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December 4, 2014

STC Director Discusses Research on School Bus Seat Belts

school busFollowing a fatal school bus crash in Knoxville, CTR's Dr. Stephen Richards discusses research concerning the efficacy of using seat belts on school buses. Richards notes that the landmark study on seat belts in school buses was conducted by University of Alabama's Dr. Jay Lindly, who is part of the STC consortium, and Dr. Dan Turner.

Access full stories on local TV stations WATE and WBIR, the Knoxville News Sentinel newspaper, and UT National Public Radio-affiliate WUOT.

September 29, 2014

CTR Wins $1.2M Centers for Disease Control Grant for Seat Belt Use Research

The University of Tennessee's Center for Transportation Research will use a $1.2 million federal grant to research seat belt usage for nighttime driving. The UT team, which was hand-selected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is led by the civil and environmental engineering professor Dr. Shashi Nambisan and by the center's transportational research director, Dr. Jerry Everett.

The increasing amount of reported injuries and deaths from traffic crashes around the world has prompted the World Health Organization and the United Nations to view the problem as an epidemic.

See full story here (Knoxville News Sentinel) and here (TN Today).

August 20, 2014

CTR Faculty Fellows

CTR Announces Inaugural Faculty Fellows Class

UT’s Center for Transportation Research has reaffirmed its status as a preeminent research center by announcing the establishment of the Faculty Fellows Program. Five faculty comprise the inaugural class:


June 6, 2014

Nambisan elected President of Council of University Transportation Centers

Professor Shashi Nambisan has been elected President of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC). He will serve in this capacity for a one-year term from June 2014 to June 2015. He has served on CUTC’s Executive committee since 2010 as Director, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice-President of the organization. Professor Nambisan is Director of Education for the Southeastern Transportation Center and Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

CUTC was established in 1979 by the major transportation research centers and institutes in the United States. Its mission is to promote university research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer as essential to the nation’s transportation system. CUTC provides a forum for university transportation and centers to interact collectively with government and industry.

March 19, 2014

CTR, Driving Simulator Featured at CEE's Breakfast of Champions

see video>>>

Travis Griffin, director of the College of Engineering Diversity Program, talks about his department's recent Breakfast of Champions. The event—for underrepresented students who have been accepted into UT but have not yet enrolled—showcases the diversity and opportunities of the college's people and programs.

February 1, 2014

CTR to Co-Host International Road Safety & Simulation Conference

UT's Center for Transportation Research and the University of Central Florida's Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS) and Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), three world-class research centers, will support the conference. These centers conduct sponsored research in driving simulators, traffic simulation, traffic safety, commercial vehicle operations, Intelligent Transportation Systems deployment, and congestion pricing; human factors; and comprehensive transportation safety, including surface modes, rail, and bicycle and pedestrian issues.

The conference is slated to take place in October 2015, in Orlando FL. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) are equal partners in co-hosting this event.

The Road Safety and Simulation Conference series began in 2007 when the University Roma Tre took the lead and organized this international event. From the beginning, the goal of this conference series has been to assemble scholars, scientists, and practitioners with a wide range of backgrounds to investigate and share their knowledge about road safety. RSS 2009 was held in Paris, France and RSS 2011 took place in Indianapolis IN. These events shone a spotlight on the advancements in traffic simulation and driving simulator technologies. RSS 2013 at the University Roma brought the series back to Italy, and introduced new initiatives and concepts such as Big Data and Naturalistic Driving that have emerged since the first conference.


A conference proceeding will be developed from the papers presented at the conference. Selected papers refereed by technical experts in the field will be invited to be published in reputable journals such as Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention, Journal of Transportation Safety & Security, and Journal of ITS.

C O N T A C T:

Lissa Gay (865-974-8760,

September 27, 2013

UT Center for Transportation Research Wins $5.5 Million DOT Grant

KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Center for Transportation Research has won a $5.5 million federal award that renews the center's lead in the research consortium for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 4, the Southeastern Transportation Center.

The two-year award from the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration is one of 10 granted to regional university transportation centers. The money will advance U.S. technology and expertise in the many modes and disciplines that comprise transportation through research, education and technology transfer.

STC members include UT as the lead institution along with the University of Kentucky, the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida, the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama Birmingham, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina A&T State University and Clemson University.

The consortium's research will focus on the Secretary of Transportation's strategic goal of improving public health and safety by reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries.

"The consortium's theme is comprehensive transportation safety," said Steve Richards, consortium director. "This grant allows us to improve the safety of all transportation modes in the Southeast through a program of research, education and technology transfer."

"Safety must be a fundamental objective of our national and regional transportation systems," said Dave Clarke, center director. "However, statistics reveal that our region's surface transportation systems, individually and collectively, face unsurpassed safety challenges. We continue to work to achieve comprehensive transportation safety related to moving people and goods through our region."

Research findings will be communicated to officials and policymakers for consideration through research symposia, workshops and publications. The funding also will support graduate students at all participating universities to develop the next generation of safety leaders as well as address critical issues related to the shrinking transportation workforce.

