Tech has received two full Eisenhower awards. It is also the largest number of Eisenhower awards Georgia Tech has ever received in a single year (the previous record was six awards). The Eisenhower Fellowship recruits qualified students to study transportation workforce development in all modes of transportation and promotes innovation of the US transportation community. The program is administered by the Federal Highway Administration for the US Department of Transportation.

Thomas Wall is a doctoral student in transportation systems engineering at Georgia Tech. Originally from Seattle, Washington, he holds an Honors B.S. in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech. Wall’s current research involves the development of risk-based policy and planning strategies in order to prioritize transportation infrastructure for adaptation to the likely impacts of climate change. His goal is to develop an analysis tool that can be used by transportation agencies and infrastructure managers to enable more efficient strategic investment in local, regional, and national transportation infrastructure. Wall is actively involved with the Georgia Tech chapters of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). For the past two summers, he has teamed with a local high school, helping to develop transportation modules for an introductory engineering class. He has also mentored high school students in a college engineering summer immersion program. For the 2010-2011 academic year, Wall was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship by the US State Department to study transportation and infrastructure adaptation strategies currently under development in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Gregory Macfarlane is finishing his first-year as a doctoral student in the Transportation Systems Engineering section of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He came to Atlanta and Georgia Tech from a job at the Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City. He and his wife, Leslie, are both Utah natives and alumni of Brigham Young University. He became interested in transportation networks during his missionary work overseas. He observed how the adequacy of transportation networks in Southeast Asia directly impacts the quality of people’s lives. Singaporeans use their efficient transit and highways systems to access jobs, get to school, and most importantly, get home to their families. He also saw the social cost incurred by families in Sri Lanka and poorer Malaysian cities who could not quickly or safely return home from work because the universal need for a safe and efficient transportation system had not been met. Macfarlane’s research at Georgia Tech is focused on the applications that confidential data records, such as those produced by government agencies or private companies, may have in transportation planning activities. He seeks ways to use previously existing data to reduce the costs of regional transportation surveys. His other academic interests include automobile ownership patterns and policies, travel demand modeling, and transportation planning policy. He plans to become a professor so that he can continue to improve the transportation field and can share his passion with a new generation of engineers.

2011 Annual Report


Eno Leadership Development Conference

Three GTI/UTC students recently participated in the 2011 Eno Leadership Conference. Elise Barrella and Donny Katz, doctoral students in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Brittany Luken, a joint degree student in Civil Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering. Elise Barrella was selected as the PB/WTS nomination through a national competition. Donny Katz, in addition to being named an Eno Fellow, was honored with one of four Eno fellowship distinction awards, namely the Dr. Thomas D.

Larson Fellowship. All three students attended the one week conference in Washington, D.C. This meeting introduces students to the intricacies of policy development in transportation and allows students to meet some of the nation’s transportation leaders. GTI/UTC has a long history of sending students to the leadership conference, and has several faculty members who are alumni of this program. Dr. Michael Meyer serves as chair of the Eno Board of Regents. The GTI/UTC subsidized half of the costs associated with Katz’s and Luken’s participation in the conference.

