January 2011 Newsletter

Sharing Information and Ideas to Collaboratively Address Transportation Research Challenges

By Susan Sillick, Manager Research Programs, Montana Transportation Department

The TRB Conduct of Research Committee, AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (Coordination and Collaboration, Program Management and Quality, and Value of Research Task Forces), and the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) have joined forces to develop a new collaborative web site on Research Program and Project Management (RPPM) as a part of RITA’s Transportation Research Collaboration (TRC) web site.

The RPPM site was designed for researchers and research managers and focuses on providing information, tools, and a discussion forum to facilitate coordination and collaboration in transportation research. It also provides a place for teams to work collaboratively. There are five topic areas on the RPPM site:
  • Setting the Research Agenda,
  • Carrying Out Research,
  • Delivering Results/Communicating Value,
  • Collaborating in Research Activities, and
  • Team Collaboration.
Each of the five topical areas contains the following sections:
  • Announcements,
  • Documents,
  • Links to Related Sites, and
  • Recent Discussion Topics.
It is envisioned the RPPM collaborative site will become a repository of documents, web links, and work products defining a collective set of best practices for planning, conducting, managing, implementing, and evaluating transportation research. As a SharePoint™ site, it also allows researchers and research managers to coordinate and collaborate on these topics.

This site is currently in review by the above mentioned groups and will be available soon for anyone to view. However, to get in on the action and participate fully by adding documents, discussion topics, announcements, and links requires users to request a user name and password (links are on the TRC and RPPM home pages) and is only currently available for the above groups. Once this review is complete and the site is updated to reflect comments from these groups, anyone can request a user name and password.

For more information, contact Sue Sillick, Linda Preisen, or RPPM@dot.gov.

CoR (ABG10) Guide to TRB 90th Annual Meeting

Here is your guide to Conduct of Research committee sponsored/co-sponsored paper or conference sessions along with the committee meeting.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

176: International Collaboration: The Why and How to Achieve Results. Lawrence H. Orcutt, California Department of Transportation, presiding. 1:30pm- 4:30pm, Hilton, Lincoln West.

This “how-to” workshop focuses on best practices for working together more effectively among international partners. Roles of state departments of transportation in the U.S., federal agencies, professional associations, European transport authorities, and TRB will be examined. The workshop presents lessons learned and tools (e.g., collaborative agreements, program management structures, and joint funding mechanisms) for collaboration on projects from inception to implementation.

  • Welcome and Objective of the Workshop (Lawrence H. Orcutt, California Department of Transportation)
  • Why Use International Collaboration as Part of a Research Program: Benefits and Value (Debra S. Elston, Federal Highway Administration)
  • Need and Perspectives of International Research Cooperation (Per Jacobsen, Danish Road Directorate)
  • International Collaboration Benefits and Value (Joris Al, Dutch National Road Administration)
  • Agreements and Contracts for International Collaboration Projects from Conceptual Idea to Completion (Gert Ahé, Danish Road Directorate)
  • Tools for Defining Who, When, and What for International Collaboration: Research Roadmaps and Strategies (Mikkel Bruun, Danish Road Directorate)
  • Examples of Successful Collaborations: Noise Research in Denmark and California (Hans Bendtsen, Danish Road Institute)
  • Examples of Successful Collaborations: MIRIAM Project on Rolling Resistance, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and California (John Harvey, University of California, Davis)
  • Examples of Successful Collaborations: Climate Change, Netherlands and California (Joris Al, Dutch National Road Administration)
  • Examples of Successful Collaborations: Cell Phones as Traffic Data Probes, France and California (Lawrence H. Orcutt, California Department of Transportation)
  • Examples of Successful Collaborations: Pavement Material Technology, Sweden and Minnesota (Steven Lund, Minnesota Department of Transportation)
  • Wrapup and Open Discussion (Debra S. Elston, Federal Highway Administration)

189: The Right Tool for the Job: Search, Discovery, and Current Awareness Tools, and Tips and Tricks for Busy Transportation Professionals. Rita Evans, University of California, Berkeley, presiding. 1:30pm- 4:30pm, Hilton, Columbia Hall 3 & 4

  • Using TRID: Newly Integrated and Freely Available Global Transportation Research Database (Lisa Loyo, Transportation Research Board)
  • Use and Misuse of Google Scholar and Google Books for Transportation Research (Roberto A. Sarmiento, Northwestern University)
  • Energize Yourself: Keeping Current with Google Alerts, Blog Search, and Custom Search (Kendra Levine, University of California, Berkeley)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Conduct of Research Committee Meeting. Jason Bittner, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Barbara Thomas Harder, B T Harder Inc, presiding.8:00am-12:00pm, Hilton, Columbia Hall 9 & 10

