Research collaboration with ENPC producing results

A research partnership started this spring between the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and France’s École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) has already begun to bear fruit.

Contributions made by Vinh Pham-Gia, an ENPC student who worked with CEE researchers this summer, will be included in a paper, “The Benefits of Mobile Real-time Transit Information: A Literature Review and Cost-benefit Analysis of Seattle,” which has been submitted for publication by Dr. Kari Watkins’ research group.

Another ENPC student, Igor Koval, worked with Dr. David Frost’s research group and a third student, El-Ghali Fikri, stayed in France and used video-conferencing to collaborate on another journal submission with CEE’s Dr. Chloé Arson.

The lead authors on the "Transit" paper, CEE doctoral students Aaron Gooze and Candace Brakewood, have worked closely with Watkins to understand the impacts of real-time tranit information via the OneBusAway application. Originally developed by Watkins for use in the Seattle area, the app is used on smart phones and tablets to give travelers real-time information on bus and train arrival times. Two other students from Watkins' research group, Landon Reed and Derek Edwards, have been working to adopt that application for use in Atlanta.

“My field work was to compare the data between predictions of OneBusAway and actual arrival time of buses in Atlanta,” said Pham-Gia, whose summer research internship at Georgia Tech officially ended July 19. “The data was collected from MARTA with a GPS system and it was refreshed every two minutes.”

Using data collected in Seattle, the paper suggests that there is an overall economic benefit to be realized by regions that use the app.

The new exchange program between CEE and ENPC is designed to allow as many as five graduate-level students from the French university to participate in a research exchange program that will match them with specially focused research internships at Georgia Tech. A CEE doctoral student, Nathan Mayercsik also participated in the program, spending six weeks on a research project at ENPC.