October 2021 Newsletter 

2021 Transportation Achievement Awards

We are less than a month away from the 2021 Transportation Achievement Awards! Please join us on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, as we we honor Florida's Transportation Hall of Fame Inductee Sylvan 'Sonny' Holtzman

The 2021 CUTR Transportation Achievement Awards event will be held at the USF Marshall Center. CUTR will present the CUTR Transportation Scholarship Award, the Georgia Brosch Memorial Scholarship, the 2021 New Voice in Transportation Award, and the NICR Student of the Year Award.

Seats are filling up quickly! Purchase your tickets now!

Tickets are available

CUTR names new Executive Director and Associate Director

Fred Mannering, Ph.D.
CUTR Executive Director

Lisa Staes
CUTR Associate Director

On October 7, 2021, Robert H. Bishop, dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Engineering, announced that Fred Mannering, Ph.D., accepted the position of Executive Director and Lisa Staes accepted the position of Associate Director for the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR).

“We are both excited to begin this new adventure and we look forward to the future of CUTR and its research,” said Dr. Mannering at a meeting with CUTR employees.

Dr. Mannering is a highly decorated scholar and academic researcher who has been actively involved with engineering and transportation research. He has published extensively over the years and his work has been cited over 28,000 times in Google Scholar. Dr. Mannering has supervised 26 Doctoral students, many of whom hold prominent academic and industry appointments. He has received numerous awards over his career, most recently being included on Clarivate’s annual list of the world’s most highly cited researchers (2019 and 2020) and receiving the Council of University Transportation Centers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021. Previously, Dr. Mannering served as the Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington and Head of the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University.

Lisa Staes was previously the program director of CUTR’s Transit Safety and Workforce Development program. She has authored several publications for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the Federal Transit Administration. Ms. Staes is the chair of TRB’s Task Force on Transit Safety and Security and an active member on several TRB committees and subcommittees. She also serves as an editorial board member of Elsevier’s Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives (TRIP) Journal. She manages the high-profile national Federal Transit Administration Standards Development Program that is now in its 5th year with a total budget of $7M. In the last three years as a program director, Ms. Staes oversaw over $10M in sponsored projects.

“I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity to work at CUTR as the associate director,” said Ms. Staes. “CUTR’s dedicated and impassioned employees conduct extremely meaningful work, and I am excited about the future holds for us.”

Both Dr. Mannering and Ms. Staes have been working in these positions since 2020 and led the organization through the COVID pandemic, remote work, and new contracts and research.

Dr. Mannering and Ms. Staes begin their appointments immediately. 

ITS World Congress

High frequency connected vehicle data are at the heart of the advancement of its technology. However, with access to these data comes a great responsibility to secure and protect individuals from accidental breaches and bad actors.

Sisinnio Concas, ACME Program Director, participated at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg, Germany (Oct 11-15, 2021). As part of a panel of industry experts, Dr. Concas discussed data sharing and policies and practices that must in place to ensure data are managed responsibly in conducing large-scale studies. His presentation details concerning the THEA Connected Vehicle Pilot approach to ensure research participants’ data privacy. Learn more about the conference.

2021 National Roadway Safety Award

Pei-Sung Lin, Zhenyu Wang, Rakesh Rangaswamy and Rama Kolla taken during field data collection

Active Work Zone Awareness Device (AWAD) placed at US 98 near Trilby Road for a Pilot Study

Congratulations to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for being selected as one of the seven recipients of the 2021 National Roadway Safety Award! In addition, FDOT received an Honorable Mention for the successful transition of traditional in-person education and skill-building to online training through its Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). The National Roadway Safety Awards are a biennial awards program sponsored jointly by the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation. First presented in 1999, the awards recognize roadway safety achievements that move the nation toward zero deaths and serious injuries on U.S. roadways. 


The award recognizes the collaborative accomplishments of FDOT and the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) to use innovative work zone safety technologies for arterial roadways, specifically through the utilization of Active Work Zone Awareness Devices (AWADs). Work zone and worker safety are a vital concern to transportation agencies, the construction industry, and the motoring public. In Florida, speeding in work zone areas accounts for 31 percent of fatal work zone crashes. Despite this, limited smart work zone (SWZ) applications and studies to date have focused on arterials and other non-freeway locations. FDOT’s District 7 led and managed an innovative arterial work zone safety project in partnership with FDOT’s safety team, CUTR, and the Florida Work Zone Safety Coalition, to close this research and implementation gap. This innovative project sought successful engineering solutions to effectively address the problems of speeding and unsafe behaviors in arterial work zones. FDOT and CUTR worked closely to plan, coordinate, implement, and evaluate proposed smart work zone applications under many test scenarios at six study sites.

