Just more than a year ago, Meg Pirkle took over as the chief engineer at the Georgia Department of Transportation. Pirkle sat down with us late in 2015 to talk more about her 26 years at the agency and share some thoughts about the importance of transportation engineering.
When Kathrine Udell stepped on campus at Georgia Tech a few months ago, it was already familiar ground. Udell spent much of her senior year at Kennesaw Mountain High School working on a research project with School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student Atiyya Shaw. In fact, she’d been so active in the work that she already has two published academic papers to her name. Not exactly the typical starting resume for an undergraduate student.
Lack of spending on Atlanta’s sidewalks has created a system of haves and have-nots when it comes to who can walk alongside the city’s roadways. That’s the perspective of School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student Alice Grossman, who penned a guest column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Dec. 29 arguing for more funding for the city’s crumbling sidewalks.
There’s now so much space dedicated to storing cars in Los Angeles, it takes up 14 percent of the county’s incorporated area. That amounts to almost one residential parking spot for every registered car in the county and three spots per car overall. Those findings come from a just-published study by the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Ram Pendyala and colleagues at Arizona State University.
Transportation researcher Michael Hunter says driverless cars are coming to our roads, whether we’re ready for them or not. But already, our cars are generating some of the mountains of data coming from our transportation systems. In an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting, Hunter said drivers must be ready for cars beside them to operate without people behind the wheel.
A new grassroots organization called the MARTA Army has begun operations with the goal of improving the public transit experience in Atlanta. The group is the brainchild of some School of Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate students, who talked about their plans on WABE's Closer Look Sept. 29.
The National Science Foundation has awarded Iris Tien $499,920 for a three-year project that will develop new computer models of infrastructure systems and the connections between them. The idea is to create a model that can be used for any infrastructure system — water, power, transportation, or communications, for example — and takes into account each component of the system as well as how the system interacts with other infrastructure.
How will we build the cities of the future in a sustainable way? A new National Science Foundation-funded research network will connect scientists at nine universities with infrastructure groups, public policy experts, and industry partners to reimagine cities. Georgia Tech will be an anchor of the $12 million network, which will be led by the University of Minnesota, and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Ted Russell will serve as a co-director.
The U.S. deputy secretary of transportation spent Monday at Georgia Tech talking about transportation infrastructure and seeing some of the ways researchers are helping improve the design, monitoring and creation of that infrastructure. Victor Mendez’s visit included conversations with School of Civil and Environmental Engineering students and faculty members.