Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting ready for the annual meeting - The TRB cheat sheet

We have posted TRB’s 2010 State of TRB Report on the committee’s wiki.

Today’s blog posting concerns the use of communications tools, with commentary from your committee co-chair.

TRB Staff and Committees Make Progress in Enhancing Use of Communications Tools

Effective communications have always been critical to the success of TRB standing committees.

With travel budgets being cut, robust communications portfolios are more important than ever.

  • Each committee was asked by TAC to review its communications portfolio during 2009.(Currently the committee maintains a wiki and a blog. In addition, we have a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. )
  • TRB has been updating/expanding its guidelines to committees on effective communications portfolios and sample templates and guidance for committee webpages have been provided to the committees. (We will be considering whether to convert our wiki to TRB’s web pages.)
In response to an offer earlier this year, more than 170 standing committees appointed a communications coordinator to work with TRB staff and other committees to enhance the communications portfolios (Ann Overton is the T2 committee’s coordinator.)
  • Three webinars and communiqués will have been provided for communications coordinators by January 2010.
  • A shared webpage for communications coordinators was launched. The webpage contains guidance and discussion areas for questions and sharing of experiences.
  • A smaller Council of communications coordinators was formed and works with TRB staff between the issuance of webinars and communiqués to the larger group.
The Technical Activities Division, with help from National Academies staff, initiated a review and a possible reorganization of the Division’s webpages.
  • Will complement the revamped TRB website that was launched in August.
  • A detailed survey of over 350 members and friends who volunteered to participate in this effort is underway and the analysis of the results will be concluded shortly after the Annual Meeting.
  • For our chairs, our objective is to make the ‘business’ side of running a committee as painless as possible-- easy access to all of the annual deadlines we ask you to meet, templates and samples to work from, etc.
  • Another objective is to do more to explain how the work of the standing committees fits in to the bigger TRB picture and how to go about becoming a friend of a committee and what that means.
TRB examining opportunities in Web 2.0/social networking.
  • Revamped TRB website includes links to social networking sites.
  • National Academies Mirzayan Fellow assigned to TRB researched social networking opportunities for TRB and transportation organizations.
  • As a result, TRB has initiated a Twitter account. Follow us at TRBofNA.
  • Upcoming webinar for committee communications coordinators will address potential committee applications of social networking.
  • Currently, at least 20 committees have established social networking sites.
Two Sunday workshops and several sessions at 2010 TRB Annual Meeting will be dedicated to social networking. (Check out sessions/workshops the committee is co-sponsoring:
  • Jan 10 2010 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM: Everything You Need to Know About Web 2.0: Using Communication and Collaboration to Improve Transportation, Marriott, Thurgood Marshall East
  • Jan 13 2010 8:00 AM- 9:45 AM: New Media Communications in Transportation, Hilton, Lincoln East

Thursday, November 19, 2009

T2 Committe schedule for 2010 TRB annual meeting

Mark your calendars for interesting sessions and informative meetings sponsored by the T2 Committee at the 2010 TRB annual meeting.

  • Jan 10 2010 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM: Everything You Need to Know About Web 2.0: Using Communication and Collaboration to Improve Transportation, Marriott, Thurgood Marshall East
  • Jan 10 2010 1:30 PM- 4:30 PM: Communicating the Value of Research and Accelerating Innovation Implementation for Transportation Professionals, Shoreham, Blue Room
  • Jan 10 2010 1:30 PM- 4:30 PM: International Transportation Research Collaboration: Success Stories, Hilton, Jefferson West
  • Jan 12 2010 8:00 AM- 9:45 AM: Knowledge Management: Successful Practices for Succession Planning, Hilton, Jefferson West
  • Jan 12 2010 3:45 PM- 5:30 PM: Technology Transfer Committee Meeting, Hilton, Holmead
  • Jan 13 2010 8:00 AM- 9:45 AM: New Media Communications in Transportation, Hilton, Lincoln East

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Want to know more about Web 2.0? Check out T2 Committee sessions at TRB annual meeting

Wanting to get down with the latest in technology? The T2 Committee is co-sponsoring a workshop, “Everything You Need to Know About Web 2.0: Using Communication and Collaboration to Improve Transportation.” The workshop will take place January 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.

What will it cover? Transportation agencies have begun experimenting with Web 2.0 technologies for everything from tweets on road closures to using VOIP services to collaborate with researchers. This workshop provides overviews of many Web 2.0 applications, including social networks, podcasts, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, and virtual worlds. The workshop will highlight current efforts to improve transportation research by using Web 2.0 and provide participants with instructions to get started using these technologies.

You’ll hear from:

  • Andrew Krzmarzick- U.S. Department of Agriculture on Introduction to Government 2.0 and Social Media
  • Georgene M. Geary - Georgia Department of Transportation on Using Web 2.0 Tools at Georgia Department of Transportation
  • Melissa Jordan - Bay Area Rapid Transit District on Transit 2.0 at
  • Transportation Security Administration's Blog and Idea Factory
  • Kendra Levine - University of California, Berkeley on Looking at Transportation with a Web 2.0 lens

And, if you want to know even more about new technologies and what they will mean for you and your organization, check out the session we are also co-sponsoring Jan 13 from 8 to 9:45 a.m. at the Hilton. You’ll also hear about some of the new media initiatives being sponsored by TRB.