The technologies studied included the Active Work Zone Awareness Device (AWAD) and two iCone products. The AWAD is a relatively low-cost countermeasure that consists of a radar device with LED signs mounted on a trailer that warns approaching drivers of an active work zone, notifies them of their travel speed, and contains regulatory messaging. Also studied were two iCone boxes – one connected to an AWAD, the other to an arrow board – which create digitally connected work zone and traffic control infrastructure and deliver relevant messaging to users of the Waze navigation app. Congratulations go to our CUTR research team including Dr. Pei-Sung Lin (PI). Dr. Mouyid Islam (Co-PI), Dr. Zhenyu Wang (Co-PI), Rakesh Rangaswamy (GRA), Rama Kolla (GRA) and Elzbieta Bialkowska-Jelinska (GRA).

The Florida LTAP Center, housed at CUTR, aims to improve the skills and increase the knowledge of Florida's local and state transportation workforces on roadway safety by providing training and technical assistance. It developed and implemented cost-efficient approaches to achieve no-cost safety-related training to all attendees, and used innovative approaches to increase training attendance. The successful transition from in-person training to online webinars also effectively addresses the significant impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Over 50 new courses have been added to the LTAP training catalog within three years. The variety of training offerings, coupled with the ability to access recorded webinars for on-demand training, has resulted in a substantial increase in training attendance. The current Florida LTAP virtual safety-related trainings attract an impressive average of 434 transportation professional attendees per live training session. Congratulations go to our CUTR Florida LTAP team including Dr. Pei-Sung Lin (LTAP Center Director). Dr. Cong Chen (General Manager), Kristin Larsson (Training Coordinator), Stephanie Lewis (Training Coordinator), Kiryanna Stanley (Assistant Training Coordinator), and Alex Cruz (Technical Support).

For more information, please visit To learn more about the Florida LTAP Center, please visit their website

An example of Florida LTAP attendee distribution maps for online trainings  

CUTR research at TRB 2022

CUTR has several papers accepted to the 2022 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. The following papers were chosen from more than 4,000 papers submitted for review. Our website will update as more papers are accepted.

View accepted papers

Upcoming Florida LTAP Center Events

Urban Heat Island and Pavement Preservation Explained

DATE: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
TIME: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

Register for webinar

This webinar will provide attendees a thorough introduction to one of the “hottest” pavement related issues of today and how pavement preservation strategies can help solve one of the most challenging issues we face – soaring urban temperatures. The Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) will present the science behind the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, discuss the latest on their Cool Roadways Partnership and highlight some of the heat related language in the INVEST in America Act (2021 Infrastructure Bill). The session will focus on explaining the complex nature of UHI, highlight what cities are doing to combat it and review the proposed federal funding available for local agencies to deploy solutions to mitigate urban heat while also helping to preserve pavements.

Learning Objectives

  • Review the detrimental effects of excess heat on our pavements and how to mitigate those effects through pavement preservation.
  • Introduce and define the urban heat island effect and its causes.
  • Highlight success stories from similar agencies implementation of cool roadways strategies.
  • Introduction of heat related language in the INVEST in America Act and how cities could be set to receive hundreds of millions in cool roadways funding to help address the challenges of urban heat.

View full training calendar

Motorcycle Injury Prevention Program wins award

Congratulations to the Motorcycle Injury Prevention Institute (MIPI) at CUTR on their recent award! MIPI received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the State Motorcycle Safety Association for their contributions to motorcycle safety in Florida.

Tampa Bay leads virtual tour, Clearwater Gas System CNG fueling station

Tampa Bay Clean Cities Coalition (TBCCC) partnered with Clearwater Gas System and the City of Clearwater Solid Waste/Recycling Department to present a virtual tour of one of the first public compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations in the Tampa Bay area. This webinar, featuring Executive Director of Clearwater Gas System Chuck Warrington, Assistant Director of Clearwater Gas System Brian Langille, and Director of Clearwater Solid Waste and General Services Earl Gloster, guides viewers through the station and shares the benefits of CNG and the buildings’ operation.

Read more

Kristine Williams, AICP appointed to panel

Kristine Williams was appointed to serve on the panel of NCHRP Project 20-123(13) Transportation Planning Strategic Planning and Research Roadmap Development – a project to support activities of the AASHTO Committee on Planning.

Learn more

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Center for Urban Transportation Research · 4202 E. Fowler Ave. · Tampa, FL 33620 · USA