Henk Appointed Chair of the Texas Teen Safe Driving Coalition
TTI Senior Research Engineer Russell Henk has been named chairperson of Texas’ Teen Safe Driving Coalition — a partnership led by the National Safety Council. Henk manages TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety Program and created the award-winning Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS) program in 2002. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, TDS is a peer-to-peer driver safety program that has reached nearly 1,000 Texas schools and has grown to 38 other states.
The National Safety Council has established Teen Safe Driving Coalitions, begun in 2010, in 10 states. The goal of the coalition is “to establish a culture of safe teen driving based on proven principles of graduated driver licensing.”
“I have worked with most of the members of the coalition for many years — and they are all dedicated to making teen safety a priority in our state,” Henk says. “As chair, I’d like to continue to expand the coalition’s membership and further develop a spirit of collaboration among the various traffic safety programs around the state to enhance our collective positive impact.”
Winfree Appointed Board Member of ITS America
TTI Agency Director Greg Winfree has been appointed to the board of directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America). Winfree joins five other members newly named.
Established in 1991, the organization “promotes public and regulatory policies that advance the development and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies throughout the United States” by supporting research, deployment and public policy related to intelligent transportation systems.
“ITS America has a rich history of providing leadership in the intelligent transportation systems space, and I am honored to be appointed to its board of directors,” Winfree says. “I was involved in the organization previously in my role at USDOT, and look forward to representing TTI and helping advance the development and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies throughout the United States.”
Energy Secretary Perry Tours RELLIS Campus, Meets TTI Researchers
In introducing U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry during his visit to The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus on Feb. 16, Chancellor John Sharp said Perry, Texas A&M class of ’72, is making Aggies everywhere proud.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the first Aggie governor of the state of Texas, visited The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus on Feb. 16 and spoke at the newly completed Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR). Perry toured CIR’s laboratories, witnessed TTI crash-testing a roadside safety device, and rode aboard an 18-wheeler in a demonstration of TTI’s truck platooning project, sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Together we are shaping the country, and we’re making the Lone Star State and the United States a better and brighter place,” Perry said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about what you have imagined and what you anticipate for this RELLIS Campus. I know it’s going to be good; I know it’s going to be exciting. I know it has the potential to change the world because that’s what Aggies do.”
Perry spent some of his time speaking about President Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, announced earlier in the week, but much of his focus was on energy and Texas A&M’s role in the future. Perry manages the U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories.
Many of Perry’s comments centered on nuclear energy, which he said had been neglected over the course of decades. Texas A&M’s Department of Nuclear Engineering is the largest program in the country and ranked second in the nation for its undergraduate programs and third in graduate programs among public universities.
“We have the potential and opportunity because of its zero emissions, because of these new fuels and the new safe ways of being able to deal with the development of nuclear power,” Perry said. “Texas A&M can be right at the epicenter of this new technology and the innovations on the nuclear side.”
TTI’s Goodin, Stockton Named Regents Fellows
Recognized for their “exemplary service to their agency and the people of Texas,” TTI Senior Research Engineer Ginger Goodin and Executive Associate Director Bill Stockton were among the 10 people chosen from the Texas A&M University System’s agencies to be designated Regents Fellows for 2016–2017.
“I am really honored to be included in the ranks of those people named Regents Fellows since the program began in 1998,” Stockton says. Stockton serves as chief research officer for TTI and is the principal liaison to the Institute’s largest research sponsor, the Texas Department of Transportation.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said the Regents Professors and Regents Fellows designees “represent the best of our great A&M System and higher education in Texas. They are true assets.”
Goodin, who specializes in transportation planning, intelligent transportation systems and automated vehicles, was most recently the director of the Transportation Policy Research Center at TTI. “It’s a very humbling experience and a real honor to be named a Regents Fellow because I never considered that I was qualified for such an award,” she says. “I’ve always had a deep respect for the people of TTI and for those before me that received this designation.”
TTI Partners with MSU to Study Workforce Changes from Connected, Automated Vehicles
TTI is taking part in a workforce study designed to inform policy makers, employers and employees of the inevitable changes connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) will have on the transportation industry, and the potential new business opportunities CAVs will provide. The study will focus on driving-related jobs like professional truck driver, taxi driver and delivery driver.
Michigan State University (MSU) will lead the study, which was commissioned by the American Center for Mobility — a newly formed Michigan-based collaborative designed to enable technology and accelerate the development of voluntary standards to improve transportation systems and ensure U.S. competitiveness worldwide. TTI is supporting the study with its multi-year truck platooning research.
“Connected and automated technologies have the potential to create a safer and less stressful occupation for platooning truck drivers while creating opportunities to be involved with cutting-edge technologies that will change the way freight logistics will be delivered in the future,” says Christopher Poe, TTI assistant director for connected and automated transportation strategy.
AARP® and Waymo are co-sponsors of the study, which will be completed by the summer.