New Media Communications in Transportation
  • TRB’s Communication Coordinators Council on New Media Technologies, Jeffrey L. Western - Western Management and Consulting, LLC
  • Overview of New Media Technologies such as Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, Web 2.0 , Brian P. Kennedy - AECOM
  • Social Media Statistics: Who Is Doing What by Mia Zmud - NuStats, LLC
  • Web 2.0 Technologies for Collaboration: Ways to Use Web 2.0 for Collaboration in Transportation and TRB by Lisa Haakon Pogue,
  • Twitter for Transportation: Effective Uses of Twitter for Transportation Information, News, and Building Communities by Kendra Levine - University of California, Berkeley
  • Sensorpedia: Web 2.0 Methods for Sensor Information Sharing by Bryan Gorman - Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Communicating the value of research and accelerating innovation at 2010 TRB annual meeting

In this and future blogs, we’ll be previewing the excellent sessions and workshops the committee has been busy organizing for the 2010 TRB annual meeting.

Be sure to attend the workshop, “Communicating the Value of Research and Accelerating Innovation Implementation for Transportation Professionals” on Sunday, co-sponsored with the Committee on Conduct of Research. Co-chair Larry Orcutt has put together an great chance to get to know the NCHRP Project 20-78: "Communicating the Value of Research Training," and an NHI course, "Leap Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation." Transportation professionals will learn to overcome typical communication challenges and institute best-practice activities in the research process, which results in successfully conveying the value of research to key audiences and leads to innovation. A panel of practitioners will share innovation success stories, including:

  • Committee member and the committee’s TRB Communications Coordinator Ann M. Overton, Virginia Transportation Research Council, will lead with ” What Works in Communicating Transportation Research: View from the Field”
  • Kim Hilsenbeck, NuStats Partners LP will introduce us to the NCHRP project with “Communicating the Value of Research: Overview”
  • “Introduction to National Highway Institute Course "Leap Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation" will be given by Joseph P. Conway, Federal Highway Administration.
Some of the innovation success stories will include:
  • Finding the Spotlight by Ellen Oman, Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Innovation Success Story: Creating and Sustaining Innovation Culture at Utah Department of Transportation by Committee member Rukhsana Kahn Lindsey, Utah Department of Transportation and Jim McMinimee, Utah Department of Transportation
  • Moving from Research to Services for Traveling Public: Unique Public-Private Partnership Path by Thomas West, California Center for Innovative Transportation.

Great example of showcasing the value of research

Recently I attended a program at NASA. It was a pleasure to see government agency staff truly excited about their agency and its mission. But, the most exciting aspect of their presentation was an excellent sample of communicating the value of technology transfer. Take a look at their site, NASA @ Home and City, to see, hear and experience the results of NASA research. The site vividly showcases technologies developed by NASA that have been applied to technologies from cosmetics to wireless headsets to freeze-dried foods. The site also provides additional information on these technologies and you can truly see that “space is everywhere you look.”

Great example of showcasing the value of research

Recently I attended a program at NASA. It was a pleasure to see government agency staff truly excited about their agency and its mission. But, the most exciting aspect of their presentation was an excellent sample of communicating the value of technology transfer. Take a look at their site, NASA @ Home and City, to see, hear and experience the results of NASA research. The site vividly showcases technologies developed by NASA that have been applied to technologies from cosmetics to wireless headsets to freeze-dried foods. The site also provides additional information on these technologies and you can truly see that “space is everywhere you look.”

Monday, October 05, 2009

News from members

Steven Jones will be leaving Ireland and returning to the faculty of the University of Alabama (UA) in January 2010.

Jennifer Sheldon has resigned from the committee as she has accepted another position within the University of Washington and will be transitioning from the Transportation Northwest Center and transportation research to the medical research world. We wish her all the best.

Announcing the committee's new strategic plan

Since the committee’s summer meeting in Washington, DC members and friends have been busy updating the committee’s strategic plan and planning TRB annual meeting sessions for 2010. As usual, there was lots of energy at the end of September confirming speakers and refining descriptions. We have a terrific workshop on communicating the value of research planned. The workshop also incorporates the National Highway Institute course on technology transfer, “Leap, Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation.” We are also sponsoring a session on new media and what it means for transportation. The next blog will go into more depth on the workshop and sessions coming up. In the meanwhile, take a look at the committee’s strategic plan and give us a comment on two.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gov 2.0

The federal government has a Facebook page. Mission: A Facebook page for information about how government can best use Facebook.

Committee member blogs for Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day in Kansas

People from various organizations will be blogging about ways to put the brakes on fatalities starting Monday, Sept. 14, on the Kansas Transportation Online Community (KTOC).

A total of 20 people will share experiences and information about improving safety on our roadways. Some of the bloggers will include KDOT Secretary Deb Miller, Trauma Coordinator at Stormont Vail HealthCare Darlene Whitlock, KHP Technical Trooper Tim McCool, Sgt. Lance Smith with the Reno County Sheriff’s Dept. and State Director of Safe Kids Kansas Cherie Sage.

This event is taking place as part of the national safety campaign Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day. Whether you are in a car or truck, on a bike or even walking, the goal is for everyone to safely get where they are going.

Blogs will be posted by 9 a.m. each work day. The last blog will be on Oct. 9 by Larry Emig, a KDOT retiree who began Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day in 2001. Oct. 10 is the official day celebrated as Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day though the safety messages are promoted all year long.

People are encouraged to sign up for KTOC and offer comments on the blogs. Anyone can read information on KTOC, but to offer comments you must log on as a member. KTOC can be seen at

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Calling for posters on Web 2.0 in research and comunications

Innovative Applications of Social Media and Web 2.0 Technologies in Transportation Research and Communication

Sponsoring Committee
ABG40 Committee on Library and Information Science for Transportation (LIST)

Call Description
The Committee on Library and Information Science for Transportation invites you to submit proposals for a poster session on "Innovative Applications of Social Media and Web 2.0 Technologies in Transportation Research and Communication” at the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2010.

