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Summer Transportation Brown Bags Offer New Opportunities For Engagement
- By Jordan Posner
Each summer the University of Vermont (UVM) Transportation Research Center (TRC) lines up a series of brown bag lunches to explore critical topics in transportation research, planning and action. These presentations and the resulting discussions are typically lively and informative, offering an opportunity to engage with researchers and practitioners in an informal atmosphere.
This year we started early with two well-attended and very engaged conversations, both of which are recorded and available on our website. Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, a member of AARP’s national team on livable communities, shared work in progress on meeting the challenges and opportunities in re-designing communities for all ages. Professor Beverley Wemple presented the findings from her recent research on understanding how management of the mountain landscape alters the processes of runoff generation and sediment production in steep, headwater catchments, and assessing pollution production from unpaved roads.
The summer series will continue to traverse a wide range of topics, celebrating the important cross disciplinary work that goes into understanding the social, physical and environmental issues related to transportation planning and systems operations. Peter Keating, Senior Transportation Planner at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), will lead a discussion (June 21) based on the presentation entitled “Transportation Surveys: Attitudinal Changes and Trends in Chittenden County 2000-2012” for which he received the "Excellence in Regional Transportation Award" on behalf of the CCRPC at the annual National Rural Transportation Conference in April.
In July the TRC will host a new engineering faculty member, Professor Ting Tan (July 12), and Geography Professor Pablo Bose (July 26). Professor Tan will address his interest in developing experimental approaches to investigate the failure mechanisms of materials and structures in energy and sustainability research. In particular he will talk about current experiments to study the fracture behavior of asphalt mixtures, and propose some potential experiments. Professor Bose will introduce and outline the findings from his most recent study of the ways in which mobility and access to transportation impact specific parts of the Vermont refugee population, especially women, children and the elderly.
The summer series will finish off on August 9 with a look at the monitoring system and results to date of a pervious concrete parking lot installation next to the TRC offices with Professor Mandar Dewoolkar and his student team. The Trinity parking lot on the UVM Campus is the first of its kind in Vermont. It is half traditional asphalt and half pervious concrete, and the pervious concrete portion is comprised of removable slabs. These slabs can be lifted and cleaned, or replaced if desired, as part of maintenance. In order to monitor the functioning of the pervious concrete, a variety of instrumentation has been placed around and under the parking lot.
The series will continue into the fall as part of the TRCs continuing work to broaden the distribution of important transportation research results, and to engage a diversity of partners in discussions about future work. Participants can join in person or remotely. Continue to monitor our site and sign up for our occasional newsletters and event announcements. We are also looking for new ideas and topics for the coming year. Please send your ideas to Glenn McRae.