ATLANTA AEROTROPOLIS CIDS CREATED Airport West Community Improvement District (CID) and Airport South CID are partnering up to jointly form the Atlanta Aerotropolis CIDs. While the CIDs will remain separate and distinct entities, they are working together on public safety, transportation and infrastructure projects to help further the economic development and regional connectivity of the region. GEORGIA-BASED FIRM, ACC, CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY Atlantic Coast Consulting, Inc. (ACC) is celebrating its 10th year in business. The firm was started by two Savannah natives, Murray K. Griffin, P.E. and Richard Deason, P.E., in late 2005 in Roswell, Ga. Soon afterwards, ACC opened its Savannah office. ACC provides expertise in solid waste design, permitting, construction administration engineering, construction quality assurance (CQA), environmental monitoring, operations and maintenance, as well as general civil engineering. ANNIE BLISSIT NAMED ACEC YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR Gresham, Smith and Partners' Annie Blissit, EIT, ENV SP has been named a 2016 Young Professional of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The national award recognizes five young engineers from across the nation whose contributions to the industry have made an impact on society. Blissit graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 with degrees in both Civil Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. MULKEY ENGINEERS NOW CALYX ENGINEERS + CONSULTANTS Mulkey Engineers officially announced its name change to CALYX Engineers + Consultants in early March. The change is in response to a new chapter in the company’s history, marked by the retirement of founder Barbara Mulkey. TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT CENTER CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY The Georgia Department of Transportation's (GDOT) Transportation Management Center (TMC) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016. "The Transportation Management Center (TMC) was constructed just in advance of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. It housed the brand-new Navigator traffic management system, as well as security officials monitoring the Games. Since the initial 1996-era system, Navigator has increased its coverage mileage by nearly 10 times," Mark Demidovich, Assistant State Traffic Engineer at GDOT, told Engineering Georgia magazine. At the time of its construction, Marion Waters was the State Traffic Engineer: "The technologies all of us use today were not even options. The words "Internet," "cellphone network" and "Geographic Positioning System (GPS)" were not even in the request for proposal issued by the Department in late 1992. The GPS that drives the location services we use for mapping today was restricted by the military at that time. Maps were on paper, not on our phones. In any case, the Transportation Management Center was conceived of as a functioning hub for emergency operations that would stand the test of time. It was built to the highest construction standards, with drilled pile foundations, redundant electrical power feeds, emergency generating capacity and backup systems for every critical area of the building. The materials used for the interior were selected for durability and functionality - and every feature was designed to allow the building to change and adapt to new technologies." The TMC was recently renovated to provide for an expanded workforce. With the renovation, floor space increased from 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet, and the number of operator workstations increased from 19 to 36. A 20th anniversary celebration, which will also showcase the renovation, is planned for June. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SOCIETY (ITS) OF GEORGIA: 2016 WAYNE SHACKELFORD SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS The ITS Georgia Chapter supports student involvement in the engineering profession and encourages future Georgia ITS engineers through the Wayne Shackelford Engineering Scholarship Program. This year marked the seventh consecutive year of the awards. Students submitted abstracts in answer to the following question: In transportation, new data collection and connectivity technologies are creating incredible opportunities to improve the safety and efficiency of our vehicles and highways. Discuss at least two of the benefits and two of the challenges that these new technologies will present. ENGINEERING GEORGIA IS PROUD TO FEATURE EXCERPTS FROM EACH OF THE THREE WINNERS' ABSTRACTS: 1 CARLY QUEEN Queen is a third-year, dual Master’s degree student at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of City and Regional Planning, with a focus on transportation systems. Transportation data collection and connectivity technologies offer many potential benefits, but face complex challenges as well, including difficulty in predicting driver behavior, utilizing collected data effectively and adapting policies to keep up with evolving technologies. Safety is a primary motivation behind making vehicles and transportation corridors more intelligent and connected, but there is an inherent risk related to safety and reliability when implementing new technologies. Connected vehicles and infrastructure also have the potential for improved efficiency of space, time and energy in urban areas. However, unless we could transition to all connected and autonomous vehicles overnight, human drivers will continue to play a major role in our transportation system and environment. Improved efficiency may induce more demand for travel, which could increase sprawl and energy consumption. Further, data processing and policy making are falling behind the rapid pace of technological change, which may deter innovation if not addressed. 2 AARON GREENWOOD Greenwood completed his doctorate in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2015. The intelligent transportation system (ITS) network is an armada of cameras, speed sensors and vehicle detectors, all networked using miles of copper and fiber; but, that’s not what travelers see. The availability of smartphones with data connections and GPS opens the door for improving energy efficiency and reducing congestion by giving drivers information. Recent studies (Zhu & Levinson, 2015) indicate that the majority of trips do not follow the quickest path. While variations in route choice may seem inconsequential to drivers, a few extra minutes - or even seconds - aggregates to hundreds of hours of wasted time on the road network. By working with developers to make simple and straightforward consumerfacing implementations of route choice and trip time selection, it is possible to leverage existing ITS data to improve system throughput and reduce travel time by showing drivers how they can save time by shifting their route or schedule. CHIEH "ROSS" WANG Wang is expecting to complete his Ph.D. degree at in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2016. New data and new means of communication have opened a door to achieving a safer and more efficient transportation system. Technologies such as DSRC (dedicated short range communications), Bluetooth, infrared cameras and other wireless sensors can not only revolutionize the ways transportation data is collected, but also generate real-time information for system users and managers to make better decisions. Opportunities, nevertheless, come with challenges. One of the biggest challenges is how one can utilize, integrate, mine and manage this “big data” to yield useful information and, consequently, better decisions instead of “garbage in, garbage out.” The demand for data analytical skills in engineering therefore reveals a potential gap between college education and real- world practices. As transportation engineers, it is our job to identify, understand, educate and address the benefits and challenges technologies bring so that we can stay awake, adjust to new ideas, remain vigilant, and shape a better future of transportation.
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