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2015 Symposium: Speakers

August 13th & 14th, 2015 - Davis Hall @ University at Buffalo - Buffalo, New York

Barry Einsig, Cisco
Barry Einsig is the Global Public Sector and Transportation Executive for Cisco’s Vertical Solutions Group, responsible for two market categories: Transportation and Public Sector. With a broad experience in the Transportation and Public Sector market, Barry has been in the industry for over 15 years serving in a variety of roles providing wired, and wireless IP communications networks, video, security and life safety systems for Transportation and Public Sector networks. 
Michael Pack
Michael Pack has 15 years of experience working in the information management and transportation industries.  He is the Director of the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) at the University of Maryland.  He specializes in the processing, management, and analysis of massive streaming datasets from disparate sources.  He has significant experience in transportation operations, planning, performance management, systems integration, image processing, information visualization, and human factors. 
Ram Pendyala, PhD
Ram M. Pendyala is the Frederick R. Dickerson Chair and Professor of Transportation Systems in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. Prior to joining Tech in the Fall of 2014, he served for eight years as a Professor of Transportation Systems in the Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering Program of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe. He was also a Senior Sustainability Scientist, closely affiliated with the Global Institute of Sustainability, and a Barrett Honors Faculty affiliated with Barrett, The Honors College during his stay at Arizona State University.
Xuegang (Jeff) Ban, PhD
Dr. Xuegang (Jeff) Ban is an Associate Professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Automobile Engineering from Tsinghua University, and his M.S. in Computer Sciences and Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His research focuses on Transportation Network Modeling and Simulation, Urban Traffic System Modeling, Connected and Automated Vehicles, Transportation Big Data Analytics, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
Larry Brinker, Esq.
Lawrence H. Brinker, Esq. is an experienced pilot and aviation attorney currently serving as the Executive Director & General Counsel of the NUAIR Alliance, a Not-for-Profit corporation with over 70 public, private, and academic partners, managing the Griffiss International Airport, FAA authorized, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan.
Alan Blatt
Alan Blatt is currently is Director of the Public Safety and Transportation Group at CUBRC.  He has been the Program Manager for a number of transportation safety programs including the recently completed Erie County Data Collection Test Site of the Strategic Highway Research Program 2 Naturalistic Driving Study and the Center for Transportation Injury Research.  His current interests are in the development of advanced technologies to improve emergency response services and research to reduce the number and severity of motor vehicle crashes.   Mr. Blatt has more than 50 transportation safety-related publications and has received his B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo.
Didier Valdés, PhD
Mike Brown is a Staff Engineer with Southwest Research Institute and has been a leader in the research and development of intelligent systems for over eighteen years.  He has served various federal, state, and commercial clients in projects spanning the areas of Advanced Traffic Management and Traveler Information Systems, Connected Vehicle Systems, and Vehicle Automation.  He also serves as a subject matter expert on a number of standards development committees including IEEE 1609, SAE J2735, and NTCIP Center-to-Center (Chair).
Ivette Cruzado, PhD
Dr. Cruzado has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Penn State University, a Master in Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and a Bachelor in Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM).  Dr. Cruzado has been a faculty member in the UPRM since the year 2009.  The PI serves as member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Geometric Design Committee (AFB10).
Alberto Figueroa, PhD
Dr. Alberto M. Figueroa is Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM) and a Registered Civil Engineering in Puerto Rico. He has BSCE and MSCE degrees in Civil Engineering from UPRM and a PhD degree from Purdue University. His PhD dissertation was related to the development and calibration of statistical and econometrical models for the evaluation of traffic operations, safety, driver behavior, and risk perception. Dr. Figueroa has been exposed to advanced traffic operations and controls, vehicle detection technologies, and ITS applications since his work at the Traffic Operations and Controls Laboratory and the Mobile Traffic Laboratory at Purdue University. He has served as the Deputy Director of the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer Center at the UPRM and the Coordinator of the FHWA Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program and he is a member of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the Transportation Research Board.
Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA
Upon graduation Professor Folks joined the faculty at The University of Western Australia (UWA) as a Teaching and Research Fellow, with research interests in the domain of time dependent phenomena of novel nanoscale permanent magnet materials.  
Tom George
Tom George is the Director of Public Transit for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) where he provides overall direction for NFTA Metro business group including public transportation administration, operations, maintenance and financial planning and administration.  Responsible for providing over 30 million rides annually, Metros light rail, bus and paratransit services serve Western New York including the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. 
Venu Govindaraju, PhD
Venu Govindaraju manages UB's research enterprise, university/industry relations and economic development, contributing to our regional and global economy.
John Handley, PhD
Dr. John Handley leads research projects in transportation analytics at PARC, Inc., A Xerox Company based in Webster, NY. One of his projects deals with developing a visualization and analysis platform for transportation data. He leads a team that is creating novel quality of service analytics for public transit. He also leads a project in connected vehicle analytics with the Mobility Transformation Center at University of Michigan. The work of his teams appears in transportation services offered by Xerox Corporation. He has a basic research agenda where he collaborates with Cornell University on developing statistical methods for urban informatics.
Qing He, PhD
Dr. Qing He is currently the Stephen Still Assistant Professor in Transportation Engineering and Logistics, affiliated with both Civil Engineering and Industrial Engineering at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He obtained his PhD degree from University of Arizona in 2010. Prior to joining faculty, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in IBM T J Watson Research Center, where he has been working on Smarter Transportation projects from 2010 to 2012. His research vision is to develop a multimodal, multidimensional transportation and logistics systems with Big Data and information technology, using a broad range of techniques, including optimization, control, simulation, and statistics. Specifically his research addresses problems in transportation modeling and operations using mobile sensors, incident management, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
Kevin Hulme, PhD
Dr. Kevin Hulme received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University at Buffalo in 2000 with a concentration in multidisciplinary analysis and optimization of complex systems.  For the past decade, he has served as the technical lead of the Motion Simulation Laboratory at the Center for Engineering Design and Applied Simulation.  He and his research team focus on the custom design and development of ground vehicle simulations for applications in: clinical research, education and training, and next-generation transportation studies.  Recent areas of focus include: Modeling and Simulation (M&S) in transportation research, standardization of simulators in teen driver safety, fidelity requirements in simulation system specification, multi-participant civilian driving simulators, and serious gaming in simulation-based training.
Faroog Ibrahim, PhD
Dr. Faroog Ibrahim, a doctorate of engineering from UDM with a major in EE has a total of around 27 years of experience.  He is a US expert to ISO/TC204/WG14 and the global work item leader for ISO 15623 FVCWS and Cooperative ACC.  Dr. Ibrahim has around 45 granted and published patents and trade secrets, and around 45 publications.  In addition of being in Executive director position, Dr. Ibrahim has led successfully the V2X applications development.   Different Safety applications were developed, demonstrated and validated successfully.  In addition, he filed 5 patents in the connected vehicle technology. Before Joining Savari in 2012, he spent 15 years of experience in the automotive industry at Takata's active safety systems, Visteon’s ADAS-algorithm and controls technical fellow and ford’s research engineer. His main areas of expertise are in radar, vision, connected  vehicles and map based active safety/ADAS algorithms, fusion and control.  He also had developed first demonstrable PAFS and CSW systems. Dr. Ibrahim has an additional 10 years of research experience mostly at universities. 
Joyoung Lee, PhD
Dr. Joyoung Lee is an assistant professor with the John A. Reif Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He has Master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from the University of Virginia with a focus on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Traffic Operations, and Connected Vehicles. Before joining NJIT in 2013, he was a laboratory manager of the Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory (STOL) at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. Dr. Lee’s research experiences overarch Connected Vehicle (CV) and its applications covering 1) i) traffic management (i.e. CV-based route guidance system), ii) traffic signal controls (i.e., V2I real-time intersection control), iii) cooperative vehicle infrastructure system (CVIS) for intersection controls, and iv) Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA)-INFLO Bundle including cooperative adaptive cruise control( CACC), speed harmonization(SPD HARM), and Queue Warning(Q-WARN). Dr. Lee has authored and co-authored more than 40 journal papers and conference proceedings and approximately 100 times of professional presentations at prestigious conferences.
Kevin Majka, PhD
Dr. Kevin Majka is a senior scientist at CUBRC in Buffalo, NY and a key contributor to projects at in the Public Safety and Transportation Group. He has a Ph.D. in geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo with specializations in transportation modeling and geographic information systems.  Dr. Majka is experienced in spatial analysis, including statistical pattern recognition, demographic analysis, interpreting quantitative and qualitative environmental data, the use of global positioning and remote sensing technologies, and the development and management of complex geographic databases. He is primarily focused on transportation modeling and safety, motor vehicle crash analysis, and driver behavior.
Rick McDonough
Rick is currently Director of NYSDOT’s Connected Vehicle program, and is the Acting Director of technology development and infrastructure projects in support of NYS’ commercial vehicle safety programs.  His office currently includes NYSDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permitting Program, which issues approximately 160,000 permits annually in support of billions of dollars of freight movement.  He manages all IT projects within the Office of Safety and Security, and also serves as the liaison and coordinator of IT projects within the Operations and Asset Management Division under Assistant Commissioner Rod Sechrist.