"As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for 26 years in the House of Representatives, I know the importance of this research," said U.S. Rep. John Duncan, Jr. "It will affect every American in the years to come as we take on the huge challenge of strengthening and modernizing our nation's transportation infrastructure."

Additional support came from Tennessee's Department of Transportation, a long-standing STC partner. In this competition, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer pledged $500,000 to help match the federal funding.

Established in 1972, the UT Center for Transportation Research promotes and facilitates transportation research, education and public service activities at UT. The center's research and advocacy led to child passenger restraint laws, which Tennessee was the first state in the nation to adopt. This work led to many additional state traffic safety laws, such as the adult occupant protection law. To learn more, visit

To learn more about the Southeastern Transportation Center, visit

The goals of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration are to provide a critical transportation knowledge base outside the U.S. DOT and to address vital workforce needs for the next generation of transportation leaders. For more information, visit

C O N T A C T:

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,
Lissa Gay (865-974-8760,

May 29, 2013

CTR Director Quoted as Expert in USA Today Train Crash Story

Recent high-profile train crashes in Maryland, Missouri, and Connecticut are more likely a coincidence than a trend, a University of Tennessee expert said Wednesday.

"I don't think there is any long-term trend that we're seeing develop here," said Dr. David B. Clarke, director of the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research. "It was more coincidence than anything that we've had three high-profile accidents in the last few weeks. I am hopeful that we'll go several months before we have another one.

"The railroad industry is in excellent condition. When you see reports about the transportation infrastructure being dilapidated, that's not the railroads," he said.

Read full article, "Flurry of train crashes not a new national trend" at

May 1, 2013

CTR Researchers Top Grant Awards in FY2013

Researchers at the Center for Transportation Research have earned three of the Top 20 Awards for sponsored research tallied during the first, second, and third quarters of FY2013. The highest single grant awarded for research at UTK in that period went to CTR’s Dr. Jerry Everett for UT Program Administration of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office in the amount of $6,400,000. The second-highest award at $5,000,000 is for Dr. David Clarke’s project Transportation Technical Assistance, Training, and Technology Transfer. Matt Cate’s Program Support for the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School was awarded $2,000,000. TDOT is the sponsor for these projects.

April 15, 2013

CTR Hosted Joint Rail Conference 2013

The University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research hosted JRC 2013 in Knoxville, Tennessee, April 15-17. JRC 2013 is the major, multidisciplinary North American railroad research conference encompassing all aspects of rail transportation and engineering. The conference theme was Next Generation Railroads, Next Generation Railroaders: Innovations and People for the Future. Conference topics included Railroad Infrastructure Engineering, Service Quality & Operations Research, Rail Equipment Engineering, Planning & Development, Signal & Train Control, Engineering, and Safety & Security.

Wick Moorman, chairman, president, and CEO of Norfolk Southern Corporation, gave the conference keynote address, discussing technology and innovation in today’s rail industry. During his career at NS Corporation, Mr. Moorman has served in numerous leadership capacities; he was named president in 2004, chief executive officer in 2005, and chairman in 2006. Moorman was honored as Railroader of the Year in 2011 by Railway Age magazine.

The Joint Rail Conference is an annual, international event for the rail industry, hosted by different universities in North America each April.

February, 2013

CTR Research Addresses Obesity Issue in Tennessee

Center for Transportation Research research director Dr Jerry Everett presented “Tennessean’s Views and Concerns Regarding Safe Routes to School” at the Active Living Research Annual Conference in San Diego this past February.

Everett’s research looks at roadblocks to implementing Tennessee’s Safe Routes to School program, which is designed to increase children’s physical activities through walking and biking to school with the goal of decreasing Tennessee’s obesity rate of 29.2%.

Everett and his team conducted 21 parent focus groups in nine communities across Tennessee between April and November 2012. They also conducted a statewide survey of Tennessee residents to measure their attitudes and opinions about traffic, walking, and biking safety issues.

The most prevailing concerns expressed by parents were related to the safety of their children. The sources of these concerns were “stranger danger,” bullies, gangs and drugs. Parents talked extensively about their physical environments not being conducive to children walking or biking to school. Traffic volumes and vehicle speeds, vehicle-centric drivers, and distracted drivers were of great concern to many parents. Also, many parents consider schools and school system policies to be major impediments to biking and walking to school.

The Active Living Research Annual Conference theme, Achieving Change Across Sectors: Integrating Research, Policy and Practice, recognizes the importance of engaging people from multiple disciplines and occupations to increase physical activity for everyone and reverse the obesity epidemic. According to the conference website, “Collaboration is essential to achieve lasting changes to the environment and the creation of policies that will make it easier for people to be physically active during their daily routines. Such partnerships involve community members, researchers from multiple disciplines and sectors as well as key input from policy-makers and practitioners. These rich partnerships can help to ensure that the best available evidence is used when creating or maintaining active and vibrant communities that can benefit everyone.”


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