MTTI Researchers and Students Attend 2018 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting

The 97th Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting titled Transportation: Moving the Economy of the Future was held in Washington, DC, January 7-11.  The meeting program covers all transportation modes, with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 800 sessions and workshops.  Attending this year’s meeting were 26 members and students of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI).

COLIN BROOKS (MTRI) presided over the Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems to Help with Infrastructure Inspection technical session and also presented his paper “Implementing UAV Applications at the Michigan Department of Transportation”, displayed his research at the
Data-Driven Decisions for Bridge Management: Advancements in Inspection and Modeling poster session, shared his “Academic Research Perspectives on Creating High-Quality Data for UAS Transportation Applications” at the Emerging Technologies: The Role of Lidar and Unmanned Aerial Systems in Supporting the Transportation Spatial Information Infrastructure technical session, chaired the Sensing Technologies Subcommittee, ABJ50(1) meeting, and had his poster “A Comprehensive Overview of Improving Traffic Flow Observability Using UAVs as Mobile Sensors” displayed at the Sensing and Information Technology Innovation to Enhance Traffic Operation Efficiency session.

BROOKS was also interviewed by Tony Dorsey, AASHTO Manager of Media Relations, for AASHTO TV on the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Implementation Research he has been leading for Michigan DOT so that results of this project could be shared with the larger transportation community. He also gave a flash talk to the ABJ50 Information Systems and Technology Committee meeting on ‘Using a Data Framework to manage large data sources: An example from drone research.’

Center for Technology & Training Director TIM COLLING attended committee meetings as a member of the Highway Safety Performance Committee (ANB25) and also participated in meetings with both the Pavement Preservation Committee ADH18 and Asset Management Education Subcommittee, ABC40(5).

MTTI Director PASI LAUTALA (CEE/RTP) and PhD student SANGPIL KO, displayed their “Advanced Woody Biomass Logistics for Cofiring in Existing Coal Power Plant: A Case Study of the Great Lakes States” poster at the Current Research in Freight Planning and Logistics session.  LAUTALA presented research details on “Assessment of Driver Compliance at Highway–Rail Grade Crossings Based on Naturalistic Driving Study Data” at the Human Behavior at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings technical session and presided over the Freight Rail Transportation Committee meeting.  In addition, he helped to coordinate the Freight Rail Propulsion: Where Does the Energy Come From? session and participated in the Rail Executive Group and Freight Executive Group dinners as a Freight Rail Transportation Committee chair , leading the committee meeting.

In addition to his poster presentation, RTP graduate student SANGPIL KO attended the Freight Rail Transportation Committee (AR040) meeting and the Rail and Public Transportation Caucus, sponsored by BNSF Railway.

AMLAN MUKHERJEE (CEE) presided over the Pain Points in the Use of Big Data Analytics for Transportation Project Delivery workshop and presented “From Trade-Offs to Equivalent Solutions: A Life-Cycle Thinking Informed Approach to Design Decision Making” at the Pavement Materials and the Urban Climate technical session with graduate student CHAITANYA GANESH BHAT.

DAVE NELSON (RTP/CEE) co-presented a research overview on “Assessment of Driver Compliance at Highway–Rail Grade Crossings Based on Naturalistic Driving Study Data” at the Human Behavior at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings technical session and attended the Standing Committee on Highway/Rail Grade Crossings as a member.

THOMAS OOMMEN (GMES) was an invited Lectern Lecturer at the   Innovations and Advances in Transportation Geotechnics technical session where he presented his research “Remote Sensing Technologies for Highway Infrastructure Monitoring”.

 LARRY SUTTER (MSE) participated in the following committee meetings:  AFN10 – Standing Committee on Basic Research and Emerging Technologies Related to Concrete, AFN40 – Standing Committee on Concrete Materials and Placement Techniques, AFN30 – Standing Committee on Durability of Concrete and the AFN20 – Standing Committee on Properties of Concrete.

ZHANPING YOU (CEE) chaired the ASCE Bituminous Materials Committee (BMC) meeting and presented posters at two sessions; “Influence of Elastic Characteristic of Asphalt Pavement Surface on Tire–Pavement Friction Behavior” at the Current Research Related to Asphalt Surface Mixtures session and “Laboratory Evaluation of Bio–Asphalt Binders Modified by Waste Cooking Oil” at the Asphalt Binder Additives and Modifiers session.

KUILIN ZHANG (CEE) displayed posters of current research at three sessions with graduate student SHUAIDONG ZHAO; “A Data-Driven Dynamic Route Choice Model under Uncertainty Using Connected Vehicle Trajectory Data” at the Behavioral Route Choice session, “A Data-Driven Model Predictive Control Framework for Robust Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control Using Mobile Sensing Data from Connected Vehicles” at the Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics session, and “Comprehensive Overview of Improving Traffic Flow Observability Using UAVs as Mobile Sensors”.

The annual meeting was also well represented by graduate research students:


  • High Temperature Performance Evaluation of Bio-asphalt Based on Multiple Stress Creep Recovery Test, presenter: JUNFENG GAO
  • Lab Testing and Modeling of Asphalt Mixtures Compaction with Selected Coarse Aggregates Shapes, Presenter: FANGYUAN GONG
  • The influence of repeatedly heating on the performance of asphalt binders in laboratory, Presenter: DONGDONG GE
  • Investigating the effect of pore pressure on the permeability and porosity of dense-graded HMA, Presenter: SIYU CHEN
  • The thermal storage stability of asphalt binder modified by bio-oil generated from waste wood resources, Presenter: RAN ZHANG


  • Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Fiber-Reinforced Rubber Concrete, Presenter: JIAQING WANG
  • Influence of Calcium Hydroxide in Metakaolin-Based alkali-activated cement, Presenter: RUIZHE SI

Graduate research students also presented their work at the The International Association for Chinese Infrastructure Professionals (IACIP)’s 8th Annual IACIP Workshop:

  • Dynamic Behavior of Asphalt Pavement Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical Multi-Physical Coupled System, Presenter: CHUNDI SI
  • Effect of Silane Coupling Agent on Improving Adhesive Properties between Asphalt Binder and Aggregate, Presenter: CHAO PENG
  • Fatigue Damage Properties of Asphalt Mixture and New Method for Axle Load Conversion, Presenter: SONGTAO LV
  • Damage Characterization and Thermodynamic Mechanism Simulation of Alkali-Silica Reaction in Recycled Glass Mortar Samples, Presenter: SHUICHENG GUO
  • Properties of Fractured Brittle Material after Grouting Reinforcement, Presenter: ZHI WANG
  • Study on Transportation System in Deep Sea and Analysis of the Driving Performance of the Mining Collector, Presenter: WENBO MA

In addition, SHUAICHENG GUO and SIYU CHEN each received the IACIP Outstanding Graduate Student Award certificate and a cash award.