Dr. Jason Hawkins Facilitates Outreach of Ideas, Collaborations

An important part of research in higher education is the outreach of knowledge and collaboration potential of a project and its findings so that it may be shared and expanded upon by other universities. This newsletter highlights Dr. Jason Hawkins, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his February outreach trips where he presented on his research and held discussions on transportation topics with colleagues and students at Oregon State University and Arizona State University.

His first trip was to Oregon State University (OSU) from January 30 – February 4, 2023. He visited with Dr. Robert (Rob) Bertini, School Head and Professor in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. He also spoke with other faculty in engineering and public policy to discuss collaboration opportunities on resilience and public health topics. Dr. David Hurwitz, Professor in Civil and Construction Engineering and the school’s Kiewit Center Director, gave Hawkins a tour of their traffic simulation lab, which contains a driving and biking simulator.

Constructed in 2010 in collaboration with Realtime Technologies, the simulation lab hosts researchers interested in studying transportation operations and safety issues from a multi-modal perspective. It contains a full-scale driving simulator and a full-scale bicycling simulator that can operate simultaneously in a virtual environment. The lab also contains a Desktop Development Simulator, and is outfitted with software for eye tracking, a data acquisition system, and autonomous vehicle simulation.

The sharing of ideas continued as Dr. Hawkins presented his research group's work on electric vehicle adoption in the Midwest with OSU. At the time, the group was conducting a survey focused on electric pickup truck adoption in the field.

On February 27, Dr. Hawkins presented to an in-person and virtual audience at Arizona State University (ASU). ASU is home of the TOMNET University Transportation Center, the center for Teaching Old Models New Tricks. His presentation was over theoretical work on transportation and land use system integration, a subject he had written about for his dissertation at the University of Toronto, and the audience included members from the entire TOMNET consortium of Georgia Tech, University of South Florida, University of Washington, and Arizona State University.

While at ASU, Dr. Hawkins met with TOMNET Director and School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment Dr. Ram Pendyala along with other collaborators to discuss ongoing and proposed research projects. He had an in-depth discussion with the pavement research group on the potholes in Omaha and how to build collaborative research funding mechanism between academia, industry, and government.

Dr. Hawkins also works to connect researchers and academics virtually as one of the chairs at the Bridging Transportation Researchers (BTR) Conference. It is a completely online and free conference that brings together transportation engineers, planners, and policymakers from around the world and across disciplines. This year's conference took place over Zoom August 9 & 10.

Jason Hawkins