(L-R): Brittany Luken, Donald Katz, Elise Barrella



Brittany Luken is a doctoral candidate in Georgia Tech’s Transportation Systems group. Her research efforts are focused on investigating how online airline pricing and seat map information can be used to develop multi-airport choice models. She is the recipient of a $10,000 Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Graduate Research Fellowship, for which she completed a paper analyzing airport catchment areas; the recipient of a Georgia Department of Transportation and Gordon W. Schultz Graduate Fellowship, and past recipient of the National Science Foundation Fellowship. Luken is heavily involved in educational outreach. She has developed activities to introduce seventh and eighth grade girls to Transportation Engineering during the Technology, Engineering, and Computing Girl’s Camp. She has participated in Scout Day at the Fernbank Museum, where she taught elementary-school age Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts about science. She has also mentored a number of undergraduate students at Georgia Tech. Donald Katz is a second-year doctoral student in civil engineering, performing research on domestic and international airline networks and airport systems. His master’s thesis focused on the role airports and airlines play in connecting mega regions and the urban agglomerations that arise as metropolitan regions grow and blend borders, both internally and between one another. Before arriving at Georgia Tech, Katz spent one year on a Fulbright Scholarship in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He developed a research project to study the effects of overcrowding in buses on the operation and safety of the bus and its riders. The project was sampled to include a variety of door configurations, sizes, and fare collection systems. He continues to aid with the Fulbright program by mentoring potential applicants and serving as a panelist and facilitator at Fulbright events. His first paper on the Dhaka buses was published in the 2010 Transportation Research Record. Katz has received numerous awards for his work at Georgia Tech. In 2010, Donald earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to perform his research in aviation. In addition to his appointment as an Eno Fellow, he was awarded the Dr. Thomas D. Larson fellowship. Katz also was awarded a Dwight D. Eisenhower fellowship, an Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Georgia Section scholarship, and a scholarship to attend the Helsinki Summer School in Transportation in 2010. He served as the vice president for Outreach in Georgia Tech’s ITE chapter, and rowed for the Georgia Tech rowing club. Elise Barrella was awarded a full Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship to support her dissertation research. Barrella is a doctoral student in Georgia Tech’s transportation systems group, with interests in sustainable transportation infrastructure, planning, and community development. Barrella, originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, earned her bachelor’s degree at Bucknell University. She hopes to join academia, focusing her research on projects that take a systems view of transportation infrastructure investments in an effort to shape public policy and planning practice, either in the United States or in developing countries. Since coming to Georgia Tech, she has been involved in the classroom as a guest lecturer, teaching assistant, and lead instructor. Barrella assisted with an FHWA-sponsored project to produce a guidebook to help agencies incorporate sustainability into the transportation planning process. Her dissertation research will build on this work by developing a self-assessment method to help transportation agencies easily identify, prioritize, and implement sustainability best practices. This spring, Barrella participated in a Study Tour of Ghana to learn about the sustainability challenges facing the country and begin a dialog with academics and leaders in the country about steps toward sustainable development. In addition to her academic achievements, Barrella is a campus leader participating as the president of Women’s Transportation Seminar and Marshall of Chi Epsilon Honor Society.

2011 Annual Report


Airport Cooperative Research Program Scholarship

Georgia Tech students have had the honor of winning the Airport Cooperative Research Program Scholarship four years in a row. The four students awarded the scholarship are all doctoral students under the direction of Dr. Laurie Garrow. Each of the four has also earned an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The scholarship is a $10,000 award. ARCP is a program of the Federal Aviation Administration and the US Department of Transportation, and it offers ten awards each year. Its purpose is to encourage applied research on airport and related aviation system issues and foster the next generation of aviation community leaders. The program is intended to stimulate thought, discussion, and research by those who may become the future airport managers, operators, designers, and policy makers in aviation. The focus of this research program is on applied research to help the public sector continue to improve the quality, reliability, safety, and security of the US civil aviation system.

Stacey Mumbower, a native of Valdosta, is earning her doctorate in CEE as well as a master’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering, focusing on statistics. She is expected to finish her program in 2012. She received her ACRP award in 2009, in the category of Public Sector Aviation issues. Mumbower’s research for ACRP used detailed online pricing data to investigate airline pricing policies. She examined how different types of market structures and competition influenced airfares. “ACRP was a great opportunity for me because I got feedback and guidance from mentors who were industry experts,” said Mumbower. “Their feedback was helpful for shaping my research both for the ACRP project and for my dissertation.” Her current research uses disaggregate online pricing and demand data to analyze airline passengers’ itinerary choices.


Brittany Luken, a native of Chattanooga, will complete her doctorate in CEE, as well as a master’s in industrial and systems engineering, in 2013. She received the ARCP award, in the area of Public Sector Aviation issues, in 2009. Luken’s research investigated airport choice for Metro individuals traveling from New York City. Using revealed preference ticketing data, she examined the characteristics of individuals and developed a model for those who chose to fly out of New York via the Newark, LaGuardia, or JFK airports. The model begins to break down closer to the day of the flight, as passengers’ options are reduced. “This was a helpful experience, as I was new to graduate school when I received the award,” said Luken. “I learned the value of mentors and how great they could be while I worked on my first research paper.”


