Symposium Highlights Research at UConn

The University of Connecticut Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter hosted the 6th annual New England ITE Student Research Symposium in Storrs, CT on April 7, 2010.  The symposium focused on displaying research activities of students from across New England. Two research sessions over the course of the day – each with 3 parallel tracks – covered 22 presentations from students at four different institutions throughout New England: UConn, University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Northeastern University and University of Rhode Island.  Students were asked to prepare a lecture and poster presentation, which allowed for the traditional format to be coupled with interaction with symposium attendees at the posters.

Graduate student, Jason Zheng, presented on his UTC-funded research project “Development and Application of a Composite Index for Transportation Sustainability,” which focuses on developing, creating and testing a comprehensive metric for assessing the broader outcomes of transportation systems.

The keynote speaker at lunch was Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie who spoke candidly about the current economic situation and its effect on transportation, and the role of graduate student research in the future of transportation.  There were over 100 people in attendance during his address – a turnout that exceeded expectations.

UConn UTC Director Nick Lownes provided the dinner address, “Transportation Research:  UConn’s Role in a National Challenge,” discussing the resources and talent available through the UConn transportation centers, thoughts on the national transportation research agenda, and how industry-academia partnerships present exciting opportunities for collaboration.

The ITE Student Research Symposium series is an annual event that rotates among the New England ITE institutions, and we hope to see it back in Connecticut again soon.