2011 Overview

Overview of Activities at rCITI – 2011

The Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI) is a new UNSW Centre, based in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering with activities that span the Faculty of Engineering as well as across UNSW. In the presence of supporters from Government, Industry and across the university, rCITI was officially launched in November 2011 by Professor Mary O'Kane, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. rCITI represents a strategic effort with research and industry partners that unites and substantially augments the wide range of transport research across campus.

rCITI supported generously by Evans & Peck

The Evans & Peck Chair for Transport Innovation leads the new Research Centre and has been made possible by the generous support of Evans & Peck, an international infrastructure- based advisory company, and a School Industry Partner. Other financial supporters of the rCITI include NICTA, the units within UNSW including central strategic support as well as the Faculty of Engineering.

Staffing update

The new Evans & Peck Professor of Transport Innovation is Professor S. Travis Waller, previously in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. An expert in transport systems and planning, Professor Waller also has extensive grounding in the fields of electrical and industrial engineering making him an excellent fit for the new cross-School Faculty Centre.

Professor Waller took up the position of Evans & Peck Professor for Transport Innovation and Director of rCITI in May 2011, welcomed by Dr Upali Vandebona (Senior Lecturer in Transport, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW) and followed by Dr Lauren Gardner (Lecturer), Dr David Fajardo (Research Associate) and Dr Vinayak Dixit (Senior Lecturer). Dr Gardner's key areas include cross-disciplinary system interaction (e.g., health impacts of transport including disease propagation due to air travel) and congestion pricing for transportation networks. Research Associate Dr Fajardo focuses on vehicle routing, automated intersection control and logistics. Dr Dixit, previously the Associate Director of Research, Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency at Louisiana State University, joined the team in October and has a keen interest in topics such as planning for risk in transportation and emergency evacuation and management.

Awards and contract wins

Apart from the set up of the Centre structure and the official launch of the rCITI, key achievements for 2011 include the award of the UNSW Goldstar Award for "Adaptive Stochastic Network Behaviour Modeling Approaches for Representing and Responding to Disrupted Conditions" as well as a research contract with Booz Allen Hamilton for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the Department of Transport of the United States of America (USDOT). This research project represents a major FHWA initiative to investigate the "Identification and Evaluation of Transformative and Environmental Applications and Strategies".

Conferences and events

Professor Waller has attended and been invited to present at a variety of conferences. He spoke at ATRF in Adelaide and presented research contributions at TRB (Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting, Washington D.C) and ITS (Australian Intelligent Transport Systems Summit, Gold Coast). In addition, Professor Waller has co-organized and cochaired a Panel at ISGT for IEEE (Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference, Perth) about the rising popularity of Electric Vehicles and this growing interdisciplinary field. He also co-organized a workshop on micro-simulation in Melbourne and presented at an international workshop on traffic management hosted by QUT.

Workshop brings collaboration opportunities

Resulting from rapidly increasing interest on electric vehicles, The University of New South Wales hosted an introductory workshop in November on "The Convergence of Transportation, Energy, and the Built Environment". Lead by Professor Waller and Professor Michael Neuman (Professor of Sustainable Urbanism, Faculty of the Built Environment), key speakers included Professor Mladen Kezunovic (Director, Power System Control and Protection Laboratory, Texas A & M University), Professor Michael A P Taylor (Professor of Transport Planning, University of South Australia), Dr Peter Pudney (Senior Research Fellow, University of South Australia), Mr Kristian Handberg (Project Manager, VIC Department of Transport), Mr Ricardo Goldman (Managing Director at TRIM GBO, Architecture and Planning, Spain) and Mr Guy Pross (Director, Business Development and Commercial Partnerships, Better Place). Additional attendees included representation from national labs, consultancies and government. The focus of this workshop was an overview of previous international research and deployment efforts, the exploration of domain linkages, and the potential for collaboration in this growing interdisciplinary field. The intention is to hold further workshops in the future and outline possible areas of for collaboration.