Mobility21 UTC Honors “Student of the Year” Rick Grahn at 31st Annual Awards Ceremony

January 8, 2022
Posted in What's Happening

January 8, 2022

Carnegie Mellon University student Rick Grahn was honored tonight as Mobility21 University Transportation Center’s “Student of the Year” at the Council of University Transportation Center’s annual awards event.

Annually, the United States Department of Transportation honors the most outstanding student from each participating University Transportation Center for his/her achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field. Students of the year are selected based on their accomplishments in such areas as technical merit and research, academic performance, professionalism, and leadership.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute houses Mobility21, the National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility. Students from CMU, University of Pennsylvania, The Ohio State University, or Community College of Allegheny County were eligible for the Mobility21 UTC nomination.

Meet our winner:

Rick Grahn, the Mobility21 National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility Student of the Year.

Rick Grahn

Rick Grahn is a research assistant working under Dr. Sean Qian and Dr. Chris Hendrickson in the Mobility Data Analytics Center. His research interests include shared modes and public transit, with a focus on how to best integrate new technologies to improve their efficiency, accessibility, and reliability in both urban and rural settings. Rick is looking forward to a career in research addressing sustainability and equity issues within the transportation system. He is also a registered professional engineer in California.

In 2021, Rick published a paper in Transportation Research Part C and a paper in ASCE: Journal of Infrastructure Systems.

Educating, recruiting and training new workers is critical to managing our country’s infrastructure safely and efficiently.  Mobility21 strives to help develop a transportation workforce capable of designing and maintaining the complex transportation systems of tomorrow. Help us congratulate our 2022 UTC Student of the Year!

To learn more about the University Transportation Centers’ Student of the Year awards please click here.

Heinz College Masters Students Present Capstone

December 9, 2021
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December 9, 2021

CMU Heinz College Masters of Information Systems Management Capstone students Shiyi Liu,  Yanwen Peng. Jiaoying Mu, Kehan Li,  Yilin Hua and Zhenyuan He made a final presentation of their capstone project developing an automated truck departure user interface.  The client was Klara Oberhollenzer, Manager of Development Autonomous Truck Mission Control Product & Partnerships at Daimler Truck North America and the course advisor was Stan Caldwell, Executive Director, Mobility21 UTC.

CMU Students Share Final Capstone Projects

December 2, 2021
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December 1-2, 2021

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair.  The projects featured today included the following transportation related projects:

    • Team US Ignite, advised by Mobility21 Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer
    • Team Daimler Trucks North America, advised by Mobility21 Executive Director, Stan Caldwell

Traffic21/Mobility21 University Transportation Center Deployment Partner Consortium Symposium Held

November 4, 2021
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November 4, 2021

The Traffic21/Mobility21 University Transportation Center Deployment Partner Consortium Symposium kicked off earlier today with the Mobility21 UTC Director, Raj Rajkumar, providing a welcome and an overview of updates on activities and plans at the Mobility21 National University Transportation Center.

Yassmin Gramian Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker for 2021 Symposium was Yassmin Gramian, Secretary of Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The Symposium’s first panel focused on Equity/Justice and Mobility.  The panel was moderated by Stan Caldwell and featured:

  • Ben Bear, CEO, Spin
  • Carol Lewis, Chair, Transportation Research Board, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Irene Marion, Director, Department of Civil Rights, DOT
  • Beth Osborne, Director, Transportation for AmericaEnvironment/Climate Change Panel

The second panel focused on Environment/Climate Change and Mobility.  The panel was moderated by Chris Hendrickson and featured:

  • Rachael Nealer, Deputy Director for Transportation Technology and Policy at White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Rohan Patel, Senior Global Director, Public Policy and Business Development, Tesla
  • Kelsey Owens, Environmental Protection Specialist, US Department of Transportation

UTC Research Showcase

The Symposium also featured 7 research and academic project presentations, comprising the UTC Academic and Research Showcase.  The projects allowed for a brief Q&A with the researchers upon the conclusion of their video presentation.

Over 130 people from academia, government, community and industry registered to attend the symposium.  View the full list of presenters and videos of the sessions here.