Carrying forward a theme begun with LIST’s 2006 presentation session on wikis, blogs, RSS and podcasting, and continued in 2007 and 2008 with LIST sessions on the application of social media technologies, the committee is issuing a call for posters related to Social Media and Web 2.0 technologies for the TRB Annual meeting in January 2010. The goal of this poster session is to complement programs being developed by other TRB committees exploring practical uses and limitations of these technologies

“Social Media” is defined as both the online content created by people using scalable self-publishing tools and technologies, and the shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and other content; it's a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (static one-to-many communication) into dialogues (dynamic many-to-many communication), and in the process democratizing information.

“Web 2.0" refers to the second generation of Web development and design trends, characterized by innovative online technologies that facilitate communication, collaborative information sharing, interoperability, and user-centered design via new Web applications. The trend has sparked a rapid evolution of web-based communities and hosted applications (all examples of “cloud computing”), including social-networking sites, virtual reality worlds, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and content mashups.

The poster session will focus on applications that utilize Social Media or Web 2.0 elements to improve access to transportation research, or which facilitate communication in the transportation sector in new ways. Posters can showcase successful efforts, programs or initiatives by individuals or agencies. The poster session will highlight methods, tools, and programs that TRB attendees can consider to improve the ways in which transportation research and information is communicated and shared in their organizations and with other stakeholders. The audience for this session is all transportation stakeholders: state DOT practitioners and decision makers, universities, consultants and others interested in recent advances in the delivery of information services to save time and money, and improve quality of transportation research. Please review TRB's guidelines for poster presenters at .
(Note: A paper is not required for this session, an exception being extended for this call by TRB). Files and information from the poster session will be posted on the LIST committee Web site (

About LIST
The Library and Information Science for Transportation Committee (ABG40) serves as a forum for transportation librarians and the transportation research community on developments in information science and their applicability to transportation. The committee facilitates diffusion of national library and information science innovations throughout the transportation community by monitoring the use of new resources and tools in the transportation arena, defining critical research and training issues relating to their implementation, and promoting the benefits of these capabilities.

Call Organizer
Jennifer.Boteler (, (202) 493-3071

We will accept poster proposal ideas submitted by or on behalf of government or education agencies. Please submit an abstract with enough detail to review your proposal to review committee chair Jennifer Boteler (

We will convene a working group of reviewers to judge submissions and notify those selected in late September. We require an abstract for each poster selected, which can be submitted by following the link below. Those selected must present in person at TRB, however, partnering with colleagues is strongly encouraged.

Submit your poster proposals no later than Friday, September 11, 2009 by going here .

Monday, July 20, 2009

Applied technology in Boston

This story has been sent from our special correspondent, committee member John Stevens. It tells how Boston is using mobile technology (GPS and cameras in cell phones) to report problems to city government.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

T2 – A Guide to Current and Emerging Technology

The discussion at our midyear meeting inspired new member, John Stevens, to think about how we can use new media for technology transfer. Be sure to read his thoughts and reflections about each technology.


A blog (a contraction of the term "weblog") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. [such as Twitter]

Personal Opinion
Blogs are great for spreading ideas about a specific subject and beginning a discussion. Ideas can be put forward and the ability to leave comments allows other people to find flaws in arguments or connect other ideas. Blogs are often public forums, though they can be restricted to a specific set of individuals.

Blogs can be useful to organizations internally to let staff know of changes in direction, the status of projects or to bestow recognition for a job well done.
Blogs can also be great for letting the public know about what things are happening within an organization and allow for public comment.


A wiki is a website that uses wiki software, allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages, using a simplified markup language or aWYSIWYG text editor, within the browser. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis. Wikis are used in business to provide intranet and knowledge management systems

Personal Opinion
As stated above Wikis are great for collaborative projects, where multiple people can access documents and make changes or add comments.


RSS (most commonly translated as "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator", which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. [Look to the right of this posting to sign up for an RSS feed from this blog.]

Personal Opinion
RSS feeds are wonderful for people who want to keep up with a lot of continuously changing websites, like newspapers or blogs. Usually only a headline is displayed and if the headline looks interesting then clicking on the headline will open the full article.

The other great thing about RSS programs is that usually they will know when you have already looked at an article and it will not appear next time you open the program, even if you are using a different machine.


A podcast is a series of digital computer files, usually either digital audio or video, that is released periodically and made available for download. by means of web syndication.
The syndication aspect of the delivery is what differentiates podcasts from other ways of accessing files, such as simple download or streaming: it means that special client software applications known as podcatchers (such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes or Nullsoft's Winamp) can automatically identify and retrieve new files in a given series when they are made available, by accessing a centrally-maintained web feed that lists all files currently associated with that particular series. New files can thus be downloaded automatically by the podcatcher and stored locally on the user's computer or other device for offline use, making it simpler for the user to download content that is released episodically.

Like the term broadcast, podcast can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which the content is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. A podcaster is the person who creates the content.

The term is a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "broadcast", the Apple iPod being the brand of portable media player for which early podcasting scripts were developed (see history of podcasting), allowing podcasts to be automatically transferred from a personal computer to a mobile device after download. Despite the source of the name, it has never been necessary to use an iPod, or any other form of portable media player, to use podcasts; the content can be accessed using any computer capable of playing media files. As more mobile devices other than iPods became able to synchronize with podcast feeds, a backronym developed where podcast stood for "Personal On Demand broadCAST."

