UFTI Reception & STRIDE Student Poster Competition @ TRB

The STRIDE Student Poster Competition was held in conjunction with the University of Florida Transportation Institute’s Reception during the 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The STRIDE Center is the UFTI’s U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) 2012 grant-funded regional (Southeastern) University Transportation Center (UTC), which conducts research in the areas of safety, livable communities and economic competitiveness. Students from the STRIDE partner universities (Auburn, Florida International University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) who worked on STRIDE-funded and related projects were invited to compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place scholarships worth $500, $250 and $100, respectively. See the winners below.

Year after year, UFTI’s reception has always proven to be a hit, and this year we continued the tradition and attracted close to 200 people. To see images from the event, scroll down below after the student poster competition winners.


Congratulations to 1st Place Winner Ossama Ramadan!

Ossama Ramadan is currently a doctoral candidate in civil engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is working with his doctoral adviser, Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku, on a variety of research projects. Ramadan received his M.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Carleton University, and his B.Sc. (Hons.) in Construction Engineering from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). His research interests include work zone traffic control, traffic safety, and, planning and scheduling of infrastructure projects. His passion for these subjects are deeply rooted in the experiences he had growing up in a family that owned a construction business. In 2015 he received the UAB International Graduate Student Academic Excellence Award and was the UAB Graduate Student of the Year in Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering for 2014.

Poster Title: Impacts of Merge Control Strategies on Freeway Level of Service


Traditionally, transportation agencies follow temporary traffic control guidelines as outlined in part 6 of the MUTCD. Alternatively, there are four alternative merge control strategies for work zones and incidents, namely: Early merge control, late merge control, temporary ramp metering, and mainline merge metering. While there are some earlier studies that evaluated each strategy independently, literature is deficient when it comes to comparing the four strategies. This study used a microsimulation test bed to investigate and compare the mobility impacts of each of the four strategies during various traffic conditions. Density as a key indicator of the freeway level of service was considered and analyzed to better understand the impacts of each strategy. A density surge function was developed and plotted against traffic flow as a factor of peak hour flow. Results indicate that mainline merge metering is a promising alternative. The study further recommended verifying these results through a field operational test.

Congratulations to 2nd Place Winner Yinan Zheng!

Yinan Zheng is a fourth year doctoral student in the University of Florida’s Transportation Program working under Dr. Lily Elefteriadou. She received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Southeast University in Nanjing, China before coming to the United States. Initially unsure of what her focus would be when she began the program, Zheng has had many opportunities to explore her options at UFTI. She enjoys being able to design roads and evaluate traffic, but has only thought of it in terms of the vehicle’s movement. Her true passion, which she discovered in her very first research project, is pedestrian and vehicle interactions, especially pedestrian interactions with autonomous and connected vehicles. In 2015, she was the recipient of the WTS Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship, awarded to her by the Central Florida WTS professional chapter in Orlando, Fla.


Poster Title: A Model of Pedestrian Delay at Unsignalized Intersections in Urban Networks

An analytical model of pedestrian delay at unsignalized intersections is developed using renewal theory, which can be used for the case of street crossing in an urban setting with high levels of pedestrian activities. The generalized method can be applied to various special cases by fitting in distributions or other parameters. The application with HCM assumptions is recommended as an analytical model for the HCM when the traffic pattern and driver behavior satisfy the HCM assumptions.

Congratulations to 3rd Place Winner Chelsea Dyess!


Chelsea Dyess is a first year year Civil Engineering Masters student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she also received her bachelors degree. She has served both as an Undergraduate and Graduate Research Assistant, working on various projects relating to air quality, ultrasonic testing, acoustical environment and structural design.

Poster Title: Pedestrian Access to Bus Stops in Atlanta


This research highlights state of the art tools and methods developed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers for inventorying and assessing pedestrian infrastructure in Atlanta, focusing on detailed case studies in Downtown and on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus.