BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each year, American drivers waste an estimated
3.7 billion hours, or the equivalent of five days, sitting in
traffic, burning 2.3 billion gallons of fuel. Students at the
University at Buffalo will soon be learning how to reduce that
waste, creating less congestion and cleaner air, thanks to an IBM
grant to Adel Sadek, PhD, UB associate professor of civil,
structural and environmental engineering.
Sadek has received an IBM Smarter Planet Faculty Innovation
Award to develop an eight-lecture course on "Advanced Technology
Solutions for a Sustainable Transportation System." He describes
some of the technologies that will be explored in the course in a
video at http://bit.ly/l9ULhN.
"Our strategic location here in Buffalo Niagara, with our three
international bridges, provides us with a wealth of data on the
factors behind traffic congestion," he says. "We will use those
data to develop ways to route traffic flows in smarter, 'greener'
ways, so that people spend less time sitting in traffic, and less
fuel is consumed."
Specifically, Sadek will leverage the volume data he and Qian
Wang, PhD, UB assistant professor of civil, structural and
environmental engineering, obtain from the Peace Bridge authority
regarding and other transportation organizations in the region,
such as the Niagara International Transportation Technology
The course address traffic flow fundamentals; traffic
simulation; emissions modeling; signal optimization and
coordination; incident management; sustainable or green routing;
congestion pricing; and vehicle-infrastructure integration or
"These course modules, which IBM will be making available to a
much wider audience, are being designed to directly impact the next
generation of transportation systems engineers," says Sadek, who
also directs UB's Transportation Systems Laboratory and is acting
chair of Extreme Events: Mitigation and Response, a UB 2020
strategic strength. "We are changing the content of our courses so
that they reflect the issues that our students are going to
encounter once they enter the workforce."
Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM Academic and Developer
Relations, adds, "The work of these award recipients should help
change the face of education by enabling students to work on
pressing issues facing cities today, and at the same time prepare
them for leadership in industries like healthcare and
Sadek is an expert on the application of information technology
and advanced computing to transportation problems known as
Intelligent Transportation Systems. He studies the use of such new
technologies as collision avoidance systems, adaptive traffic
control and dynamic route guidance to increase safety and
efficiency. He also has studied how the synchronization of traffic
signals could save time and fuel, especially during snowstorms.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's
more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through
more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree
programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of
the Association of American Universities.