St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.471.1 - 5.471.9
OAK-TREE: One-of-A-Kind Transportation Research and Education Experiment
Carlos Sun1, Stephen Ritchie2 1. Faculty of Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028-1701 2. Faculty of Engineering, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-2175
Abstract - This paper chronicles the traffic control course/laboratory named OAK-TREE (One- of-A-Kind Transportation Research and Education Experiment) at the University of California at Irvine and discusses a proposed implementation at Rowan University. In order to address the changing nature of transportation and civil engineering education and research, a partnership was formed between an academic institution and public agencies. This partnership involved the University of California at Irvine and the Department of Transportation from the cities of Los Angeles, Irvine, and Anaheim. The benefits from this partnership includes a laboratory experience based on real-world networks and traffic, the use of state-of-the-practice methods and tools, and the inclusion of curriculum input from practicing engineers. The results from the two years of this experiment demonstrate that such a collaborative effort can be fruitful and can be pursued further. A proposed implementation at Rowan University is discussed at the end of this paper.
A survey conducted by Lipinski and Wilson  shows that one major concern for transportation employers is finding qualified entry-level transportation engineers. This concern stems from the lack of exposure to state-of-the-art transportation engineering methodologies. This problem can be addressed by including practicing professionals in the development and instruction of transportation engineering courses. This problem is further addressed through the use of real- world engineering projects that are conducted in the field. A partnership between academia and public agencies seems to be a logical way of solving both problems. Pignataro  conducted a survey of academic institutions and industry, and concluded that academic/industry partnerships were mutually beneficial and productive.
Ritchie, S. G., & Sun, C. C. (2000, June), Oak Tree: One Of A Kind Traffic Research And Education Experiment Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8598
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