News on ITE Student Chapters in the Southeast
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Florida International University

The ITE Student Chapter at Florida International University hosted six distinguished professionals from both the academia and industry as guest speakers this semester. The list of guest speakers include Dr. Michael P. Hunter, the Director of Georgia Transportation Institute/University Transportation Center (GTI/UTC); Mr. Javier Rodriguez, ITS Operations Engineer with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); Dr. Robert Bertini, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University; Dr. Soheil Sajjadi, post-doctoral research scholar, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Bill Hjelholt, Senior Vice President, Americas Director, Freight Rail. The topics of discussion included intelligent transportation systems, mining railroad, micro-simulation, and public transport.

ITE ReceptionThe chapter members attended the Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in January 2014. They participated in the poster presentations and other technical sessions. Also, our chapter members had an opportunity to interact with students, researchers, and other transportation professionals during the ITE Student Reception that was held at International ITE Headquarters on January 13, 2014 (pictured right with Zaki Mustafa, Immediate Past International President of Institute of Transportation Engineers with FIU ITE chapter members Shahadat Iqbal, Pei Hu, Nishat Zaman).

On February 6th, our chapter hosted and participated in a webinar in the IITS lab at FIU. Dr. Mohammed Hadi was among the four speakers this webinar on Talking Technology and Transportation (T3): "Educating Students for ITS Careers: Are Universities Meeting the Challenge?". The speakers and participants discussed ITS education programs in FIU as well as the educational needs for the delivery of ITS learning.The chapter members are gearing up for FSITE Summer Meeting that will be taking place in June 2014 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

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Food BankGeorgia Institute of Technology (GaTech)

During the spring semester, ITE@GT continued to host our speaker series. For a recent series, we had speakers from Metro Planning and Engineering, as well as the University of Virginia Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  This speaker series continues to familiarize members with transportation projects in the Atlanta region, as well as ongoing transportation research at other universities.  ITE@GT also sponsored members who attended the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. by providing monetary support as well as advice from senior members who have attended in the past.ITE GaTech Indoor Soccer  ITE@GT members, along with members of Georgia ITE volunteered at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (above left) this semester to help sort grocery donations for families in need.  Members also volunteered with Cool Girls Atlanta to help girls practice their interview skills.  ITE@GT hosted several intramural sports teams, including indoor soccer (right), outdoor soccer, corn hole, bowling, and ultimate Frisbee.  Other events planned for this semester include additional speakers and a picnic with Georgia ITE.

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University of Alabama at Birmingham

ITA UAB BoardThis February, the UAB ITE student chapter was proud to have its very own treasurer, Jamieson Matthews, selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the ten talented early achievers to be this year’s College Edition of the New Faces of Civil Engineering. Chosen from an array of worthy nominees for their academic accomplishments and commitment to serving others, these well-rounded students reflect the hope and promise of the next generation of civil engineers. Jamieson is pictured above standing to the left of the rest of the current board members: Akash Chaudhari (Vice President), Natalia Barbour (President), Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku (Faculty Advisor), and Sunil Terdalkar (Secretary).

ITE UAB Traffic BowlChapter members traveled in January to Washington D.C. to participate in the 93rd Annual Transportation Research Board meeting, where three representatives presented posters at the STRIDE student poster competition. On March 6th, members Gauen Alexander, Jamieson Mathews, and Md Mozahidul Islam (pictured respectively at right) participated in the Traffic Bowl Competition at the 2014 ALSITE Spring Meeting in Tuscaloosa, Ala, where members also presented chapter activities and objectives to conference attendees.

On March 12th, chapter members volunteered at a Teen Driving Summit, an event organized to increase safe driving awareness among teenagers. Volunteers worked to educate participants on the possible consequences of texting while driving, drunk driving, and other common impairments through activities, a driving simulator, and special glasses that present the wearer with a vision of the world while under the influence of alcohol.

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University of Florida

UF ITE Hale Brodski SeminarOver the last few months, the ITE student chapter at the University of Florida has hosted a number of different events.  Two of these events were transportation seminars featuring work conducted by transportation professionals.  The first seminar took place in November and featured a presentation by Dr. Gregory Brodski, President of AGA Group, Inc (pictured left with UF’s Dr. David Hale).  His presentation titled “Developing Traffic Signal Control in a Developing World” focused on adaptive signal control and its implementation through a software program called ArteryLite.  The second seminar took place in February and was co-hosted with the WTS Florida Gator Student Chapter.  This seminar featured Matt Weisman, a UF graduate and now current Traffic Operations Manager for the City of Gainesville.  His presentation titled “Intelligent Transportation Systems in Alachua County” described the improvements that have been made to the transportation infrastructure in Alachua County over the last few decades through the use of intelligent transportation systems.

ITE WTS E-Fair Booth

In addition to hosting a couple of seminars, the ITE student chapter at UF also participated in this year’s E-Fair (above), an annual event hosted by UF’s Benton Engineering Council during its Engineering Week program.  The two-day event is designed to encourage K-12 interest in engineering through hands-on activities prepared by various engineering student organizations on campus.  This year’s E-Fair took place February 18-19.  Each day, K-12 students from various schools in the state of Florida arrived at UF to interact with UF engineering students.  The ITE and WTS Florida Gator Student Chapter partnered with each other to conduct a “LEGO® Car” and “Traffic Signal Controller” activity.

The “LEGO® Car” activity challenged students to design and build a LEGO® car that they believed would go the fastest down a wooden ramp.  The purpose of the activity was to teach students about the types of forces acting on a car, such as aerodynamic resistance.  The activity was a huge success and was featured in the local university newspaper called The Alligator

The “Traffic Signal Controller” activity (right) UF ITE Traffic Signal Controlleralso garnered a lot of attention from students as it featured a working traffic signal controller.  Two traffic signals and one pedestrian signal were operated by the controller and students were taught how the controller decides when to allow certain vehicles and pedestrians to move through an intersection.  Students also had the opportunity to manually change the traffic signals through the use of a hand-held device called a pickle.  This device is commonly used by law enforcement officers and allows them to manually change the traffic signal indications after connecting the device to the controller.

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