Back to Top Outreach and Technology Transfer
MTC's outreach activities are numerous and diverse, including traditional dissemination of MTC research through our website and newsletter, sponsorship of conferences and workshops, dissemination of research reports and technical briefs, and subject area experts working directly with communities locally and internationally. MTC also works closely with Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) staff to identify partnering opportunities for translating safety-focused research findings into practice for Iowa’s local communities.
Back to Top Newsletter and Website
MTC Bulletin covers major MTC activities and accomplishments. An archive is available at www.intrans.iastate.edu/mtc/publications.cfm.
In fall 2010, MTC staff initiated a major update and reorganization of the website to better showcase the variety of activities that the MTC sponsored directly and indirectly.
Back to Top Sharing Research Results
Abstracts of current projects are provided on the MTC website. When a research project is completed, a full final report and a two-page technical summary, plus any related articles or guidelines, are published online for downloading and/or printing.
Back to Top Project Advisory Committees
Every MTC sponsored (competitively selected) research project must have an advisory committee. Practitioners who participate in these committees learn about the project and the MTC and often become champions in implementing project results.
Back to Top Conferences and Webinars
MTC has long supported research conferences and participation by its staff and students. MTC has a driver behind several successful events:
Preparing Tomorrow’s Transportation Workforce: A Midwest Summit
As noted in the previous chapter, MTC and the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) at Iowa State University hosted a two-day regional transportation workforce development summit in April 2010. Part of an overall national workforce development effort, this event was held to assess the educational and training needs of the future transportation workforce in the upper Midwest and identify strategies and best practices to address those needs across the various transportation career paths.
Attendees included college- and university-level educators, state agency human resources personnel, undergraduate and graduate college students, adult education experts, various transportation-related industry association representatives, and staff from public transportation agencies at all levels. The report can be viewed here.
Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium
As part of InTrans, MTC partners with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Midwest Regional UTC to host the Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium in alternate years. The symposium provides a Midwestern venue for formally presenting research updates in a TRB-like track format.
In even-numbered years, the event is hosted by the Wisconsin Transportation Center in Madison. Several ISU researchers and students present at this event regularly. The MTC and InTrans were among the sponsors of this event. The proceedings and presentations for the latest event (2010) are online.
InTrans hosts the symposium in Ames, Iowa, in odd-numbered years. The event covers issues ranging from infrastructure design to transportation policy and more.
Research Showcase Webinar, Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative
In July 2010, Tom McDonald, the MTC outreach liaison, helped the FHWA, Iowa Division, organize and host a national webinar for the Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative pooled fund study. Replacing the conferences previously held every few years, the webinar format was used to facilitate the participation of as many agencies in the pooled fund study as possible.
While being considerably less costly than a conference, the webinar also made it possible for a broad national audience to learn about the work accomplished under the smart work zone pooled fund study. Approximately 110 participants from many agencies in several different states observed the low-cost webinar.
2009 Human Factors and Roadway Safety Workshop
This Iowa DOT workshop, hosted by the University of Iowa and co-sponsored by the MTC and its administrative home, InTrans, was a working event to identify and prioritize needed research in human factors and safety. Attendees from the Iowa DOT, FHWA, the three Iowa regent universities, local governments, professional associations, driver education associations, and neighboring state departments of transportation actively participated in focus groups. The top 25 research concepts identified at the workshop can be found on the Iowa DOT’s website.
TRB’s 2010 Joint Summer Meeting
The MTC was one of several sponsors of TRB’s 2010 Joint Summer Meeting—Planning and Performance Measurement for all Modes—held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Back to Top MTC Papers and Presentations
Back to Top Go! Magazine
MTC co-sponsors Go! magazine, a free online publication target at teens and young adults that explores the world of transportation and the careers they can find there.
Go! aims to make teens (and the adults who influence them) more aware of the variety of careers available in the transportation industry. According to the Transportation Research Board's Special Report 275: The Workforce Challenge, published in 2003, more than 50% of the state transportation agency workforce is now or will become eligible to retire by 2013, a rate that is "more than double the rate for nation's entire workforce" (p.3).
Go! is published by Iowa State University's Institute for Transportation. The magazine began publication in January 2007.