CMU US Ignite Capstone Team Presents Mid-Term Update

October 18, 2021
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October 18, 2021

Today, the CMU US Ignite student Capstone Team (Brittany Pruitt, Dillon Cox, Mika Ansley, Gisselt Gomez, Roy Wang and Sophie Abo, advised by Mobility21 Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer) presented their mid-term update to the client and advisors.  The class gave this presentation to provide updates and gather feedback from attendees.  The team will be completing their work by the end of the semester.

Mobility21 Supports Student Capstone with Daimler Trucks

October 12, 2021
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October 12, 2021

CMU Heinz College Masters of Information Systems Management students Shiyi Liu, Jioaying Mu, Kihan Li, Yanwen Peng, Yilin Hua, Zhenyuan He, along with their advisor Stan Caldwell from Mobility21, presented midterm capstone project results.  Attending the presentation were clients from Daimler Trucks North America and Torc Robotics who provided feedback on student plans for an automated truck departure approval application.

Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow Hajra Shahab Attends Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration

October 1, 2021
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October 1, 2021

Women in Transportation Fellow Hajra Shahab participated in the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC).  The GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.  Hajra says that from a stellar speaker line-up to a packed career fair, “GHC is THE place for women interested in exploring a career in tech.” The conference focused on several tech tracks including ArtificiaPhoto of Hajra Shahabl Intelligence,  Computer Systems Engineering, Product Management, Data Science and many more. Below is Hajra’s experience at GHC, and her suggestions for others who plan to attend this conference in future years.

Prepare Resume

Hajra shared that “As there are multiple tracks, one can easily get lost in their job/internship hunt search at GHC and so did I.” She was advised to start well in advance by going over the list of companies participating in the conference and identifying tracks that she would want to focus on.  She shaped her resume accordingly and created different versions, for example, product management and software engineering.  She suggests that for others who attend… DON’T forget to submit your resume on the portal once you seek feedback from your peers and mentors.  She also says to keep an eye on all GHC related emails and conference-specifically the newsletters.

Participate in Career Fair

Apart from preparing her resume, Hajra started early by going through the list of companies participating in the career fair, filtering out teams that she wanted to interact with at the fair.  For others attending, Hajra cautions that the overall process of attending a conference can get overwhelming easily especially when you have to juggle with school, classes and assignments simultaneously and that preparing a schedule in advance can help you optimize time and energy.

Gear up for Intense Networking!Hajra Shahb vGHC

Networking at GHC started even before the conference begins. Talking to past attendees and learning from their experiences helped Hajra clear her thoughts and questions about the conference, saving a lot of time as she was sure of things to make the most of this opportunity.  Talking to her peers who attended this conference previously helped her feel much more confident as she participated in different sessions throughout the conference.

Design your own schedule

Hajra says the conference picks up pace very quickly and it becomes really hard to keep up with conference sessions, speaker corner, tech talks and career fair. If attending, she recommends reviewing the agenda carefully, and creating your own schedule.  While one gets lost with career fair and other networking sessions, she recommends to not forget to attend the keynote speaker session — as it is absolutely worth your time!

Managing notes from each session is the key to success at GHC. Hajra would recommend creating a spreadsheet tracker to track all meetings  (1:1 or group meetings).

Harja enjoyed her experience at GHC, and said she was “…very impressed how they support women who aspire to grow in the field.”

Learn more about the conference here.

Welcoming New Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow Maggie Harger

July 30, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

July 30, 2021

Mobility21 UTC welcomes Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow for 2021-2023, Maggie Harger.

Maggie is pursuing her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management with an interest in transportation policy. Prior to her time at Carnegie Mellon, she completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and worked as a mobility coordinator for the North King County region near Seattle. This role involved working with city planners, local human service providers, elected officials, and regional transit agencies to identify transportation challenges for populations with unique mobility needs, including older adults, people with disabilities, and low income individuals.

Maggie hopes to continue learning about the intersection of efficient transportation, environmental sustainability, and economic advancement during her time as the Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow. In her spare time, Maggie can be found exploring the many bike paths of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about the Mobility21 student leaders here: https://mobility21.cmu.edu/about/leadership/student-leadership/.