Transportation students rack up ACRP awards

Josie Kressner, a native of Illinois, will complete her doctorate in CEE, with a minor in statistics, in 2014. Her research was funded by ACRP in 2011. In addition, she has been awarded a Presidential Fellowship from Georgia Tech, an Eisenhower Award, and a scholarship from the Society of Women Engineers. Kressner’s research project investigated the influence of demographic and socioeconomic factors on air travel demand using a unique dataset provided by a credit reporting agency. She used linear regression models based on lifestyle segmentation variables to predict air passenger trips for the Atlanta airport. The study predicted trips originating from or terminated at residences in Atlanta’s 13-county metropolitan area. The lifestyle regression models were compared to regression models based on income, as the latter are similar to the regression models currently used by the Atlanta Regional Commission to predict home-based airport passenger trips. The results offer directional evidence for using lifestyle clusters instead of income groups to predict passenger trips, suggesting that alternative data sources with adequate information for lifestyle segmentation can improve airport passenger models. “ACRP was important because it trained me in the process of publishing a paper as first author,” said Kressner. “It has also pushed along the data cleaning that is necessary for the remainder of my dissertation.”

Donny Katz, a native of New Jersey, will complete his doctorate in CEE in 2012. His award was received in 2011. Before coming to Georgia Tech, Katz received a Fulbright award to study bus crowding in Bangladesh. His ACRP topic studies how a particular type of airline schedule at an airline hub, called a depeaked or continuous schedule, affects revenue for the airline and the airline’s competition. Airline hubs typically have a banked schedule, where many planes from the same airline arrive at the airport within a short period of time. Passengers make their connections, and the planes take off again. With a depeaked schedule, planes arrive continuously, making some passenger connections unreasonable. His work examines how schedule changes affect ticket prices and the number of passengers making connections with the airline. “Getting the award was a real honor, but it is very helpful for progressing through my research,” said Katz. “I will be assigned several industry professionals who have an interest in my topic, and they will be checking in with me periodically on the direction I take the work. It will not only aid me in keeping the work moving forward, but also steer me towards conclusions that are most useful for those in the field.”

2011 Annual Report


American Public Transit Association Awards

Two UTC students have received awards from the American Public Transit Association and attended the APTA’s EXPO 2011 Annual Meeting in New Orleans this past October. Joel Anders, originally from Dallas, earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech, and he is pursuing a dual master’s in civil engineering and city planning. Anders is currently a graduate research assistant, investigating the institutional/organizational barriers to promoting regional transit fare integration and service coordination. As part of his research, he conducts case studies of regions similar to Atlanta and provides practical recommendations that can be implemented immediately to facilitate seamless regional trips among multiple operators in the absence of a regional transit authority. His goal is to formulate an ideal governance structure for a regional transit authority whose existence would virtually be necessitated by the passage of a proposed regional transportation sales tax for Atlanta in 2012. Anders’ experience includes positions with the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). In addition to the annual meeting, Anders will use his scholarship funds to pay for a transit exploration trip to several transit-supportive regions, such as Seattle or Chicago.

Gregory Macfarlane is a second year doctoral student in the Transportation Systems Engineering section of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He came to Atlanta and Georgia Tech from a job at the Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City. He and his wife are Utah natives and alumni of Brigham Young University. He became interested in transportation networks during his missionary work overseas. He observed how the adequacy of transportation networks in Southeast Asia directly impacts the quality of people’s lives. Singaporeans use their efficient transit and highways systems to access jobs, get to school, and most importantly, get home to their families. He also saw the social cost incurred by families in Sri Lanka and poorer Malaysian cities who could not quickly or safely return home from work because the universal need for a safe and efficient transportation system had not been met. Macfarlane’s research at Georgia Tech is focused on the applications that confidential data records, such as those produced by government agencies or private companies, may have in transportation planning activities. He seeks ways to use previously existing data to reduce the costs of regional transportation surveys. His other academic interests include automobile ownership patterns and policies, travel demand modeling, and transportation planning policy. He plans to become a professor so that he can continue to improve the transportation field and can share his passion with a new generation of engineers.

