From the Director
Despite frigid temperatures and a landscape covered in snow, it's been a very active and productive winter at the TRC, to say the least.
Top among recent happenings is our participation in the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual meeting from January 12 through 17 in Washington, DC. Twenty-one faculty and graduate students were involved in presentations there. Such a presence at this premiere gathering of almost 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world is an excellent illustration of the maturity and vitality of the research agenda at the University of Vermont. The Schools of Engineering, Medicine, Business, Natural Resources and Agriculture and Life Sciences were all represented. Seven years of building interdisciplinary connections and new collaborative opportunities has created plentiful opportunities on campus as well as with our off-campus partners. TRC also co-sponsored a well-attended reception at TRB along with University of Connecticut, and a number of other organizations.
Congratulations to Tyler Feralio (School of Engineering) our Student of the Year for 2012 who was honored at the Awards banquet of the Council of University Transportation Centers at TRB. Also to our Clean Cities Coalition and staff who have been recognized by the US Department of Energy both with a three year renewal of Clean Cities designation, and as a member of a successful application to build a New England coalition effort to advance clean fuels .
I am personally very excited about a new project of ours funded by USDOT which we just started work on in December. This project is developing new approaches to making transportation infrastructure resilient in the face of flood hazards. It will develop methods for automating the detection of flood damage to roads in the immediate aftermath of a major flood using remote sensing imagery and image classification algorithms. It will also use lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) programmed to fly over damage road segments to estimate the amount and type of fill material required for repairs using digital surface models. We surmise that this will assist incident managers by helping provide updated routing information, prioritizing and planning repair efforts, and reducing costs of repairs.
Image left: Bridge damage in southern Vermont as a result of flooding incurred during Hurricane Irene. Image source: Mansfield Flight LLC.
This is just one of a series of new endeavors we anticipate as we expand our exploration of mitigation and successful adaptation to new and emerging risk factors, building more resilient social and physical infrastructure.
Associate Professor and TRC Director
Read our 2011-2012 Annual Report
Read the TRC Charter