Personal Opinion
Podcasts are very much like blogs, in that they contain content that is continually being updated. As stated above most podcasts are audio or video files and can be carried on portable devices like iPods, or other MP3 players.

My favorite place to get podcasts is iTunesU which has recordings of university lectures and other similar programs from around the world available for free.

Social Networks

A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.

Social networking has encouraged new ways to communicate and share information. Social networking websites are being used regularly by millions of people.

While it could be said that email and websites have most of the essential elements of social network services, the idea of proprietary encapsulated services has gained popular uptake recently.

The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook widely used worldwide; MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America.
  • Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read each others' updates, known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters, displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to other users - known as followers - who have subscribed to them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. The service is free over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
  • Facebook is a free-access social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. The website currently has more than 200 million active users worldwide. It has also been banned at many places of work to discourage employees from wasting time using the service. Users over the age of 40 are the fastest growing demographic joining Facebook.
  • LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003 mainly used for professional networking. As of May 2009, it had more than 40 million registered users, spanning 170 industries.
Personal Opinion
The different social network sites are good for different things; I once read an article the compared LinkIn to talking after a business meeting, Facebook to a cocktail party and MySpace to an all night rave. So depending on the reason for using social networking sites should, in part, determine how you present yourself.

The T2 committee has a page on both LinkedIn and Facebook.

Twitter has been getting a lot of press lately. I have tried to figure out how best to utilize it for something worthwhile. Twitters primary use is that responses are returned in real time. Because of that fact I think that the best use of Twitter would be to ask a direct question to a large group of professionals with expertise in that area. This could be used as a more targeted form of “crowd sourcing” or using technology to quickly receive the wisdom of the crowd to any given problem.

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging (IM) is a collection of technologies that create the possibility of real-time text-based communication between two or more participants over the internet or some form of internal network/intranet. It is important to understand that what separates chat and instant messaging from technologies such as e-mail is the perceived synchronicity of the communication by the user - Chat happens in real-time. Some systems allow the sending of messages to people not currently logged on (offline messages), thus removing much of the difference between Instant Messaging and e-mail.

IM allows effective and efficient communication, featuring immediate receipt of acknowledgment or reply. In certain cases Instant Messaging involves additional features, which make it even more popular, i.e. to see the other party, e.g. by using web-cams, or to talk directly for free over the Internet.

It is possible to save a conversation for later reference. Instant messages are typically logged in a local message history which closes the gap to the persistent nature of e-mails and facilitates quick exchange of information like URLs or document snippets (which can be unwieldy when communicated via telephone).

Google Wave

Google Wave is "a personal communication and collaboration tool" announced by Google at the Google I/O conference, on 27 May 2009. It is a web based service and computing platform designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wiki, and social networking. It has a strong collaborative and real-time focus supported by robust spelling/grammar checking, automated translation between 40 languages, and numerous other extensions. It is expected to be released later in 2009.


YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos


Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository.[2] As of June 2009, it claims to host more than 3.6 billion images[3], up from 3 billion in November of 2008


Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, orRSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata. These data usually consist of latitude and longitude coordinates, though they can also include altitude, bearing, accuracy data, and place names.

Most, if not all of these services are becoming prevalent on mobile devices like iPods and cell phones. What this means is that the opportunity to share information can happen anywhere and anytime. This ability could help or hinder anything from public involvement to data collection. By knowing about these services we should be able to promote better organizational policy to show people what we do, why we do it and if appropriate invite them to participate.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Meet new member - John Stevens

John Stevens is a transportation planner at Wilbur Smith Associates. John recently graduated from the University of Utah with a Masters of City and Metropolitan Planning, with an emphasis in demographics and transportation planning. Prior to entering the planning field John worked a few years as a field archaeologist in the Great Basin with a small consulting company. John holds a BS in Anthropology and History.
John’s professional goal is to become involved with implementing effective policy dealing with the integration of transportation economics and land use in developing nations that fits with the cultural context of the area.

As to technology transfer and the committee, I want to more effectively utilize existing and emerging delivery systems to disseminate knowledge of and about transportation, transportation systems, and their effect on populations.

Meet new member - Sue Lodahl

Sue Lodahl is the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Assistant Maintenance Engineer. She has just recently returned to the Office of Maintenance and assumed this position in February, 2009. Prior to that she was the Director of Research Services for a four years. She has been with Mn/DOT for 25 years and has held other positions within Mn/DOT including State Lighting Engineer and Maintenance Operations and Training Engineer. Lodahl is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Minnesota.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Educational opportunities

June 25, 2009, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT: Leveraging the Power of the Internet: Research Scanning Using RSS FHWA Research Web Conference

The workshop will provide a basic understanding and competency in the features and functionality of two free Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Readers.
Link to join web conference: and teleconference, number to access audio portion: 800-988-0375, 14202
For more information, please contact EAR Librarian Lance Warren at or 202-493-3123 or EAR Program Manager David Kuehn at or 202-493-3414

July 13, 2009, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EDT: How to Write an Effective Research Statement

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: Whether you’re a DOT practitioner, consultant or university researcher, it’s always a challenge to find funding for needed research. The TRB Conduct of Research Committee has put together some resources for you to consider, beginning with a critical first step in obtaining funds: Writing an effective research statement.

