CTR’s 2015 Symposium Most Popular Yet
CTR held its 2015 Symposium on April 8 with a theme of Safety First: Keep ‘Em Rolling. Given the recent collision between a tractor-trailer with an oversized load and a bridge on IH 35, road safety is a hot topic, so this event drew great media attention. KEYE ran one story (Experts Recommend Truck Focus to Avoid Oversize Load Problems) while KXAN provided coverage both before and during event (view both clips). View the day’s photo album.
Kicking off the event was keynote speaker Anthony Cisneros, Director of HEB Transportation, who provided insight on HEB’s remarkable safety record: the Texas grocery chain has over 197 drivers—over a quarter of their total driver pool—who have driven over 1 million consecutive miles without an accident. HEB was chosen for the keynote spot because the company has grown to serve a substantial part of Texas over the past three decades and is well known for employing innovative technologies and products to raise productivity while maintaining safety. Its extensive logistics operation uses both state and metropolitan highway systems to deliver goods to its supermarkets. As Director of Transportation Operations, Cisneros has over 600 tractors and 2900 trailers working 24/7 to meet retail demand. In his presentation, Cisneros described the training that HEB drivers undergo and some of the technologies and incentives used to keep their truck operating safely. HEB’s Mike Moynahan, who has been with the company since it formed its truck fleet, was also on hand to answer questions related to specific technologies they have already adopted—including radar, engine, and gearbox control technologies; trailer composites; and extra-wide tires—as well as newer technologies currently being tested, such as liftable axles.
HEB brought two trucks on site for Symposium attendees to examine: one of the latest “million mile” tractor-trailers and a prototype truck that is testing future design and technology changes.
Following the keynote and HEB truck demonstration, UT researchers presented on these topics:
- Dynamic Traffic Modeling for TxDOT
- Oversize/Overweight Vehicles and Safety Considerations
- The Impact of Reduced Maintenance on Road Safety
- Objective and Proactive Measures of Road Safety Performance for TxDOT’s Austin District
- Steel Bridge Research at Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory
This year’s poster session was the most extensive yet, with 25 posters on display. CTR graduate student researchers and transportation faculty discussed with attendees some preliminary findings in active projects on topics representing the cutting edge of transportation research.
Finally, CTR announced this year’s winner of the Mac Shelby Award, which honors a TxDOT research staff member who has provided exceptional leadership, technical expertise, ability to address special challenges, and dedication to research. TxDOT staffer Andy Naranjo, Rigid Pavement and Concrete Materials Branch Manager, won the award for his work on Project 6749, Feasibility Study of Two-Lift Concrete Paving.
For more details on the event, see our Symposium page.