Vol. 3 No. 2   June 2009

 Technovations in Transportation

In this issue: Karen Den Braven Accepts NIATT Reins
Michael Kyte to Change Hats
UTC Spotlight to Feature NIATT
Clean Snowmobile Captures Third Place
Patent Pending for Pedestrian Access Tool
UI to Host Summer TRB Meeting

Karen Den Braven Accepts NIATT Reins  

Karen Den Braven, who has been involved with NIATT since 2000, was selected to become the second director of the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. Den Braven has led the Center for Clean Vehicle Technology in 2005. She has also directed the work of NIATT's Clean Snowmobile Team.

"I am excited to be stepping up to this new challenge," said Den Braven, "and I thank all of you who have welcomed me so warmly.Dr. Karen Den Braven

"I have seen the direct impact that the University Transportation's funding has had on the transportation industry, working professionals and students. Our focus here at the University of Idaho has always been on technology as a solution, not as a problem. Our researchers and students have always been focused on practical solutions to real-world problems, and the implementation of these solutions in the field, factory and laboratory. Our emphasis remains on developing teams of undergraduate researchers, led by graduate students, mentored by faculty."

Michael Kyte to Change Hats

Michael Kyte, director of NIATT since its inception fifteen years ago as "NCATT"--the National "Center" for Advanced Transportation Technology, announced his decision to step down as director to focus on his teaching and research.

Under Kyte's leadership, NCATT gained national attention as one of the first University Transportation Centers named under the TEA-21 Federal Legislation and became the National "Institute" for Advanced Transportation Technology.   NIATT was successful in a 2002 competition for continued federal funding. Kyte led NIATT through a national competition in 2006 in which NIATT became one of ten Tier 1 University Transportation centers in the nation.

Kyte was honored at a reception held during NIATT's annual Advisory Board meeting in April 2009. During the reception, past students who are now leaders in transportation at other universities, state and local transportation agencies spoke of their experiences learning under Kyte's mentorship as their lead professor and of working with him as a transportation official.

Patent Pending

The application of a patent relating directly to NIATT's Advanced Accessible Pedestrian System (AAPS) based on Smart Signals technology was completed in March 2009 U.S. Patent Application No. 12/411,206 "Advanced Accessible Pedestrian Control System for the Physically Disabled" was filed on behalf of Professor Richard Wall and Gabriel DeRuwe (M.S. 2008). (See Vol. 3, No. 1)

The AAPS consists of a controller unit housed in a traffic controller cabinet and interfaces to existing traffic controller cabinets at field terminals. It supports from one to 16 pedestrian stations.

A second patent application is being prepared and will be a joint application between UI and the Campbell Company. The Campbell Company, located in Boise, ID, is an established manufacturer of APS (Accessible Pedestrian System) devices. Campbell provided funding of $61,535 to oversee the beta field testing, manufacturing and marketing of the AAPS. In the summer of 2009, a UI graduate student on Dr. Wall's research team, will work at the Campbell manufacturing facility.

Phil Tate, president of Campbell Company, is committed to help establish a set of specifications that are progressive in promoting public safety and accessibility through advanced features and enhanced reliability while keeping the APS cost for installation and maintenance at or below the cost of existing installations.

NIATT to be Featured in UTC Spotlight   

The UTC Spotlight, a monthly  report from the University Transportation Centers Program highlighting accomplishments of the UTCs will feature NIATT this summer. The issue will tell the story of how NIATT's early work at the behest of the Federal Highway Administration has led to the development and marketing of two technologies fundamental to creating more realistic traffic simulation environments.

The Clean Snowmobile Skis into Third Place

UI's Clean Snowmobile Team at the 2009 SAE competitionCongratulations are due again to UI's Clean Snowmobile Team for capturing the overall third place in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge held in Houghton, Michigan, in March. The overall award resulted from the two-stroke Ski-Doo success in three different categories. After logging 13.3 mpg in the Challenge's 64-mile Endurance Run, it earned the Gage Products Award for Best Fuel Economy. It also won the International Engineering and Manufacturing (Woody's) Award for Best Acceleration and the EMITEC Award for Best Value. The UI and Clarkson University's internal combustion entries tied for the bronze, receiving the American Council of Snowmobile Associations Award for Third Place.

The team's 2009 sled used a semi-direct (SDI) system--the flex-fuel (an ethanol/gasoline blend) mandated for the 2009 competition is injected into the intake just before the port. With proper engine tuning, the team was able to achieve performance results nearly as good as that of a direct-injection engine.

The team attends several events during the year besides the competition, displaying the sled and talking about their research to snowmobile clubs, Idaho legislators and students interested in mechanical engineering at the University of Idaho.

TRB's 2010 TSSC to Meet at UI     

The 2010 summer meeting of the Traffic Signal Systems Committee of the Transportation Research Board will be held in Moscow, Idaho, hosted by NIATT at the University of Idaho. The major topic of the meeting appropriately will be education. Rich Cunard will be liaison.

Return to NIATT

National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology

University of Idaho
115 Engineering Physics Building
Moscow, ID 83844-0901
Phone:  (208) 885-0576
Fax:      (208) 885-2877
E-mail:   niatt@uidaho.edu

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