In this Webinar you will hear practical guidance from a TRB senior program officer who has reviewed many a project statement – the good, the bad, and the ugly. You will also hear the perspectives of two successful proposers whose project statements were compelling enough to receive funding. Speakers will discuss topics that include: Coming up with a good title, convincing reviewers the research is critical, succinctly stating the objective, clearly and honestly identifying the benefits, and explaining how the results will be put to use. Discussion will be encouraged among presenters, and Webinar participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. Presenters for this session include:
  • Patrick Casey, CTC & Associates, Moderator. “Resources from the TRB Conduct of Research Committee”
  • Christopher Hedges, TRB Senior Program Officer. “How to Write an Effective Research Statement”
  • Randall Wade, Wisconsin Department of Transportation. “Relating Your Research Need to a Pressing National Issue”
  • William R. “Randy” Cox, American Segmental Bridge Institute. “Working Through AASHTO to Meet DOT Needs”
  • Gail D’Avino, Georgia Department of Transportation. “Persistence Does Make a Difference.”
Registration: There is no fee for TRB Sponsors, listed here: Others must pay $99 per site. Space is limited, so please register in advance.

For questions about using this software, including webinar audio or visual complications, please contact Reggie Gillum at or 202-334-2382.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Introducing committee member Dick Hanneman

Dick Hanneman is President of the Salt Institute, the Alexandria, Virginia-based international trade association representing companies producing salt throughout North America and the world. The Institute advocates salt industry policy on such issues as highway traffic safety, human health and nutrition, and worker safety.

He has served as President of the Salt Institute since 1987. Previously, Dick directed government and public affairs and membership development for an international environmental industry association, served two Congressmen on Capitol Hill and as a staff assistant to the Governor of his home state of Wisconsin. Part of his time in graduate school was at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In the transportation area, Dick represents the salt industry on the Board of Directors of the American Highway Users Alliance and on the Advisory Council of the Roadway Safety Foundation. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Winter Maintenance Committee, Technology Transfer Committee and Corrosion Committee and served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Strategic Highway Research Program Highway Operations Advisory Committee. He also serves on the Transportation Association of Canada’s Maintenance and Construction Committee, its Environment Council and on the TAC committee that produced a Salt Management Guide and its Syntheses of Best Management Practices. His leadership helped forge a partnership between the Salt Institute and the National LTAP Association to promote improved winter maintenance training. He is a “friend” of the APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-committee.

Dick speaks frequently and has published articles in such diverse journals as Public Works magazine, Water Conditioning & Purification magazine, and the British Medical Journal.

Dick responded to where he thinks the committee should be going with, "I believe the TRB T2 Committee can render valuable service by helping other TRB Committees understand the principles of technology transfer and training that will enable them to 'market' their findings, conclusions, syntheses of practice, etc. and help users of this information understand both how it can be used for their operations and how to quantify the benefits of their offerings. Part of this task is to help providers of such technology transfer and training initiatives (e.g. LTAP centers) to understand their role in identifying customer needs and marketing to them."

Meet new member - Jon Makler

Jon Makler, AICP is the Education and Technology Transfer Program Manager for the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), a National University Transportation Center. He has approximately 10 years of professional experience with public, private and academic organizations. His areas of subject matter expertise include transportation planning, air quality, transportation operations and ITS, environmental justice, homeland security and metropolitan planning organizations. He holds a Master of Science in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College. A native of Philadelphia, Jon spent about 7 years in the Boston area before moving to his current home in Portland, Oregon.

When asked about his views on technology transfer, Jon responded, "In the first few months in this position, I've learned that technology transfer has many different meanings. The focus on commercialization and intellectual property seems to be the traditional meaning and is foremost to some, though it is hardly mentioned in my office. Our focus at OTREC is on pushing knowledge from our researchers to practitioners, especially around the state. I usually say that I'm "in the import/export business" and it's only half a joke.

I'm acutely aware that while I'm busy pushing and pulling information for other people, I'm under-investing in my own methods and techniques. I'm counting on this committee to be my primary conduit to how others are succeeding or struggling with my plight."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Introducing Committee member Steven Jones

Steven Jones is an Associate Director and the Manager of the International Business Unit in the Dublin, Ireland office of the Waterman Group plc. Steven is responsible for project management, business development and client relations for all civil engineering projects in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Steven has worked on transportation engineering projects in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

Steven holds a Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of Virginia as well as Masters and Bachelors degrees in Civil Engineering from Auburn University. Prior to joining the Waterman Group, Steven was an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alabama. During this time, Steven served as the Technology Transfer Director for the University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA) which is a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) administered by the United States Department of Transportation through its Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). In this role, Steven conducted T2 outreach via a research newsletters, specialty conferences and an annual research symposium all highlighting UTCA associated research.

Steven is interested in continuing efforts to deliver transportation research results into practice. He is particularly interested in the dissemination of academic and institutional research intended to improve analytical methodologies currently used by practitioners. He is also very interested in continuing to develop and improve channels for the international communication and sharing of technology transfer and lessons learned.

Twittering in all sorts of places

A recent article in Time, "Twittering in Church, with the Pastor's O.K," discussed several congregations' use of Twitter during services. Pastors trained congregants to use Twitter, upped the bandwidth at their churches, and encouraged those attending services to react in 140 characters or less to what was going on in the service. At one church the Twitter feed was displayed behind the preacher. Tweets ranged from the silly to the sublime. Often pastors would follow up with church goers after services when they asked questions or wanted help.

Adults usually learn better when they reflect on what they have learned or they are able to use the knowledge being taught immediately in their job, or their lives. Tweeting their reactions to a sermon can serve that purpose. Instructors, or pastors, can also get immediate feedback on what participants are learning or not learning. They can also follow up with individuals or in future instructional sessions.
Got thought? Comment below or tweet me at @ lhpogue.