————–

The Traffic21 Women in Transportation fellowship provides financial support to an incoming student who is entering either the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College MSPPM (Public Policy and Management) or MISM (Information Systems Management) degree programs.  Students who have demonstrated an interest and commitment to Intelligent Transportation Systems are eligible to apply for the fellowship.  The fellow’s work supports the Mobility21 University Transportation Center’s activities.

RISS Program Hosts Exploring Robotics & Technology Lunch and Learn

June 22, 2021
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June 22, 2021

The Robotics Institute Summer Scholars program of Carnegie Mellon University hosted “Materials & Career Paths in Robotics & Tech” in conjunction with the Technology & Engineering Education Association (TEEAP) to prepare students for 21st century careers in technology.

Mobility21 welcomes Rayna Hata to 2021 Robotics Institute Summer Scholars Program

June 15, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

June 15, 2021

Mobility21 is pleased to welcome and support Rayna Hata, a participant in the 2021 Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) Program.

At Mobility21, we view research and education as two sides of the same coin. We cannot educate for future generations without exposing them to research, development and deployment. On the other hand, we cannot do successful research, development and deployment without the input of future generations.

RISS Logo“The Carnegie Mellon University RISS Program is an intensive summer research program for talented undergraduate students. Summer Scholars have the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art research projects, interact with a diverse research team, and to be mentored by leading faculty and technical staff. The program introduces aspiring students to dynamic research resources and methods, RI graduate education programs and research projects. The Summer Scholars program lasts 11 weeks.”

“RISS connects students from across the country and world to contribute to robotics research alongside top CMU researchers. There were over 700 applicati

Map Showing Home Countries ofRISS Students

ons to the RISS 2021 program from more than 40 countries and over 300 institutions worldwide. With 58 scholars from 13 countries and 43 home universities, the 2021 RISS cohort is the largest cohort since the inception of the program in 2006. Fifty percent of the participating scholars are from communities underrepresented in STEM…The RI scholars’ research experience is guided by outstanding research mentors that represent the incredibly diverse robotics research from across the Institute.”

More from Mobility21 RISS Summer Scholar, Rayna Hata

“Hi, my name is Rayna Hata, and I am a rising junior at Colby College in Maine studying computer science. I am interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in robotics at an institution where innovation through collaborations is fostered and encouraged. This summer, I am thrilled to be working under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Smith and Dr. Issac Isukapati in their Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory where I will be working on their PedPal app, an app designed to assist pedestrians with disabilities and/or mobility challenges to safely cross signalized intersections. Specifically, I will be working on getting better localization of the pedestrian’s location in relation the crosswalk that they are approaching or on. In my previous experience with robotics, I focused on how to make robots that can make carrying large loads easier for those with injuries and disabilities. I am excited to gain research experience in robotics and make connections with the other cohort members! I would like to thank Dr. Stephen Smith, Dr. Issac Isukapati, Mobility21, and the RISS sponsors and partners for making this opportunity possible.”

Rayna continues “After selecting my research project, I looked at different types of distance sensors and beacons that may work for the PedPal app and the pedestrian traffic signals. I am very excited to keep going and further my knowledge about accurate localization. I am thrilled to be a part of this program, make connections with the other members of the cohort, and grow my skills at becoming a researcher in robotics.”

“Real-World Data Driven Characterization of Urban Human Mobility Patterns” Thesis Defense Presentation by CMU ECE Ph.D. Candidate

May 12, 2021
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May 12, 2021

Abhinav Jauhri, CMU ECE Ph.D. Candidate presented his thesis defense on Real-World Data Driven Characterization of Urban Human Mobility Patterns. Mobility21 Program Manager Lisa Kay Schweyer attended his defense. Abhinav’s work was conducted as part of the Mobility21 UTC project, “Real Time Traffic Congestion Prediction and Mitigation at the City Scale. UTC Researcher John Paul Shen, was Abhinav’s advisor and his committee included Anupam Datta, Jason Hong, and another UTC researcher Sean Qian.

