Education Activities: Student Engagement

CSCRS aims to engage students at all consortium member campuses through student-directed activities and professional opportunities helping to build a workforce with an understanding of road safety principles and Safe Systems approaches and methods.

Here are examples of CSCRS student-focused activities:

Student Programs

  • UNC’s Coffee and Conversation, a 10-part lecture series started in January 2018, is a biweekly dialogue featuring experts in public health, transportation, planning, engineering, and ethics who explore the many interrelated components of our complex transportation system.
  • Florida Atlantic University launched a Safe Streets Lecture Series in March 2018 with a talk by Peter Norton, Professor of History at the University of Virginia, on “The Invention of the Motor Age Street.” 
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville students were involved in Tickle College of Engineering activities including the WomEngineers Welcome Dinner in Neyland Stadium for incoming and transfer female engineering students to meet and network with UTK faculty and students.
  • UTK students created an event called “Using Transportation Technology to Improve Safety, Mobility, Efficiency, and Sustainability,” which gave high schoolers an introduction on transportation engineering and the career opportunities that transportation engineer holds. 
  • UTK students established a Women’s Transportation Seminar Student Chapter at the University of Tennessee.
  • In summer 2018, University of Tennessee, Knoxville will launch CSI (Crash Scene Investigation) Camp, a unique program designed for high school students. The camp teaches students how to investigate a vehicle crash scene and consider potential contributing factors including environment conditions and vehicle condition.
  • UTK students assisted with the Seatbelt Convincer, which simulates a low speed crash of approximately 5 to 7 miles per hour and allows the public to experience the benefits of wearing their seatbelt even at a low speed, at events all over Tennessee.
  • UTK students showcased transportation engineering and technologies and assisted in the Tennessee Regional Future City Competition that was held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Middle school students from nine schools across Tennessee competed in this competition, which challenged students to design a virtual city in SimCity, write a 1,500-word essay on the city, build a scale model using recycled materials and that included at least one moving part, present a 7-minute presentation, and develop a project plan.

Student Research, Scholarships 

  • Duke students completed an independent study on a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidance for automated vehicles, which resulted in the development of two podcasts:
  • In addition, Duke students
    • completed a publication and co-authored/guided research paper on machine learning;
    • presented a poster at the Duke Research Experiences for Undergraduates conference summarizing elements from the project Development and Evaluation of Vehicle to Pedestrian (V2P) Safety Interventions, including a test of a mobile app for warning pedestrians of oncoming traffic;
    • reviewed the existing North Carolina legislation regulating autonomous vehicles to develop a model to analyze policy factors affecting the amount of AV activity in each state; and
    • synthesized a science library independent study at Duke for AV technology and terminology with undergraduate students.
  • Two FAU student research assistants are working on CSCRS-related projects:
  • Two UCB Transportation Engineering master’s student are working as research assistants on CSCRS-related projects:
    • Lin Yang’s research focuses on the methods that can be applied to maximize the precrash kinetic energy dissipation so that the energy imposed on the road users can be minimized. Title: “Methods for Maximizing Pre-Crash Kinetic Energy Dissipation from a Safe System Perspective.”
    • Ibrahim Itani’s research, titled “Applied Principles in Safe Systems,” examines how Safe Systems are being implemented in other fields (e.g., construction, health care) and what can be learned from their approach. 
  • CSCRS was proud to select Dr. Becky Naumann as its first Outstanding Student of the Year. Naumann, who recently received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was honored at the Council of University Transportation Center’s 27th Annual Outstanding Student of the Year Awards ceremony in January 2018. 
  • Two UNC DCRP master’s students were selected as CSCRS research fellows:
    • Sarah Johnson’s research focuses on analysis of city-level pedestrian and bicycle crash data to identify dangerous roadway configurations, and considers context-sensitive design interventions to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in North Carolina.
    • Alyson West’s research focused on creating a public dashboard with survey responses to the ABPB 2016 Women’s Cycling Survey, to provide practitioners insight on how to increase cycling mode shares in their communities. West presented her research at the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, March 2018.
  • UNC also created the CSCRS Scholars Program aimed at cultivating future leaders in transportation safety and injury prevention. In addition to financial support, CSCRS Scholars receive mentorship and academic support from a team of experienced transportation and public health researchers, and are encouraged to engage in student-led or CSCRS-related activities.
  • Several UTK students participated in the 2018 TRB Annual Meeting to present papers and posters, and to network. In particular, UTK students received the best paper award by TRB’s Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation Committee (ANB20) for the following paper: Kamrani, M., B. Wali, & A. Khattak, Can Data Generated by Connected Vehicles Enhance Safety? Proactive Approach to Intersection Safety Management. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2017 (TRR 2659).

Looking Ahead

CSCRS continues to develop new education programs; the following activities will be launched in 2018:

  • UCB is producing short educational videos about road safety that highlight the research work conducted by CSCRS scholars and researchers at UCB.
  • Multiple CSCRS universities are implementing new scholarship programs.
  • FAU will conduct a Safe Systems education and outreach program consisting of three components: research to identify best practices in reducing traffic-related death and injury; a stand-alone “short course” on Safe Systems to be made available on the web, and the introduction of the concept of Safe Systems as part of the South Florida Safe Streets Summit, scheduled for January of 2019.
  • UNC will work with local experts and CSCRS Scholars to develop a set of transportation planning-focused Safe Systems activities aimed at 4th/5th graders as part of Community Planning Month.