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is the charitable wing of the American Public Transportation Association, a national foundation aimed at advancing public transportation options at the federal and state level. Founded in 1988, APTF’s mission is to increase and retain the number of young professionals entering the transit field as a career by providing scholarships to deserving students.



National Awards Margaret-Avis Akofio-Sowah was chosen by the Society of Women’s Engineers to receive the 2011-12 Lydia I. Pickup Memorial Scholarship. The $3,000 award is given to students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement as well as strong engineering potential. The Scholarship Selection Committee reviewed more than 1,300 applications. A native of Ghana, Akofio-Sowah recently earned her B.S. degree in engineering science from Smith College. Her interest in the transportation field grew from her desire to understand what is needed to improve the transportation system in the capital city of Accra, also her home. While at Smith, she worked at the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center in Amherst, assisting on with studies on safety belt usage and commercial motor vehicles. In 2009, she designed a self-directed research venture to evaluate the use of traffic simulation models (specifically the High Capacity and Synchro) at congested intersections in Accra. As a member of the Infrastructure Research Group, Akofio-Sowah’s work at Georgia Tech explores the concept of transportation asset management, specifically in relation to ancillary transportation assets. Additional interests include sustainable transportation systems, traffic engineering and transportation planning, and the application of best practices from these areas to the context of developing countries. Josie Kressner was chosen by the Society of Women Engineers to receive the 2011-12 Ada I. Pressman Memorial Scholarship. The $5,000 award is given to those who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement as well as strong engineering potential. Kressner was chosen from more than 1,300 applicants. Kressner is a second-year doctoral student.

Kressner is especially proud of her work as co-founder of Revive Atlanta (, an organization dedicated to transforming underutilized properties into valuable community assets. Revive Atlanta has formed strong partnerships with several other Atlanta organizations, including the Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Trees Atlanta, the Trust for Public Land, Park Pride, Path Foundation, and others, including various neighborhood associations. She is also the recipient of the WTS International President’s Legacy Scholarship, an NSF graduate award, and the Airport Cooperative Research Program Scholarship. Senior Jacob Tzegaegbe earned the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Torch Award as the Mike Shinn Distinguished Engineer of the Year in 2011. He plans to pursue a PhD in infrastructure systems after graduation and would like a career in academia or with the United Nations, or both. Tzegaegbe’s research interests include sustainable infrastructure in developing nations, and he is dedicated to using new technologies that stimulate the economy and improve quality of life in nations around the world. A native Georgian, Tzegaegbe has roots in Nigeria and Israel. He is committed to service and excellence, integrating these philosophies into everything he does. Tzegaegbe created a program at Georgia Tech called Scholarship Sundays, an initiative aimed at combating the low retention rates of African-American students. It incorporates resources from the Georgia Tech chapter of NSBE and Alpha Phi Alpha and encourages students to take advantage of the free tutoring services on campus. This award “…comes as culmination of four years of hard work to better myself and community,” says Tzegaegbe. “I never thought coming to Georgia Tech four years ago that I would see myself rise to such heights…this award is a testament to the type of leaders Georgia Tech creates inside and outside the classroom.”

2011 Annual Report


The University Transportation Center at the Georgia Transportation Institute (UTC/GTI) is committed to developing into a Center of Excellence providing high-quality leadership on research, education, and technology transfer to address issues related to transportation system productivity (including both passenger travel and freight of all modes), economic growth, and finance. UTC/GTI works with local, state, and regional agencies to identify research problems that support their needs and identify opportunities for them to advance to the next level. The goals of UTC/GTI are to educate a new generation of students who are well versed in the art of multidisciplinary thinking and problem solution and can collaborate effectively in teams to tackle problems with systems dimensions; provide continuing education opportunities to keep practitioners at the cutting edge of systems methodologies and technologies with transportation applications; and provide technology transfer resources to disseminate knowledge.

Photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Berend.

GTI/UTC Annual Report  

Georgia Transportation Institute / University Transportation Center Newsletter Annual Report I Fall 2011

GTI/UTC Annual Report  

Georgia Transportation Institute / University Transportation Center Newsletter Annual Report I Fall 2011