ITE’s Seventh General Meeting w/ Guest Speaker Monica Suter

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Untitled1Monica M. Suter, PE, TE, PTOE for the City of Santa Ana, CA is currently an International Director with ITE.  She previously served as Western District President (2008-2009) and promoted the profession with her “Getting to ‘Yes’ With the Public & Elected Officials” presentation.   She manages an engineering team for the City of Santa Ana with 26 years of private and public sector experience.  Ms. Suter joined ITE as a Michigan State University student.   Since then she’s presented/published several International/District ITE papers, and served as a co-instructor for ITS Tech Transfer/UC Berkeley’s MUTCD Course.  Ms. Suter is a Signals Technical Committee Member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and was an ITE Associate Member in 2011.  She is currently an APWA Associate Member.

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ITE’s 5th Meeting w/ Guest Speaker Gianfranco Laurie

Gianfranco LaurieITE’s first meeting of the Winter term is this Thursday, January 10th during U-hour (12-1 PM), in the Transpo Lab (17-2646). We will be hosting Gianfranco Laurie as our guest speaker. He is a Cal Poly Pomona Alumni and has a wide breadth of experience working on Civil and Traffic Engineering projects and will be discussing Overcoming Civil and Traffic Design Challenges. Lunch from In-N-Out will be provided and is kindly sponsored by KOA Corporation. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Induction Charging Comes to Public Transit

Induction Charging Comes to Public Transit

Say goodbye to catenary wires. Utah State University has unveiled an electric bus that charges through induction, topping off its batteries whenever it stops to pick up passengers.

The same principle that charges your toothbrush wirelessly keeps this bus running. Photo: Utah State University

The same principle that charges your toothbrush wirelessly keeps this bus running. Photo: Utah State University

Designed by USU’s Wireless Power Transfer team and the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative’s Advanced Transportation Institute, the prototype Aggie Bus is already on the road. It uses the same wireless charging principle as an electric toothbrush or a wireless smartphone charger, except optimized for a massive public-transit vehicle.

As in all modern inductive-charging setups, a transformer is “split” between the bus and a charge plate under the bus stop. When the bus drives over the charging plate, current flows with no physical contact required. Engineers at USU designed their system so that the Aggie Bus can be misaligned up to 6 inches from the charge plate and still get 25kW of power and 90 percent efficiency from the power grid to the battery.

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L.A.’s 6th Street Bridge Design Competition

HNTB, an engineering and architectural firm founded in Kansas City, Mo., has won a competition to redesign and replace the 6th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River between downtown and Boyle Heights.

The double arches of the iconic 80-year-old bridge, which engineers fear would crumble in an earthquake, will be replaced with a sleek, cable-supported structure that features a “ribbon of arches,” City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other officials announced the winner Friday.

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Educational Outreach Project at High School

Los Angeles Education PartnershipBackground

In cooperation with the Los Angeles Education Partnership and the East LA Renaissance School of Urban Planning and Design we will be developing and delivering a weekly course at the high school introducing students to Civil Engineering and the Transportation field. The students will be working on a “mini-capstone” project, which they will present to their friends and guests representing industry. We will be taking a real location and project, understand it, simplify it, and then teach it through once a week classes for nine weeks.

How you can help

We need volunteers to help organize and develop the course material. This is not as simple as it sounds. It will require reviewing and understanding the project documents to become familiar with the existing project. Then a simplified version must be developed, that would cover the core concepts of Civil Engineering, including the structural, geotechnical, environmental, and transportation engineering. Then the material must be effectively communicated to the students. This means organizing the material, providing examples and performing demonstrations, all the while making sure to cover the CA educational standards.

What you will get out of it

A 2 unit technical elective course is being put together for students who want to participate. This is also a great opportunity to really become involved in understanding what the basic fundamental concepts of Civil Engineering are. You can also develop your communication and presentation skills in front of an audience. As the saying goes, “Teaching is the highest form of understanding”.

There is much more to this project, so get in touch with us, and lets get started!

Automated People Mover (via Parsons)

Automated People Mover

To increase capacity, enhance efficiency and safety, reduce delays, and modernize facilities, the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners adopted a master plan for Miami International Airport (MIA). A pivotal element of this plan was construction of an offsite ground transportation hub, the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) and an automated people mover to transport passengers and airport workers between the MIC and the main airport terminal. Continue reading

NACTO announces release of Urban Bikeways Design Manual (via ITDP)

Urban Bikeways Design Manual

The U.S. National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has created a new urban bikeways design manual, based in large part on designs that have been innovated or adapted by their member cities (which includes bike-friendly notables such as New York, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Seattle among others).

The guide is geared towards practitioners and provides detailed design guidance for each treatment. For policymakers the guide also includes information on the benefits of each design as well as other cities that have already implemented them in order to demonstrate precedence and potential for success.

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