Doctoral College

Safe Journey to the Transportation Research Board

Written by Nicolette Formosa – Doctoral Researcher

The world is on the move, and so is a team of researchers from Loughborough University. Our transportation networks connects us to one another, not only physically, but also through initiatives to improve the transport experience. One such initiative is the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a program which provides innovative, research-based solutions to improve transportation. TRB is a world-renowned non-profit organization that provides independent, objective and interdisciplinary solutions.

The Loughborough Transport Planning Group has participated in the TRB’s 99th Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. which was held between the 12th and 16th of January 2020. Over 13,000 academic and industrial professionals participate in this meeting hailing from all corners of the world. Loughborough’s team was composed of 5 academics: Prof. Mohammed Quddus, Prof Marcus Enoch, Dr Craig Morton, Dr Akis Theofilatos and Dr Haitao He, together with one research associate Dr Alkis Papdoulis and two PhD candidates: Nicolette Formosa and Jacky Man.

One of the highlights of this Annual Meeting was participating in the ‘Three-Minute Thesis Competition’ which was organized by the Young Professionals Committee. This competition targeted PhD students and the main aim was to present the PhD research using only one slide and a 3-minute time limit presentation. I remember panicking as soon as getting on stage as the stopwatch was not visible. However, it ended up being a very rewarding experience by winning 1st place of this competition and also the Audience Choice award competing with other students from all over the world.

Not only so, but in this conference, I also had the opportunity to present one of my recent papers with Professor Mohammed Quddus and Dr Alkis Papadoulis during a poster session with the title: ‘Developing a traffic conflict technique for motorways using real-time data’. This research focused to validating the algorithm I developed within my PhD research to predict traffic conflicts. Feedback received during the conference shows that Loughborough University is one of the leaders in such research presenting solutions that are on the cutting edge of technology. 

It was indeed a great honour and privilege to participate during this year’s TRB Annual Meeting. It was a chance to bring new ideas and meeting new people in the industry. It was a great networking opportunity with more than 5,000 presentations during hundreds of sessions and workshops participated by policy makers, administrators, researchers, representatives of government, industry and academic institutions. Loughborough University provided a great support structure to fully participate in this year’s TRB annual meeting, not just as an engineer, but also as a female engineer.

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