Friday, May 22, 2009

TRB's Education and Training Committee news

The Transportation Education and Training Committee plans to issue a call for papers on the following topics:
They also plan to organize a panel session and a workshop on:
  • Workforce Development Experience from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) – Lessons Learned for Reauthorizations
  • Building the 21st Century Workforce: Focus on MPOs and Local Jurisdictions

The future of conferences?

This is a great "podcast" of a radio program, Future Tense, from Australia. In it three conferencing professionals explore conferences past and future and the way the industry is adapting to meet changing consumer expectations. Are conferences still synonymous with bad food, hard chairs and boring speakers. Is "sage on the stage" still the model for providing education? Do we really get the most from networking opportunities at conferences? And, what does the current economic climate mean for the way we plan and execute conferences?

The speakers compare the current climate for conferences to recent changes in the music business, which has dealt with changes in technology, financing and sharing of products. The speakers discuss:
  • bar camps, world cafes, open space and unconferences as models
  • the use of technology, such as Twitter, to create interaction and education
  • the importance of building a sense of community before, during and after a conference.
Lots to think about. Have a listen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Go to university for free

Have you ever wanted to attend Oxford, MIT or Yale for free and without applying for admission? You can catch lectures from some of the most respected and noted professors at these and lots more institutions of higher learning online. Check out iTunes U or YouTube Edu for lectures on all sorts of topics. I looked up “transportation” on both of these sites and found some interesting and informative lectures from UC Berkeley, Northwestern, George Mason University and international universities. Another source of university lectures is iTunes, which I originally used for orientation to online learning and class lectures at Drexel University. A recent article in Time magazine piqued my interest in the visual side of audio-visual. By making lectures available online, universities can use this as a recruiting tool, professors can distribute their lectures to students, and most importantly, students can catch up on their class work instead of getting notes from someone who actually attended the class.
How could we use this new technology in technology transfer? Several scenarios come to mind:
  • Raise awareness of transportation, and transportation research results
  • Certificate programs using educational videos online
  • The ability to comment on videos could spark conversations about transportation
  • And, of course, using this technology to teach students.
Anyway, check these out and I hope they spark some ideas in you.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Welcome to new committee member - Jennifer Sheldon

Jennifer Sheldon is program manager for Transportation Northwest at the University of Washington, which is a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) administered by the United States Department of Transportation through its Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Jennifer joined TransNow in July 2006 and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the center. She assists the Director and Associate Directors in maintaining the center’s research, education, and technology transfer programs. She oversees the center's fiscal operations and serves as center representative to internal and external university academic departments, research centers, and government agencies.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). Prior to joining TransNow she worked as a Content Acquisition Supervisor for a subscription-based content provider of opportunities, spending, tracking and budgeting data for commercial, residential and government projects.

Jennifer is interested in the T2 Committee in order to network with others and keep up with current T2 practices and needs of the transportation research community, explore new ideas and best practices, and learn useful tools to help maintain a successful T2 plan within her organization.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Committee strategic plan for YOUR comments

A sub-committee headed by Larry Orcutt has been taking a look at what the committee's purpose and goals. Now we need your comments and suggestions, especially on how to implement the new plan. See the comments link below? Click on it and start commenting!

Mission Statement
Locate, develop and promote innovative means of deploying technologies and processes, quickly moving them from state-of-the-art to state-of-the-practice.
Accelerate innovation implementation using technology transfer strategies

Goals & Strategies
The following goals and strategies establish a basic framework that will support the mission and vision of the Technology Transfer committee. We will continually build upon this structure by updating these goals in response to the changing needs of those we serve. Each team responsible for leading the development and implementation of the goals is charged with detailing the specific strategies and corresponding performance measures appropriate for accomplishing those goals.

Objective - Make other committees/groups aware of technology transfer processes and assist them in applying them
  • Strategy - Educate the TRB community by sponsoring annual meeting sessions, Webinars and other opportunities
  • Strategy - Support and promote the NHI training course, “Leap not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation”
  • Strategy - Investigate the effects, application, and future potentials for intellectual property rights in the U.S. and abroad
Objective - Strengthen liaisons to other TRB committees, affiliated groups (TIG, LTAP, Highways for Life)
  • Strategy - Develop list of potential committees/groups involved in technology transfer
  • Strategy - Network with other committees/groups by inviting them to speak at our meetings/sessions
  • Strategy - Network with other committees/groups by speaking at their meetings/sessions
  • Strategy - Support international scan implementation
Objective - Develop plans/projects to address committees’ needs
Objective - Serve as a resource for TRB on technology transfer
  • Strategy - Provide expertise on technology transfer to TRB
  • Strategy - Provide input on technology transfer to TRB research
Objective - Develop a definition of technology transfer
Objective - Utilize communication strategies that deliver appropriate information to TRB and other members of the research community on the value of technology transfer
  • Strategy - Develop a list of target audiences and communication strategies
Objective - Advance research into best practices for technology transfer methods appropriate for target audience(s)
  • Strategy-Document innovation case studies that have overcome barriers and utilized boosters to accelerate innovation implementation
Objective - Serve as a test bed to use and evaluate new T2 methods and effectively share results with TRB community
  • Strategy - Establish and maintain a committee Wiki, blog and social networking.
  • Strategy - Sponsor annual meeting sessions/Webinars on new T2 technologies
  • Strategy - Explore new methods such as podcasts, RSS feeds, and Web 2.0 technologies
Objective - Maintain the health of the committee by identifying a diverse membership stream and by providing training and mentoring opportunities designed to enhance the committee’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Strategy - Fill vacant member slots based on objective of balance
  • Strategy - Develop briefing guide for new members
  • Strategy - Develop mentor program for new members

Call for TRB papers - get yout social networking on

Several TRB committees (including Conduct of Research, Technology Transfer, and LIST) are collaborating on a call for TRB papers related to social networking technologies. Here’s an overview:

How Social Networking Advances Research, Technology Transfer and Information Exchange – There has been a rapid change in technology used by individuals and groups to communicate electronically. Social networks may be defined as participants drawn together based on a common element or interest. Differences from past networks and other forms of electronic content include the speed, scale, structure and extent of communication within the network. Many of these technologies can provide new methods to coalesce and engage communities on research questions, technology application and sharing information across traditional organizational and disciplinary boundaries. It could include the use of social networking from the building of virtual research centers to improving communication of research results. What are examples of using social networks in transportation research from the identification of research needs through the transfer and sharing of knowledge? What are benefits and barriers to the use of social networks?