Back to Top Selected Outreach Activities
MTC actively seeks opportunities to provide technology transfer and other outreach services. Following are examples:
Iowa Traffic Safety Data Service (ITSDS)
ITSDS provides agencies with the most readily available crash data analysis resources in Iowa. It was created to fill the gap between the safety data users can gather for themselves and the data they can obtain from experts. ITSDS uses the latest in geographic information systems technology developed by the Iowa DOT.
The service provides free crash data analyses and mapping services for anyone who needs to examine crash data to make decisions about funding, improving roads, implementing enforcement, writing reports, designing presentations, or increasing traffic safety awareness. It is jointly sponsored by InTrans, the MTC, the Iowa DOT, and the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.
Heartland Highway Corridor Management Agreement
Chris Albrecht, MTC program coordinator, serves as one of Iowa’s resources for access management-related research. In addition to serving in an advisory role to Iowa DOT personnel, Chris provides access management expertise to stakeholders along southeast Iowa’s Heartland Highway Corridor.
Specifically, during the past year, he has produced educational materials, given numerous informational presentations, and helped solidify a corridor management agreement among the many jurisdictions along this corridor.
Mapping Services for U.S. Road Assessment Program (usRAP)
aising public awareness about traffic safety and enabling safety stakeholders to make risk-based decisions are two primary objectives of the usRAP pilot program. Initiated in 2004 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS), the program assesses crash risk on U.S. roads and provides the risk information to highway agencies in accessible formats. The MTC is a technical partner to Midwest Research Institute (MRI). MRI acts as liaison to eight participating highway agencies, including Iowa, while MTC focuses on mapping crash and other safety data from the pilot states.
When state or local-jurisdiction crash data are not available or adequate for creating risk maps, MTC students trained as usRAP technicians use video logs to populate a database of roadway design and traffic control features, then correlate the features with crash risk and assign ratings to various road segments. Agencies can use the results to develop safety improvement programs. In addition, MTC students have been instrumental in creating star ratings maps for countries in Latin America through the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP).
A partnership with a multinational navigation mapping corporation has been initiated to explore automation of the video reduction process. In the past year, usRAP has demonstrated a positive relationship between star ratings and risk maps. This has resulted in one journal publication and several conference presentations.
An article about usRAP appeared in the November 2009 UTC Spotlight. More information about the project can be found on the usRAP website, www.usrap.us/home.
Guidance for Lighting on Roadways in Iowa
The MTC was involved in developing good lighting practices for rural intersections aimed at reducing the number and severity of night-time crashes by providing information to decision-makers to select strategies to reduce night-time crashes. The guidance is aimed at resource-strapped local agencies in Iowa.
The information that resulted from the project is being incorporated into an updated chapter on street lighting in the Iowa Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS). This program is the only one of its kind in the United States, and offers two manuals: the SUDAS Design Manual and SUDAS Standard Specifications, which contain all of the design standards and specifications for urban public improvements for the state of Iowa.
The street lighting chapter provides information about the benefits of street lighting based on the research so that agencies can determine the cost effectiveness of implementing lighting. The chapter updates also provide additional guidance on design and selection of lighting.
Back to Top International Activities
Several MTC personnel are involved in international research and technology transfer activities. Following are some examples during year 3:
In fall 2009, Neal Hawkins, MTC research liaison, and Omar Smadi, principal investigator on several MTC projects, presented at the CBR&C 09/BRASVIAS Conference in Florianópolis, Brazil. Their presentation, based on MTC-sponsored research, addressed pavement marking technologies with a focus on applied strategies and solutions.
In December 2009, Hawkins and Smadi presented at the 2009 Gulf Traffic Exposition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Their presentation on infrastructure management, with a focus on asset management principles, drew heavily from projects sponsored by the MTC.
As part of a November 2009 TRB delegation, Shashi Nambisan, director of InTrans and ex officio member of MTC’s advisory board, participated in a scanning tour of India to foster bilateral collaboration and cooperation with various transportation-related ministries in New Delhi and Patna.
In April 2010, Dan Gieseman, a prolific safety data systems developer at InTrans who works closely with MTC faculty, traveled to the Second International Conference on Urban Traffic Safety in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where he taught a workshop and made a presentation about spatial analysis and visualization of traffic safety data.
In summer 2010, Reg Souleyrette, MTC research coordinator, explored potential research collaborations related to rail transportation in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Taiwan, and China. He is now using his first-hand knowledge of state-of-the-art European and Asian high-speed and conventional rail systems in his undergraduate course on railroad planning and design.
Midwest Transportation Consortium
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