416: Critical Knowledge Management Needs and Issues for Transportation Agencies. Ellen Oman, Washington State Department of Transportation, presiding. 7:30pm- 9:30pm, Hilton, International West

In addition to a general overview of the relevance of knowledge management, this session presents current best practices for its use in transportation agencies. The presentations focus on efforts to encourage and support innovation, retain intellectual capital during workforce transitions, and improve overall organizational excellence and performance. The presenters will also share techniques and tools to help agencies adapt to changing environments and markets.

  • Promoting Collaboration: Implementing Knowledge Management in Leadership Training (Jane Minotti, New York State Department of Transportation)
  • Low-Cost Knowledge Management Techniques for Use in a Changing Workforce (Ernie Wittwer and Teresa Adams, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
  • Strategic and Tactical Approaches to Knowledge Management in the Federal Transit Administration (Jarrett William Stoltzfus and Susan Camarena, Federal Transit Administration)
  • Implementing Knowledge Management: Tools and Resources Available (Amanda J. Wilson, Research and Innovative Technology Administration)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

542: Research Implementation, Moving from Ideas to Implementation. David Kuehn, Federal Highway Administration, presiding. 1:30pm- 3:15pm, Hilton, Columbia Hall 5
  • Opportunities and Challenges in Advancing Transformative Research: The Case of Transportation Research on Both Sides of the Atlantic (O. A. Elrahman, New York State Department of Transportation and George Giannopoulos, Hellenic Institute of Transport, Greece)
  • Building PennDOT's Research and Innovation Implementation System (Michael R. Bonini and Bonnie Fields, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Robert Vance and Michael Renz, Vance & Renz, LLC; Barbara Thomas Harder, B T Harder Inc; Mary Treisbach, Mary W. Treisbach and Larry Bankert, Pennoni Associates, Inc.)
  • Increased Understanding of Driver Visibility Requirements, Gary Golembiewski, Science Applications International Corporation
  • Development of a Stiffness Measuring Device for Pad Foot Roller Compaction, Michael A. Mooney, Colorado School of Mines

584: Being Smart About Intellectual Property Rights: Use and Impact for Researchers and Practitioners. Barbara Thomas Harder, B T Harder Inc, presiding. 3:45pm- 5:30pm, Hilton, Columbia Hall 5

  • Fundamentals for Protection and Commercialization of Technology and Information, William A. McComas, Shapiro, Sher, Guinot & Sandler
  • Copyrights and Transportation Professionals: What Users and Producers of Information Need to Know, Jonathan Band, Jonathan Band PLLC
  • State DOT Research Activities and Intellectual Property, David L. Huft, South Dakota Department of Transportation
  • Panel Discussion:
    • Jonathan Band, Jonathan Band PLLC
    • Stephen J. Andrle, Transportation Research Board
    • David L. Huft, South Dakota Department of Transportation
    • William A. McComas, Shapiro, Sher, Guinot & Sandler
    • Laurie G. McGinnis, University of Minnesota
    • Lawrence H. Orcutt, California Department of Transportation

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

659: Looking Toward the Horizon: Research Results from FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research Program. Terry Halkyard, Federal Highway Administration, presiding. 8:00am-12:00pm, Hilton, International West

Short podium presentations will be followed by an opportunity to visit with the presenters at their poster board.
  • Modeling the Urban Continuum in an Integrated Framework: Location Choice, Activity Travel Behavior, and Dynamic Traffic Patterns Ram M. Pendyala, Arizona State University
  • Making Driving Simulators More Useful for Behavioral Research, John D. Lee, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Layered Object Recognition System for Pedestrian Collision Sensing, Wei Zhang, Federal Highway Administration
  • Greatly Increased Use of Fly Ash in Hydraulic Cement Concrete for Pavement Layers and Transportation Structures, Jason Weiss, Purdue University
  • Innovative Approaches for Next-Generation Vehicle Positioning, Matthew J. Barth, University of California, Riverside
  • Intelligent Multisensor Measurements to Enhance Vehicle Navigation and Safety Systems, David Bevly, Auburn University
  • Development of Stiffness Measuring Device for Foot Pad Roller Sensor for Pavements, Michael A. Mooney, Colorado School of Mines
  • Development and Evaluation of Selected Mobility Applications for Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration, Steven E. Shladover, University of California, Berkeley
  • Development of Methodologies to Evaluate the Nighttime Safety Implications of the Roadway Visual Scene Under Varying Cognitive Task Loads, Ronald B. Gibbons, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Increased Understanding of Driver Visibility Requirements, Gary Golembiewski, Science Applications International Corporation