August 1 is the deadline for paper submissions, so get researching and writing.

Paper submission site

While you're thinking about social networking search for the T2 Committee on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Monday, April 20, 2009

News from TRB

TRB to emphasize communications
Effective communications have always been an important part of the success of TRB standing committees. With travel budgets being cut, robust communications portfolios are more important than ever. During 2009 each committee has been asked to review its communications portfolio during 2009. The T2 Committee will take a look at how we communicate, what works and what doesn’t, and what new communications we should include in our committee’s portfolio. Any volunteers?

TRB will be giving each committee chairs the opportunity to appoint a communications coordinator to work with TRB staff and other committees to enhance the communications portfolios. Committees with exceptional use of new technologies/communications will be identified and asked to document their "tools" and to share best practices with other committees. If you are interested in serving as communications coordinator or on the committee let the co-chairs know.

2010 TRB Annual Meeting planning underway

The spotlight theme for the 2010 Annual Meeting is “Investing in Our Transportation Future - BOLD Ideas to Meet BIG Challenges.”

Addressing critical and cross-cutting issues

The TRB Technical Activities Council (TAC) requests that TRB committees give increased emphasis to the TAC "Critical and Cross Cutting Issues," by spending at least one hour each year discussing the Critical and Cross Cutting Issues and/or your own list of critical issues.

By spending some time on these high level issues, we hope to heighten our awareness of high level issues and ensure that awareness is infused in the work of the TAC, committees, sections, and groups. (FYI – The T2 Committee is within the Policy and Organization Group and the Research and Education Section.)

See our request for critical and cross-cutting issues in a previous blog. Also, check out teh discussion in LinkedIn. Are you interested in critical issues? Volunteer to lead our effort to get more of our issues into the system.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The science of change

Time magazine recently ran an article, "How Obama is using the science of change,"on how the Obama administration is using many of the principles of behavioral science to effect change. Many of the guidelines would also apply to technology transfer, which is, of course, also about change. Interesting read!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mark your calendars for the T2 Committee's summer meeting

The T2 and Conduct of Research Committees will once again get together this summer at the TRB Keck Center in Washington, DC June 16-17th. One joint focus will be intellectual property and technology transfer. There will also be time to discuss our new strategic plan and plot what we'll be doing for the next year as well as time to connect with our colleagues from Conduct of Research.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just for Fun????

Usually I would share this for a Friday when we all need a little help to get to the weekend but it was just too good to wait.

How many times have you heard all the excuses for not trying anything new? Listen and view this presentation about a Web tech guy and an angry staff person in "An Exaggerated Tale" by Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy for the Smithsonian Institution. Then use the comments to tell us how many similar reasons you've heard in your experience.

Emerging Technologies in Social Networking

This was the title of a fascinating session at this year's TRB annual meeting. Go to to the link above to view the presentations on using Web 2.0, Flickr and Second Life to exchange information.

Critical issues

Also, be sure to add your 2 cents to the discussion of critical issues in transportation in the previous post.

Monday, February 23, 2009

US House hears about transportation R&D and priorities for reauthorization

On February 12 the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science and Technology’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation held a hearing to review the research, development, and deployment activities of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The hearing also focused on research priorities to incorporate in SAFETEA-LU reauthorization. Subcommittee Members heard testimony regarding the funding, planning, and execution of current research initiatives and how these efforts will fulfill the strategic goals of both federal and state departments of transportation, metropolitan transportation organizations, and industry.

Economic news

The White House went live with, which lets the public track how the $787 billion economic stimulus package is being spent. FHWA has established a website to provide information concerning the economy recovery legislation that you may find of interest at

Which brings us to critical issues

What are the critical issues facing transportation and technology transfer in these days of recession and credit crunch? How will the economic stimulus’ emphasis on transportation change how we do business? What does all this mean for the ways we transfer technologies in transportation? And, how does this affect transportation worldwide? Comments are appreciated (click comments) or even better click the little letter below to forward this to a colleague.

Blogs, blogs, blogs

Before starting this blog for the T2 Committee I did some research and thinking about blogs in general and blogs for technology transfer in particular. Yes, blogs have come a long way since people started Web logs to tell the world about their inner thoughts, interests and what they had for breakfast or how long their daily run was. Blogs are now used by reputable organizations, such as Law Professors Blog, which I’ve used for their valuable information on various law topics. They even have corporate sponsors.

What I like about blogs

Blogs can provide valuable information. Bloggers often spend time researching and keeping up with news on their particular topic. If you want to hear anything and everything about the TV show Project Runway go to Blogging Project Runway. This blog counts no information too trivial to report. But, if you want to know what’s going on with the show and/or contestants go there.
Blogs are personal. One thing I love about blogs is that most people write them about their personal or professional passion. They also give me their unique insights, which can be more valuable than just the facts. They have they own unique perspective and speak with their own voice. Blogs can also be about the narrowest of topics and offer in depth commentary. Someone somewhere is interested and blogs about any topic.

