TTI Earns Telly Award for Documentary
TTI and the Texas Lyceum were jointly honored with a 2014 Telly Award for the documentary Decision Time. The production highlights the Lyceum’s 2013 Public Conference on Texas Infrastructure held in Austin, Texas, in April 2013. The conference encouraged leaders from across the state to discuss complex issues and future challenges related to transportation infrastructure and funding.
“As a statewide leadership organization, the Texas Lyceum strives to highlight key issues facing Texas, including our transportation infrastructure. We were honored to partner with TTI to produce Decision Time. Winning a Telly for this work takes this honor to the next level,” says Dennis Speight, Lyceum 2013 Public Conference co-chair.
The 30-minute production was narrated by Bob Phillips of the Texas Country Reporter. TTI staff involved in the production were David Martin, Bernie Fette, David Dennis, Clyde Hance, Richard Cole and Terri Parker. The project was funded in part through TTI’s Mobility Investment Priorities Project and the Institute’s Transportation Policy Research Center.
“TTI is honored to have worked with our partners at the Texas Lyceum in contributing to the conference, and we’re pleased to be recognized with this prestigious award,” says TTI Agency Director Dennis Christiansen. “The production is an excellent summary of the state of transportation in Texas and what lies ahead.”
TTI Facilitates Traffic Flow for Aggie Games with New App
Fans at last year’s football game between Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama were treated to an epic game. After the game, unfortunately, many were also part of an epic traffic jam. TTI Research Fellow Tim Lomax is leading a project that has already produced a transportation plan and developed a smartphone app called Destination Aggieland. Both will help mitigate that problem in the future.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp commissioned the Kyle Field Transportation Plan to help improve the overall game weekend experience for fans without compromising safety. “Our team [at TTI] has created traffic plans for many big events on an international scale, and I am happy to have them lending their expertise here at home. This will be a big step forward in 2014 and again in 2015,” Sharp says.
The plans include changing traffic and shuttle-bus routes, improving signal timing, creating more defined and safer pedestrian paths, and providing more efficient pre-pay parking options. All this information is available on the Destination Aggieland app, which is free for download in multiple venues, including the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the university’s iPhone app, TAMUmobile.
Stevens Receives Young Engineer of the Year Award
On June 26, Charlie Stevens, TTI research engineer with the Center on Tolling Research, was honored as the 2014 State of Texas Young Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) at its state conference in San Antonio. TSPE gives the award annually to a young engineer, age 35 and under, based on “technical ability, professional achievements, civic and humanitarian activities.”
“As a young professional, you must seize every opportunity for professional growth that is made available to you,” Stevens said in his acceptance speech. “You shouldn’t be afraid to fail, and that fear is the single greatest barrier to advancement.”
Briaud Receives Distinguished Member Status at ASCE
TTI Research Engineer Jean-Louis Briaud has been selected as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the society’s highest honor. ASCE, representing 145,000 members worldwide, selected 11 members for its 2014 Distinguished Member class. They will be formally inducted at the Global Engineering Conference in Panama City, Panama, this fall.
Briaud was nominated and selected for “his varied and pioneering contributions in the field of geotechnical engineering and for his eminent leadership and international service to the geotechnical engineering profession.” In addition to heading up the Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Group at TTI, Briaud is the Spencer J. Buchanan Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering. He has served in various leadership roles, including as president of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.
Villa Appointed to Dept. of Commerce Board
Juan Villa, manager of TTI’s Mexico City Office, was recently appointed to the International Trade Administration’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness.
Established in 2011, the committee provides the secretary of commerce with detailed advice on the elements of a comprehensive national freight infrastructure and freight policy to support the U.S. supply chain and export competitiveness. The committee’s work is intended to further the Obama Administration’s export, economic and job growth goals.
“In addition to the Freight Movement and Policy Subcommittee, I am going to be involved in the Trade Competitiveness Subcommittee,” says Villa. “One of the more interesting points that came out of our initial meeting on June 10 was the emphasis the Department of Commerce is putting into North American trade, particularly trade and transportation with Mexico. This is good news for TTI because it provides us the opportunity to get involved with various stakeholders from the private and public sectors and to understand their needs, which could eventually lead to additional research work for the Institute.”
A&M System Engineers Collaborate at National Innovation Summit
Engineering professionals throughout The Texas A&M University System met in Washington, D.C., at the third annual National Innovation Summit and Showcase June 16-18. The National Innovation Summit is the world’s largest showcase of new, industry-vetted technologies ready for commercialization and supports the White House and congressional calls for innovation commercialization initiatives.
TTI was represented by Research Engineer and Assistant Agency Director Dean Alberson and Senior Research Engineer Paul Carlson, who also heads up TTI’s Operations and Design Division. Representatives from the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization Office attended the summit.
“The cross-pollination of discovering how different agencies could potentially collaborate was a great by-product of the summit,” says Alberson.
Texas A&M Engineering also had an exhibit booth at the showcase, which provided industry representatives with information about each of the agencies present.
“There is a lot of potential for follow-up, particularly with our system colleagues, TEES and TEEX,” notes Carlson. “I’ve never attended an event where we had representatives from all the major A&M System engineering agencies. That to me was probably the most beneficial part of this meeting — the connections we made with our peers.”