Colter Roskos presents at National Science Foundation conference

Civil Engineering graduate research assistant Colter Roskos presented a poster at the National Science Foundation’s Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division Grantees Conference, which was held January 3-7, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Colter’s paper on “Building Green: Development and Evaluation of the Design Properties of an Environmentally Friendly Concrete” will also be published in the conference proceedings.

Sommer Roefaro presents at TRB

Sommer Roefaro, WTI Graduate Fellow and Master’s Candidate in Civil Engineering, presented Effectiveness of Signal Control at Channelized Right Turning Lanes: An Empirical Study during a poster session at the Transportation Research Board 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

WTI Hosts Bike Sharing Program Webinar

More and more cities around the country are considering bike sharing to help achieve environmental, public health, and transportation related goals, while also improving a community’s livability. The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) presented a 90 minute webinar on Bicycle Sharing Programs on January 19. WTI served as a host site for the event with members of the Bozeman community in attendance. The webinar presented an overview of bike sharing in the U.S. and other countries, with case studies from Minneapolis and San Antonio and a detailed discussion of the implementation process (building support, funding models, RFPs, contracting, launch, and operations). Participants learned about the planning and implementation steps necessary to launch a public bike share system, the different financial models and funding sources, and the positive implications of an exponential increase in bicycle traffic for public infrastructure. Webinar presenters included Alison Cohen, Program Manager of Alta Bicycle Share; Julia Diana, sustainable transportation analyst for the City of San Antonio’s Office of Environmental Policy; and Bill Dossett, Executive Director of Nice Ride Minnesota. Following the presentation, Bozeman participants at WTI engaged in discussions regarding bike sharing potential at Montana State University and the surrounding Bozeman community. This webinar raised awareness of shared bicycles as a form of public transportation and began a dialogue between the City, University, local businesses and bicycling advocates regarding what type of bike sharing program could be appropriate in the Bozeman setting and beneficial to residents.

Jessica Mueller successfully defends thesis, “Safety Evaluation of a Medic’s Work Environment during Rural Emergency Response.”

Jessica Mueller successfully defended her thesis “Safety Evaluation of a Medic’s Work Environment during Rural Emergency Response,” completing all requirements for her Masters degree in Industrial Engineering. The naturalistic data collected in her study allowed researchers to perform analysis in a rural emergency driving environment to identify contributing factors to attending medic behavior, severity of biomechanical forces experienced in the driver and patient compartment, and an evaluation of emergency medical response safety culture. Based upon research findings, the project includes development of a series of environmental, ergonomic, policy, or training recommendations to mitigate circumstances that cause potentially unsafe operations in the driver’s and patient’s compartment of the ambulance. This study used naturalistic data and video, survey responses, focus groups, and agency patient care records to analyze the rural medics’ working environment during emergency patient transportation. Accelerometer data was analyzed for 102 separate emergency transports to provide descriptive statistics relevant to whole-body vibration experienced by the medics during patient care. Five years of patient care records were analyzed to identify specific patient illnesses and medical procedures associated with traveling in emergency response mode. Restraint compliance rates were collected for both self-reported (21.5% restrained) and observed (2.6% restrained) data collection methods. Focus groups identified factors influencing medics’ choice to be unrestrained, characterized by a reduced ability to provide patient care, the belief that restraint devices will cause harm to the medics, and the belief that the restraint devices are ineffective in a crash situation. Finally, reach analysis was conducted to highlight the procedures and equipment retrieval which require the medics to assume positions resulting in awkward and unstable postures during transport. The results of this study will add to the growing body of knowledge surrounding the behaviors of EMS workers in a real work setting, and will aid in understanding the complexities of EMS safety culture. Jessica was a recipient of the WTI Graduate Transportation Award and was selected as the 2009 UTC Student of the Year.