What I don’t like about blogs

I hate the corporate/government blogs which read like press releases. These blogs often spend a lot of time saying nothing and offer nothing of interest. Either that, or the blogger gushes about his/her experiences doing their job every day. Boring!

And, yes, I don’t like the blogs that go into infinitesimal detail on the blogger’s day/run/pets/meals/opinions, etc.

How can we use blogs for technology transfer?

Blogs could be used to report on research projects as well as a research program. This can be done either behind a firewall to internal audiences or to the general public in a public site. Using a blog, rather than a report, can be more personal and allow the researcher to show his/her enthusiasm more than in a formal report. Blogs would also allow researchers to show through photos research in progress. But, the blog should be interesting, updated regularly and encourage comments.


Speaking of encouraging comments, what blogs have you found useful? Have you used a blog to transfer technology? Or, do you think blogs are only good for pictures of pets and rants? Comment away!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Meet with AASHTO RAC and TRB State Reps this Summer?

AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (RAC) and the TRB state representatives plan to meet in Orlando July 20-24, 2009. The T2 Committee would be able to tag onto the end of that meeting. What do you think? Respond to the poll to the left. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our recent committee meeting

I just wanted to share some of my observations and ideas about our recent committee meeting at the TRB Annual Meeting (minutes have been posted on the committee’s wiki). I am naturally cynical about life but even I got my enthusiasm on by the energy displayed at the committee meeting. (And, the next week’s celebration of democracy also helped.)

For this blog, I’d like to mention some of the reasons for the decrease in my ADC (average daily cynicism). So, let’s get started.

  • Leap Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation is a two-day course sponsored by FHWA’s National Highway Institute. Its origins harken back to discussions around the T2 Committee campfire about a T2 Toolbox, which would create a T2 implementation plan for anyone. I felt that the toolbox lacked one component – training the user in the tools and techniques specified in the plan. Committee member Laura Melendy did a great job of representing the committee on the course’s steering group, adding her “in the trenches” experience to the effort. Kathleen Bergeron of FHWA’s Highways for LIFE also added her expertise and coordination. My ADC levels were lowered when Laura and Kathleen both noted during our “definition of T2” discussion that their group had also dealt with these issues. Sounds like we’re on the same pages. Now that we’re starting to see some courses on technology transfer, the next step may be a certificate program in technology transfer. My ADC levels would really go down if that happened!
  • The sharing of best practices also affected my ADC levels. It was great to hear about the National Transportation Training Resources (NTTR) database, New Jersey DOT Research Implementation Studies, and Road Safety Assessments. We hope to have some guest bloggers add more detail about the process of developing their best practices as well new ones. We will also post the presentation on the wiki. If you want to decrease your own ADC levels and share a best practice, let me know.
  • Also, another way to decrease your own ADC levels is to get involved with the committee. The committee is due for member rotation this year, so if friends are interested in membership please contact the co-chairs. We’re also seeking volunteers to plan annual meeting sessions, update the committee’s wiki and report on news in technology transfer in the committee’s blog. We’ve already gotten some new members and friends involved in the strategic planning process being spearheaded by co-chair Larry Orcutt.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

International Perspectives on Technology Transfer session

If you missed the Sunday sessions sponsored by the T2 Committee and the International Affairs Committee you missed an technology transfer treat.
Organizer John Munro, FHWA brought together T2 experts who exhibited wide ranging perspectives, by mode, country and technology transfer perspective.
Some immediate takeaways included:
  • Some in transportation call their strategic plans “road maps,” but the FAA calls theirs “flight plans.”
  • FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center certainly looks “outside the box” with plans for an office park near their headquarters, which will enable close collaboration with potential partners.
  • The best way to cooperate is to determine the most important needs.
  • Critics have an important role in technology transfer efforts.
  • We need to find and use ways to make technology transfer collaborative efforts legal.
  • We also need a variety of agreements to accomplish technology transfer.
  • Although all countries have similar needs, local applications of global knowledge is necessary.
Thanks to John and co-organizer Nelda Bravo for a thought provoking session. --- Lisa Haakon Pogue

Friday, January 09, 2009

T2 Committee's got a brand new (almost) blog

This is the new TRB T2 Committee blog, which will replace the newsletter I usually send out several times a year. It will serve many of the same purposes – to inform the members and friends of the committee what TRB and the committee are doing, share news about members and friends, and share news of new T2 methods, technologies and best practices. Hopefully, it will also provoke some new thinking and allow members and friends to share their experiences doing technology transfer.

When preparing this (almost) first blog for the T2 Committee, I noticed that my first posting was in 2006. Then blogs weren’t as popular or sometimes as respected as they are now. There are now corporate, well funded, and even governmental blogs now, in addition to the same old blogs concerned with political rantings and pictures of people’s cats.

We have a great agenda for this year’s annual meeting - Monday, January 12, 2009, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Hilton, Caucus room. Co-chair Larry Orcutt will share his master’s degree paper on “Overcoming Roadblocks Facing the Implementation of Innovations: Three Case Studies at Caltrans.” We’ll also hear an update on the National Highway Institute technology transfer course, “Leap Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation,” from Kathleen Bergeron. And, we’ll discuss the committee’s future when Larry leads our session on strategic planning. And, there’s more! Several members and friends will share their “best practices” with us.

We’re also looking for some guest bloggers for this blog, so if you have a new idea, have used (successfully or not) a new technique, or just have something to get off your chest about technology transfer, let us know.
See you at TRB --- Lisa Haakon Pogue, co-chair