The UT Austin team of faculty and student researchers gathered on Friday, December 7, 2018 to present their ongoing research projects for the five-year Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2) consortium. Following the success of previous exhibitions, the UT Austin CM2 team decided to make this event a regular occurrence. In addition to our faculty and student researchers, representatives from our Support Partner Program sponsors as well as members from the CM2 Advisory Committee were invited.
Guests in attendance were Ashley McLain, Principal and Co-founder of Cox | McLain Environmental Consulting; Peter Smith, Director of Transportation Planning and Programming for Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT); Nirav Ved, Special Assistant to Executive Director of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Ashby Johnson; and Donny Hamilton, Jr., Director of Finance and Administration at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
At the beginning of the exhibition, highlights from the Fall 2018 semester were showcased including the conference presentations, journal publications, and awards received by faculty and students. CM2 Director, Dr. Ming Zhang also presented Certificates of Appreciation to our Support Partners and Advisory Committee members, as a thank you for their continued support of the center’s research initiatives. Following the certificate presentations, the exhibition ended with a poster session for new and ongoing CM2 research projects, during which students, faculty, and guests could discuss the research topics, research design, challenges, and current/expected findings.
At this exhibition event, researchers presented their work in the fields of Community and Regional Planning, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Law. The CM2 projects highlighted at the exhibition explored the role of transit operators in MPO decision-making, identifying transit deserts, planning for autonomous vehicles, the role of an MPO on intra and inter-regional transportation, freight mobility, active transportation, mobility and accessibility for seniors, neighborhood walkability metrics, constructing network models for megaregions, the role of transportation networking companies (TNCs) on megaregional mobility, utilizing crowd-sourced data and machine learning for megaregional resiliency to flooding, analyzing demand potential for high speed rail (HSR), and the role of MPOS in natural disaster planning, among others.