Spartan Engineers 'front and center' at TRB national meeting

Jan. 27, 2023

MSU a leader at Transportation Research Board annual meeting 

Spartan Engineering at Michigan State University was well represented during the 2023 Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting earlier this month in Washington, D.C.

Spartans collect awards at 2023 Transportation Research Board annual meeting.
Spartans collect awards at 2023 Transportation Research Board annual meeting.

Peter Savolainen, interim chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said at least 28 students, nine faculty, and five staff members participated in the national meeting that focuses on transportation research and innovation. Policy makers, practitioners, and researchers from government, industry, and academia attended the event.

“Mobility has become a university-wide research focus area and the success of these efforts is evidenced by our level of participation in the TRB annual meeting,” Savolainen said. “This is the world’s preeminent transportation research conference, attracting more than 13,000 attendees. MSU was front and center, playing a leading role in key areas including infrastructure monitoring, connected/automated vehicles, electrification/vehicle charging, highway/pavement design, and human factors research.”

Savolainen said he was pleased that Spartans led five of the sessions or committees, including his own service as chair of the ITE Transportation Education Council.

“In all, Michigan State won four awards, had nine papers presented at lectern sessions and 16 papers presented at poster sessions. It’s a good example of MSU’s growing role in shaping the direction of transportation research, education, and practice at the national and international level. Of equal importance, our faculty, staff, and students are bringing back critical knowledge and insights that will help to advance broader mobility efforts here on the MSU campus,” he added. 

Highlights of MSU participation at the 2023 TRB annual meeting include: 


• ITE Transportation Education Council, Peter Savolainen, chair.

• Workshop on “Use of Available Data to Extend the Life of Highway Infrastructure,” Bouzid Choubane, presiding.

• Session on “Pavement Management Indices and Measures,” Syed Haider, presiding.

• Session on “Doctoral Student Research in Transportation Safety,” Peter Savolainen, presiding.

• Joint Subcommittee on “Integrated Modeling Joint Subcommittee,” Mehrnaz Ghamami, co-chair.

Awards and honors:

• Winner, 2023 National Operations Center of Excellence Student Contest, a partnership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, ITE, and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, with support from the Federal Highway Administration, Myles Overall.

• State Department of Transportation Research: High-Value Project Supplemental Winners, “Effectiveness of Crash Fact and Safety Message Signs on Dynamic Message Signs,” Peter Savolainen, Timothy Gates, Megat Usamah Megat Johari, and Nusayba Megat Johari.

• Third Place. Traffic Control Device Student Challenge 2023: Innovative Traffic Control Devices to Improve Vulnerable Road User Safety. “Smart Safety Using Connected Dynamic Messaging Panel and Flashing Crosswalk for People Walking and Biking,” Sagar Keshari, Nischal Gupta, Sakar Pahari, and Gagan Gupta.

• The Best of the Best Performance Effects of Geometric Design Paper Submissions, “Association Between Horizontal Curve Geometry and Single Vehicle Crash Occurrence on Rural Secondary Highways,” Meghna Chakraborty, and Timothy Gates.

Lectern sessions:

• “A Comparative Study of Different Condition Indices Using the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Flexible Distress Data,” Mumtahin Hasnat, Rahul Singh, Muhammed Emin Kutay, Syed Haider, and Bora Cetin.

• “A Comparison of Traffic Crash and Connected Vehicle Event Data on a Freeway Corridor with Hard Shoulder Running,” Nischal Gupta, Qiuqi Cai, Hisham Jashami, Peter Savolainen, and Timothy Gates.

• “Deploying Fast Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in Urban Networks: An Activity-Based Approach,” Mohammadreza Kavianipour, Alireza Rostami, Amirali Soltanpour, Mehrnaz Ghamami, and Ali Zockaie.

• “Evaluation of Bridge Deck Winter Weather Warning Systems,” Sagar Keshari, Md Shakir Mahmud, Sakar Pahari, Myles Overall, Dario Babic, Timothy Gates, and Peter Savolainen.

Poster sessions:

• “Do Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs Impact Drivers Differently Based on Speeding Tendencies?: Insights from Applications at Select Critical Roadway Contexts,” Md Shakir Mahmud, Timothy Gates, Megat Usamah Megat Johari, Hisham Jashami, Anshu Bamney, and Peter Savolainen.

• “Evaluation of Short-Term Field Performance of Proprietary Spray-On Rejuvenators,” Poornachandra Vaddy, Muhammed Emin Kutay, Bora Cetin, and Syed Waqar Haider.

• “Modeling the Energy and Environmental Impact of Varying Electric Vehicle Adoption and Charging Station Deployment: A Behavioral Approach Using Agent-Based Modeling,” Mohammadreza Kavianipour, Mehrnaz Ghamami, and Ali Zockaie.

• “Will Automated Vehicles Solve the Truck Driver Shortages?: Perspectives from the Trucking Industry,” Jenna Van Fossen, Sicheng Wang, and Elizabeth Mack.