Social Media and New Developments in Electronic Communications for the Conduct of Research Committee

By Marci Kenney, Friend of the Conduct of Research Committee

Originally used mainly by college students to keep track of friends and identify others with similar interests, social networking sites are increasingly being used by businesses to outreach to customers, and by non-profit organizations to share information with members and supporters.  They can be very powerful tool s in politics and business, and for sharing information in the medical field and the scientific community.  Like other professional organizations, TRB has a Twitter Page: TRBofNA, and some TRB Committees have pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 

To assist committees considering a foray into social networking, TRB is about to publish a Guidebook  entitled Strategic Approaches to Developing a Social Networking Page. The TRB Guidebook poses Six Questions to Consider Prior to Developing a Social Networking Page, offers Quick tips for using social networks, and provides required elements for TRB Committee social networking pages. 

According to the Guidebook, the six questions for Committees to consider prior to developing a social networking page are:

  1. What are your committee’s goals?
  2. Who is your audience?  
  3. What are your resources and how will you maintain
    the page?
  4. What content does your customer value?  
  5. How will you scope your message?

How will you measure success, increase followers, and facilitate interaction?

The Conduct of Research (CoR) Committee’s goals are laid out in the CoR Triennial Strategic Plan submitted to TRB in May 2009. The CoR communications plan identifies audiences, messages, communication modes and a planned timeline for CoR efforts. The plan was developed around the CoR scope:

To increase the quality and effectiveness of research through encouragement of better planning, management, and operational practices by organizations engaged in transportation research programs and to assist the Transportation Research Board in its role of stimulating research and serving as a national clearinghouse for research activities

Over the past several years, the CoR Committee has explored several online services, platforms, or sites for communicating with its members and the transportation research community, including Wet Paint, Google Groups, and a variety of Wiki’s, SharePoint Sites and social networking technologies. The Committee even had a demonstration of Second Life, a virtual world complete with avatars, at its summer 2008 meeting in Woods Hole. The challenge was to find the right tools to communicate information, including social media or more conventional electronic tools like email and websites. As the Committee explored these options, issues included the cost of maintaining the sites, their functionality, accessibility and popularity with users.

CalTrans hosted a CoR SharePoint site which has been merged with RITA's pilot Collaboration site. The RITA Sharepoint site features research clusters by topic, as well as a Research Project and Program Management page with topics organized by the COR communications areas. This site serves the broader transportation community, and is intended not only to provide information, but also to encourage collaboration between groups with similar research objectives. Of course CoR also uses other modes of communication to deliver its messages to TRB members and the broader transportation community, including presentations and poster sessions at the TRB annual meeting, TRB webinars, and committee meetings.

Although we have yet to launch a social networking site, the CoR committee has adopted two new tools to share information and encourage interaction among members and friends. As announced in the summer 2010 newsletter, the CoR Committee has launched a new website for Committee business. The primary focus of this website is to serving existing members and friends of the CoR Committee. The website is maintained by the Communications Goal team, and the CoR chairs, goal team leaders, several members and friends have the ability to add and edit content. Recent News and Updates are featured on the home page. These include announcements of upcoming meetings, new committee initiatives and other news items. Each Goal Team has its own page for its documents and activities. The website includes a New Member Guide which is intended to give new members a good introduction to the committee functions. It also includes recent newsletters and minutes of meetings to keep members up to date, and links to useful resources.

In addition, CoR has established a Google Group, which will replace the old listserv for the purpose of committee-wide communication.  While the website and newsletter focus primarily on one-way information dissemination, the Google Group is intended to serve as a venue not only for information sharing, but for committee member interaction.  If you have not already done so, you are encouraged to join the new Discussion Group. To post to this group, send email to trb-cor@googlegroups.com.   

We welcome feedback and suggestions for improvement from CoR members and friends on both the new website and the Discussion Group, including what content they value, how to increase followers, and facilitate interaction.  We also welcome feedback on how social media or other tools can help achieve the committee’s goals. 

Contact any of the Goal Team Leaders, or Communication Team Leaders Pat Casey or Hau Hagedorn with suggestions.