CMU Students Share Capstone Projects

May 6, 2021
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May 6, 2021

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair.  The projects featured today included the following transportation related projects:

    • Team US Ignite/Colorado Springs: Reducing Traffic Congestion at Fort Carson Army Base
    • Team Port Authority of Allegheny County: Parking Management Scenario Planning for the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC)
    • Department of Labor & Industry: Online Platforms in the PA Trucking and Construction Sectors: Measurement Challenges and Policy Implications 
    • Beneficial State Foundation: Projecting the Future Growth of the Used Clean Vehicle Market in California
    • Allies for Children: School Bus Optimization for Meal Delivery in the Age of COVID-19

Heinz College Student Capstone Project Evaluates Transit Park and Ride Lots

May 5, 2021
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May 5, 2021

Heinz College MPPM students Aly Caito, Ali Iftikhar, Erika Montana, Sanjay Renduchintala, and Shirish Verma, presented their Systems Synthesis class project “Parking Management Scenario Planning for the Port Authority of Allegheny County.”  The course was advised by Professor Stan Caldwell and the client was Heinz College Alum Amy Silbermann, Director of Planning and Service Development at the Port Authority of Allegheny County.  View the report here.

CMU Student Transportation Club Hosts Career Panel

May 5, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

April 30, 2021

The CMU Student Transportation Club hosted their annual career panel to provide students with real-world insight from individuals who work in the transportation field.  Panelists were volunteers from the Pittsburgh Chapter of WTS :

CMU Student Capstone Course Focuses on Electric Vehicle Adoption

May 4, 2021
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May 4, 2021

Stan Caldwell served on the advisory panel and attended the final presentation of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy‘s undergraduate capstone project course on the local and national implications of vehicle electrification.  The semester long project course was taught by Professor Erica Fuchs and the question posed to the students was: What are the implications of vehicle electrification for national security, geopolitical and other supply chain risks, economic prosperity (including jobs), and social welfare (including the environment and equity)?

Student Debate on EV Policy with Professor Jeremy Michalek

April 26, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

April 26, 2021

Professor Jeremy Michalek, a Mobility21 UTC researcher, hosted a student debate on electric vehicle policy for his course “Electric Vehicles: Technology, Economics, Environment and Policy,” which also featured an expert panel that included:

  • Alan Jenn is a CMU EPP alumnus who is now an Assistant Professional Researcher at the Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle group of the Institution of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.
  • David Rapson is an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Davis Energy Economics Program at the University of California, Davis.
  • Costa Samaras is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Lisa Snapp is the Director of the Climate Analysis and Strategies Center in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Transportation and Climate Division.

Solving the Problems of Traffic with Twitter Information

April 22, 2021
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April 22, 2021

Working with Ph.D. student Weiran Yao, Mobility21 UTC research Sean Qian has extracted information from tweets to provide accuracy in predicting morning traffic patterns.  Read the full story here.

 

Engineering and Public Policy Course on Vehicle Electrification

March 16, 2021
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March 16, 2021

Mobility21 UTC supported CMU’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy’s undergraduate capstone project course on Local and National Implications of Vehicle Electrification.  Stan Caldwell serves on the project team’s advisory board and provided feedback and UTC research insights for the students’ mid-term research project presentation.

CMU Student Attends TRB Annual Meeting

January 29, 2021
Posted in What's Happening

January 21-29, 2021

CMU student Kartik Narula participated in the 2021 Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting.  He was able to network with professionals, participate in the career fair, and get an overview of similar research happening in the transportation world.  Kartik said:  “I am currently working as a research assistant … creating microsimulation models for traffic in Athens using the Pineuma dataset. There were several poster sessions where people had used the same dataset for their research. It was insightful to learn how the dataset can be used for different analyses.” 

The 8th IEEE Workshop on Spoken Language Technology

January 21, 2021
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January 21, 2021

Mobility21 UTC researcher Maxine Eskenazi’s student, Yulan Feng, presented the paper “Towards Automatic Route Description Unification in Spoken Dialog Systems,” which describes the construction of a pipeline to automate the route description unification process in spoken dialog systems during the Spoken Language Workshop today.  Her 15-minute presentation introduced the technical details of the pipeline, the overall GetGoing system, and the collaboration her team had with UPMC.

