Throughout its history, researchers at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) have actively participated in the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies and served in leadership positions. This tradition of participation and leadership continues today.
TRB is the focal point for transportation research in North America. The mission of TRB is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary and multimodal. TRB conducts numerous activities to accomplish this mission, including managing the Cooperative Research Programs and the Strategic Highway Research Program, and conducting special studies directed by Congress, federal agencies and other groups.
The best known parts of TRB, however, are probably the Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., every January, the approximately 200 standing committees and task forces, and the specialty conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars. The TRB Technical Activities Division is responsible for these efforts, which provide forums for transportation professionals to identify research needs, share research results and facilitate technology transfer.
The committees and task forces, which are responsible for organizing and conducting these activities, are considered the lifeblood of TRB. From the early days of the Institute to the present, TTI researchers have played key roles in TRB committees, sections, groups and the Executive Committee.
“The participation of TTI researchers in TRB committees and other activities over the years has been very positive,” notes TRB Executive Director Robert K. Skinner. “The contributions of numerous TTI researchers have enriched the multimodal research portfolio, outreach efforts and technology transfer activities at TRB.”
Currently, TTI researchers hold TRB group, committee chair and committee secretary positions. Agency Associate Director Katie Turnbull serves as the chair of the Planning and Environment Group and is a member of the Technical Activities Council. Research Engineer Paul Carlson, Research Scientist Sue Chrysler, Research Engineer Ginger Goodin, Senior Research Engineer Beverly Kuhn, Research Engineer Shawn Turner and Senior Research Engineer Jerry Ullman serve as committee chairs. Ullman is also the official TRB University Representative for TTI and Texas A&M University. Other TTI researchers serve as official secretaries, chair subcommittees and hold other positions.
“Participating in TRB activities is both professionally and personally rewarding,” notes Turnbull. “Individual researchers and TTI as a whole benefit greatly from involvement in TRB committees, conferences, the Annual Meeting and other activities.”