Our flag football team made it to the semi-finals for the spring, 4v4 season! The team was quick thinking and made great plays including a pick-six in the first season game and multiple interceptions throughout the remaining games.
Qifan Nie, The University of Alabama
I was honored to receive an invitation to the Life Saver’s Conference as a scholarship recipient. While doing research with the Center of Advanced Public Safety under Dr. Randy Smith and Dr. Andrew Graettinger’s guidance, it was my hope to communicate with the people who are doing the similar research like us. Fortunately, this conference gave us a chance to share our research ideas with all other researchers around the world.
The conference itself was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The valuable information given at the workshops and the opportunity to network and connect with not only students, but professionals in the traffic safety world was amazing. I gained so much knowledge about highway safety from all types of perspectives including the media, government, nonprofits, law, etc. Additionally, I had the opportunity to present my research work as a poster presentation. Most of all, this conference was so much fun! Making new friends, connecting with accomplished individuals, and most importantly, learning so much about traffic safety.
I am extremely honored to have attended this conference. A huge thank you to the Lifesavers Planning Committee and Traffic Safety Scholars program staff. Thank you!
In March, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the largest gathering of highway safety professionals in the US at the Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities. Thanks to both of us receiving a grant to help attend the conference, I traveled with another graduate student from UA, Qifan Nie, and we took on Charlotte, NC together.
The conference was extremely fun to attend, and it was eye opening to see and get different perspectives on traffic safety from all types of professionals. I enjoyed going to many different sessions on a variety of transportation safety aspects and learning how my background in civil engineering could mesh with other people’s backgrounds (such as a Public Health Official or a police department Community Resource Officer) to improve safety for everyone involved. One session was on Driver Assistance Technologies, which are the first step towards automated vehicles, and how new technologies like lane assistance and back up cameras are being tested and implemented. Another session focused on “wrong way” crashes and how to help prevent them. While crashes that occur as a result of traveling the wrong way on a road are relatively rare, due to their nature the crashes themselves are often very bad. Learning that even simple measures just as putting up increased warning signs and making pavement markings clearer and more visible can dramatically decrease those crash rates while being relatively inexpensive at the same time. My favorite session would have to have been the one titled “Let’s Share! Changing roadway User Behavior through Engineering”. It was particularly interesting to me because it focused on engineering better roadways by shifting the focus from just getting as many cars through a road as possible to instead focus on how cities can make it safer to share the road with pedestrians and bikers. Many cities are taking a “road diet” approach to reduce the number of lanes on a road without actually reducing the number of cars the road can handle, and that reduction in lanes makes it easier for pedestrians to be seen and cross safely. To keep it interesting (not that I needed help paying attention), some of the speakers included some funny relevant comics in their presentations too.
Lifesavers was a great conference to attend not only because of going to different sessions, but because there were other students like me who were able to attend and present their research. Learning what other cutting edge research is currently being done was a fun experience, but just meeting, talking, and networking with my peers was awesome in and of itself. I definitely came away with a few new friends who I’ll enjoy seeing grow and develop in their professional careers.
And conferences can be fun too! Because the Convention Center where it was held was right next to the NASCAR museum, the conference gave everyone who attended a free pass to go into the museum on Monday afternoon. Coming from a family who is big into NASCAR, I had a fantastic time walking around the museum and seeing the history, and even got Bobby Allison’s autograph!
After attending Lifesavers and seeing how roadway safety is being improved and what we can do to work towards having zero roadway deaths, I would definitely recommend any student interested in transportation or road safety to attend. Personally, I feel that I came away with a lot of valuable knowledge and friendships that will help me in my career down the road and I hope to be able to attend the conference again in the future.
- Neal Paschal
The GIS Research Group attended the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department Spring Banquet held in the Bryant Conference Center on April 6th, 2016. Several of our members won awards or were recognized for participation within the department (listed below).
Sara Cary - Order of the Engineer Inductee
Brennan Glynn - Order of the Engineer Inductee
Sidney Reynolds - Order of the Engineer Inductee
Cole Griffith - Departmental Academic Honors
Shane Crawford - Bibb Graves Award for Outstanding GTA Assistant
Brittany Shake - Executive Planning Committee, 2016 ASCE SE Student Conference
Way to go!!!
Dr. Graettinger, Shane Crawford, and Brittany Shake traveled to Knoxville, TN for the UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region from March 31st - April 1st. The theme of the conference was Safety, Mobility, and Sustainability. Our friends from the UA UTCA also attended, and The University of Alabama had a great showing at the conference with six presentations and thirteen posters! Shane and Brittany presented posters on Puerto Rico Crash Mapping and Alabama Node Link projects, and Dr. Graettinger presented the Recycled Material Web Map.
Congratulations to all of the GIS Research Group students who graduated this weekend! Good luck in all of your future endeavors, we will miss you!
Jake Levins, MS Civil Engineering
Tara Givens, BS Civil Engineering
Sam McCollum, BS Civil Engineering
Collins Henry, BA Geography
Ben Fike, BS Civil Engineering
Whitt Wilkerson, BS Civil Engineering
Becca Russell, BS Civil Engineering
Andrew Bradford, BS Civil Engineering
William Littlejohn, BS Civil Engineering
The 2015 ATSIP Traffic Records Forum (TRF) was held in Costa Mesa, California from October 25th - 28th and was hosted by the Center for Advanced Public Safety of The University of Alabama. Becca Russell, Brittany Shake, Shane Crawford, and Qifan Nie all presented posters throughout the conference. The students also attended meetings and presentations about topics regarding highway traffic safety, traffic data management, and traffic records.
When they weren't attending conference events, the students ventured out to explore the city. "We went whale watching off of Newport Beach the first day we arrived, and we didn't see any whales but we saw a large pod of dolphins which was really cool. We also visited Huntington Beach where we saw a lot of surfing, beach sand art, and even rode a surrey (4-person bicycle) down the beach. The fish tacos were to die for!"
The flag football team is off to a strong start! They won their first game last night 29-0. Tara Givens was awarded MVP for her quick thinking, agility, and grit while making great plays. The team had 3 interceptions, scored 1 defensive touchdown, and 3 offensive touchdowns. Next week's game is Tuesday October 15th at 7 pm at the rec fields. Roll tide!
Shane recently visited Boston for a meeting with AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe modeling company. Shane was accompanying the head of the Alabama Center for Insurance Information & Research which is housed at the University of Alabama, along with the head of the Alabama Department of Insurance, Charles Angell, and Tim Reinhold, an engineer working for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. The purpose of the meeting was to learn more about how catastrophe models are created. These models are used by insurance companies around the world to price different types and levels of insurance, so it is important that the companies understand the models which are affecting their business. Representatives from AIR included statisticians, climatologists, and civil engineers.
Shane had the opportunity to stay in Boston for a few extra days and see the sights, which included Fenway Park, Boston Common and Gardens, and the campuses of Harvard and MIT. The trip was very informational and also fun.
Jenna Simandl graduated this weekend with a master's degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in transportation engineering. She will be moving to Richmond, Virginia to start a new job working for Kimley-Horn and Associates as a Civil EIT in the Transportation and Planning and Operations team.
We will miss you Jenna! Congratulations and good luck in your future endeavors!