The SLT Workshop is a biennial flagship event of IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee. The main theme for SLT 2021 was “Spoken language technologies: deep learning and beyond” (as deep learning has witnessed great success in spoken language technologies over the last decade).

CMU Students Share Capstone Projects – Day 3

December 10, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

December 10, 2020

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair.  The projects featured today included the following transportation related project:

    • Team Sensez9: Integrating Technology with 2-1-1 Services – Last-Mile Public Services Delivery During a Pandemic

CMU Students Share Capstone Projects – Day 1

December 8, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

December 8, 2020

Students of the CMU Heinz College engage in semester long “Capstone Projects” to apply coursework to real-world scenarios.  Today, students shared the results of their semester long research projects during a poster fair (the fair continues tomorrow).  The projects featured today included the following transportation related project:

    • Team Port Authority: Changes in Transportation During COVID-19 in Allegheny County

Intern Helping to Create Access to STEM for Rural Western Pennsylvania

November 3, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

November 3, 2020

Traffic21 Women in Transportation Fellow Carlee Benhart Kukula started as a communications and policy intern for Robowitz in June of 2020, but found the work so exciting that she stayed on through the fall semester. “Equity in western Pennsylvania is extremely important to me,” said Carlee. “I grew up in a rural county and knew that issues of rural access and equity were close to my heart. Before this summer, I never saw myself necessarily working to help support education, but I was so excited to see how Robowitz  stepped up to create ‘The Robot Doctor’ program to address gaps in STEM education during the pandemic that I immediately knew I was working with the right people.”  Carlee is helping to partner with schools and other organizations which serve students who are underrepresented in STEM.  Carlee presented at the Pennsylvania TRIO conference and is scheduled to present at TEEAP, and to Intermediate Units.   Contact Carlee on LinkedIn for more information.

CMU Student Interns with the American Public Transportation Association

October 30, 2020
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October 30, 2020

Dominick Fiorentino, Carnegie Mellon University Master of Science in Public Policy and Management Candidate is interning this academic year (2020 – 2021) with the American Public Transportation Association.  His internship in the Policy Department involves work on various transit issues including mobility innovation, public-private partnerships, and mobility recovery and restoration in context of the COVID-19 pandemic (looking at each of these areas from a sustainability and equity lens).  Dominick was an active member of the CMU Transportation Club during 2019 – 2020 and through his involvement with Mobility21, was introduced to APTA (a Mobility21 UTC Deployment Partner) and secured this internship.

WTS Grants Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholarship to CMU Student Kathryn Schlesinger

August 18, 2020
Posted in What's Happening

August 18, 2020

The Women in Transportation Seminar, Pittsburgh Chapter awarded the Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholarship to CMU student Kathryn Schlesinger.

“Although originally hailing from sunny, south Florida, Ms. Schlesinger considers Pittsburgh to be her second home after living here for nearly ten years. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 with a dual B.A. and GIS Certificate, Ms. Schlesinger accepted an AmeriCorps Fellowship position at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), a nonprofit membership based organization, where she served for close to four years as the Transit Research and Policy Fellow, and later went on to become the Policy Coordinator. Over her time at PCRG, Ms. Schlesinger earned her LEED Green Associate accreditation and began the Master of Public Management program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in January 2018. She will be graduating in December 2020.”

The published award profile further explains that “After transitioning to a new role at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in fall 2018, Ms. Schlesinger now works on the Mobility Team as the Mobility Project Manager. In this role, she has had the opportunity to work on and lead a variety of mobility and public realm improvement projects to enhance the vibrancy and character of Downtown Pittsburgh. Among many other projects currently underway, her team is leading a process to develop a Mobility Plan designed to improve the Downtown experience for all users and identify ways to improve the pedestrian, transit, biking, vehicle, and delivery realms. Outside of work and school, Ms. Schlesinger enjoys living in Squirrel Hill with her longtime partner, Josh, and their two cats, Pluto and Ezio. “