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Center for Transportation Studies

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Winter 2009/2010

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In this issue

Educational outreach includes State Fair exhibit, Gridlock Buster activities
The ITS Institute and the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) participated in the 2009 Minnesota State Fair with a booth featuring the latest transportation innovations. In addition, Star Tribune “Roadguy” blogger and admitted “transportation geek” Jim Foti hosted four rounds of “Transportation Jeopardy” as fairgoers competed for prizes.

Middle schoolers prepare for robotics competition on campus
More than 250 young science enthusiasts from across Minnesota converged on the University of Minnesota campus October 13 for a morning of educational workshops and tours of research facilities. The event, hosted by the University’s Institute of Technology, the Center for Transportation Studies, and educational nonprofit organization High Tech Kids, was planned to help the students prepare for “Smart Move,” the 2009 FIRST LEGO League robotics competition, an international competition for elementary and middle school students.

Chairman Oberstar visits University for transportation research update
U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, visited the University of Minnesota on November 12 for an update on the latest University transportation research.

A portable weigh station for rural roads
Modern engineering research has quantified the link between axle weight and road wear: a linear increase in loading produces a fourth-power exponential acceleration in wear, so doubling axle weight is estimated to accelerate road wear by roughly 16 times the original rate. This calculation is a key component of pavement design and maintenance planning.

STREET creates new learning tools for transportation courses
STREET (Simulating Transportation for Realistic Engineering Education and Training) is a project focused on developing a set of Web-based simulation modules and other learning tools for use in introductory undergraduate transportation engineering courses.

Fall seminars explore technology, policy issues; available online
Fall 2009 seminar presentations by University of Minnesota researchers and visiting ITS experts highlighted key research areas in technology and public policy. Video recordings of the seminars are available on the ITS Institute Web site.