Hal Morse
As Executive Director of the GBNRTC since 2000, Hal is responsible for guiding a metropolitan planning process (MPO) in the Buffalo-Niagara Region of New York State. Primary focus is development of integrated multimodal plans for transportation and development in the region including the recently completed One Region Forward, regional plan for sustainable development. The MPO also develops near term priorities for transportation projects funding to deliver on the Plan. As a border region, GBNRTC is actively involved in issues and planning between the United States and Canada.
Didier Valdés, PhD
Eric Nagler is currently a software engineer at CUBRC in Buffalo, NY with a strong background in data intensive computing frameworks. Mr. Nagler has in-depth knowledge with the latest big data processing trends on Hadoop; streaming data platforms; and data storage and query services to ensure actionable insights for data consumers. Mr. Nagler’s current responsibility in the transportation domain is the development of a Transportation Research Informatics Platform (TRIP) for the FHWA. This system's primary responsibility is to be a scalable research platform allowing for the integration of multiple disparate data sources into one easy-to-use information system. The TRIP platform will leverage the latest big data and data alignment tools allowing for researchers and data scientists to integrate new data and tools into the system quickly and easily. Currently Mr. Nagler is focused on applying his big data expertise to algorithm development to create advanced predictive analytics for clients use.
Adel Sadek, PhD
Dr. Sadek is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB).  He also serves as the Director of UB’s Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics, Director of the Transportation Informatics Tier I University Transportation Center, and Chair of UB2020’s Strategic Strength in Extreme Events.  Dr. Sadek is the recipient of the 1998 Milton Pikarsky Award for the best dissertation in the field of Transportation Science and Technology, awarded by the Council of University Transportation Centers, a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, and a 2011 IBM Smarter Planet Faculty Innovation Award.
Joah Sapphire
Joah Sapphire is a catalyst for innovation and possesses over twenty years of experience leading complex public and private organizations.  Mr. Sapphire is the Founder and President of Global Dynamic Group, LLC.  Previously he was Founding Partner of Verulam LLC, China Representative of Ospraie Management, LLC, CFO of NROTB, Deputy Commissioner of Suffolk County, Finance Director of Nassau County and Senior Analyst for the New York State Assembly.
William Smith
Bill joined the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. team in 2008 as Project Associate, initially brought on to assist in updating the BNMC Master Plan and Implementation Strategy.  From 2012 to present, Bill has served as the organization’s Director of Access and Safety, responsible for the ongoing planning, implementation and day-to-day management of the BNMC’s parking and transportation systems, as well as facilitating collaborative public safety initiatives on and surrounding the Campus. 
Stephen Still, PhD
Dr. Stephen Still is founder and Managing Director of Seabury Airline Planning Group, LLC. He has more than 25 years experience in consulting and management of transportation systems, including 20 years of hands-on experience in aviation planning. Dr. Still has managed aviation projects worldwide including assignments for airlines, equipment manufacturers, and financial advisory firms. Recent projects include wide body fleet analysis leading to a multi-billion dollar fleet order, optimization of network structure for a major U.S. carrier, development of new planning methods for a large Asian airline, and an assessment and outlook for the US.  He specializes in a variety of corporate planning functions including route and fleet strategy, financial analysis, and revenue management.
Satish Tripathi, PhD
The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi graduated at the top of his class from Banaras Hindu University in India. In addition to a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto, he holds three master's degrees—one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University.
Dawn Tucker-Thomas
Dawn Tucker-Thomas currently serves as a Grants Manager with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT). She oversees several federally-funded transportation research grants administered to institutes of higher education. Additionally, she supports US DOT’s Civil Rights Program to strengthen the capacity of minority serving institutions to participate in federal grant programs. Ms. Tucker-Thomas has worked in the transportation industry for over 20 years in both the public and private sector. Previous positions held required her to develop transportation rules and regulations, support multi-modal research and development of US DOT’s research and development activities, conduct transportation research studies to help better understand major transportation issues, and conduct long range transportation planning and impact analyses.
Eric Wood
Eric Wood is a research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. Working in NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center, Eric focuses on integrating real-world travel data into the analysis of vehicle, infrastructure, and energy storage systems. Interfacing closely with NREL’s Transportation Secure Data Center (TSDC), Eric routinely works with large geographic-enabled databases linking time series measurements to underlying road network and elevation/grade layers in a variety of database and geographic information system (GIS) programs. Eric employs quality control, statistical analysis, and data visualization to turn “big data” into quantifiable trends and actionable analysis.
Didier Valdés, PhD
Dr. Didier Valdés has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from La Gran Colombia University, a master’s degree in Traffic and Transportation Engineering from El Cauca University, Colombia, and completed his Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation thesis, titled "Integrated Information and Traffic Control Strategies for Congested Urban Freeway Corridors”, was related to the integration of information and traffic control strategies to manage incident situations.