A fifth U.S. patent has been granted related to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) developed Freight Shuttle System, a low-cost and low-emission alternative to moving freight. Patent #8,622,352, a Guideway Switching Mechanism, was granted for a new design switch to be used in the Freight Shuttle, which is currently in the prototype stage. Inventor Steve Roop, TTI assistant agency director, says a prototype demonstration of the Freight Shuttle is scheduled this summer at its Brazos County test facility. (More about the Freight Shuttle.)
Roop’s and other TTI inventions were recognized at the Texas A&M University System Technology Commercialization Patent and Innovation Awards Luncheon May 8. The annual awards luncheon is held to recognize those patents granted in the previous year by Texas A&M System researchers.
Research Engineer John Mander and co-inventor Assistant Research Engineer Stefan Hurlebaus were recognized for their Traffic Signal Supporting Structures and Methods, Patent #8,756,874. The device is designed to increase the lifespan of traffic signals, which are susceptible to stress fractures caused by wind. The device stabilizes traffic signals and can be part of a new system or retrofitted for existing signals.
C. Eugene Buth, Akram Abu-Odeh, Dean Alberson, Roger Bligh and D. Lance Bullard were honored for their Tension Guardrail Terminal, Patent # 8,882,082. This all-steel tangent end terminal, the SoftStop®, is for use with W-beam guardrail systems and is MASH Test Level 3 compliant as a redirective, gating end terminal.
Others recognized for their inventions included Alan Palazzolo and Randall Tucker (Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station – Mechanical Engineering) for their TTI invention, Shaft-Less Energy Storage Flywheel, Patent #8,633,625.