Newsletter of the Mineta National Transit Research ConsortiumSummer 2012: Vol. 19, Issue 1

From the Executive Director: Rod Diridon

Rod Diridon

Rod Diridon, Sr.
Executive Director, MNTRC

Welcome to our first newsletter for the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC). We are very proud to have been designated by the US Department of Transportation’s (US DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) as one of the nation’s two new transit research consortia.

Competition: The reviewers described our proposal as outstanding, and we know that each member of our new consortium took the competition very seriously. Read the rest of the story »

Board Member Profile

Julie Cunningham CEO, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials

Julie Cunningham

Julie Cunningham
CEO, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials

The tag line for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is “Building the people who build America.” But Julie Cunningham, CEO, is often asked why it isn’t “Building the people who move America.” She has a ready answer. “We are involved in much more than moving people. Our members are engaged in establishing legislation, setting policy, and building, maintaining and repairing our nation’s infrastructure - all within the transportation industry. That’s more than moving America, that’s building America.”
Read the rest of the story »

grand valley

GVSU works on ways to reuse electric batteries
by Charles Standridge, PhD, Assistant Dean, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing


Thanks to GVSU’s electric battery program, buses like these won’t be polluting after the batteries have depleted.

As a member of MNTRC, Grand Valley State University is researching ways to remanufacture, repurpose and recycle electric batteries from transit vehicles such as buses. Graduate students, faculty, and staff from Grand Valley State University’s School of Engineering as well as the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) are participating. Read the rest of the story »

penn state

The Larson Institute plans its research for MNTRC
by Michael Casper, Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

 Lithium-ion battery packs

Penn State is investigating thermal management for lithium ion battery packs in several environments and conditions.

The Larson Institute at Penn State is underway with planning for its research under the new Mineta National Transit Research Consortium. Work at the Larson Institute’s Bus Research and Testing Center informs significant progress in policy, technology and environmental issues. Senior researcher Suresh Iyer and the Center’s director, David Klinikowski, attended the May 2012 American Public Transportation Association’s Bus & Paratransit Conference. He is pleased to have been named Vice Chair of Government Affairs and Regulation for the Clean Propulsion Committee. Read the rest of the story »


Bloustein student wins APA Transportation Division Award for best paper
by Robert B. Noland, PhD, Professor and Director, Voorhees Transportation Center

East River

Kyle Gebhart’s student paper about parking supply and mode use at Harlem’s East River Plaza won first-place ranking.

Kyle Gebhart, a MCRP student at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, has won first place in the student paper competition of the American Planning Association Transportation Planning Division (APATPD). His paper, Wasteful Parking Supply in East Harlem: An Analysis of Parking Occupancy and Mode Usage at East River Plaza in New York City, was chosen by the review committee for its clarity, strong research, and timeliness. I was pleased to serve as Kyle’s advisor. Read the rest of the story »

San Jose State University

29 new transit research projects underway

by Karen Philbrick, PhD, Director, Research

Publicly shared bikes

Bikesharing is one of 29 topics MNTRC researchers are investigating this year.

MNTRC has approved 29 new research projects for funding under its newly-won two-year contract. This is a tremendous amount of work that our researchers will produce to help address transit issues for Americans. The following is a small sample of the topics that MNTRC will be researching...Read the rest of the story »

MSTM student Sarah Swensson wins Eno Foundation fellowship

by Peter Haas, PhD, Director, MTI Education Program

Sarah Swensson

Sarah Swensson, MSTM
MTI graduate and Eno Foundation Transportation Fellowship winner

Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) student Sarah Swensson, an employee at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), was recently awarded an Eno Foundation Transportation Fellowship. These fellowships are highly competitive, so we are justifiably proud that this is the second time in three years that an MSTM student has been nominated. Read the rest of the story »

MTI organized passenger rail security panel for TRB annual meeting

by Donna Maurillo, MSTM, Director, MTI Communications and ITT

The Mineta Transportation Institute was pleased to be invited to organize an expert panel on passenger rail security for the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting earlier this year. The half-day session titled Rail Security: Critical Insights and Applications, covered a critical topic, given the revelations that Osama bin Laden and al Qaida may have been planning rail attacks in the United States. While these plans were not well developed, it did underscore that terrorists do plan to expand their attacks beyond Europe and Asia. Read the rest of the story »

Workforce Development
National Transportation Workforce Summit broke new ground

by Donna Maurillo, MSTM, Director, MTI Communications and ITT

Late in April, Consortium partners MTI and Penn State were among the sponsors for the first National Transportation Workforce Summit in Washington DC. Organized by members of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), the three-day summit’s purpose was to engage a variety of perspectives in developing a policy framework for educating and training future transportation workers. Read the rest of the story »

University of Detroit Mercy

Transit camp is ready to go
by Leo Hanifin, PhD, Dean, College of Engineering and Science

Summer camps at UCM are popular with high school students.

Summer camps at UCM are popular with high school students.

Each year, UDM offers TRANSIT, a one-week summer commuter camp for nearly 75 high school students who want to learn about transit. We have completed plans for this year’s camp, and we’ve identified the camp instructors, staff, and external presenters. The camp, one of five offered by our College of Engineering and Science, includes labs and discussions led by transportation experts from the public and private sectors. Read the rest of the story »

UNiversity of nevada, las vegas

UNLV Hosts Introduction to Practical Railway Engineering
by Hualiang (Harry) Teng, PhD, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

 Seminar participants inspecting track

Walking the tracks, seminar participants gained some new insights.

This past March 21-23, UNLV hosted a three-day seminar – Introduction to Practical Railway Engineering (IPRE). This is one of the most important seminars offered by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-way Association (AREMA). More than 20 professionals from across the US attended the seminar. Read the rest of the story »

© 2012 Mineta National Transit Research Consortium. All rights reserved.