Mizzou Engineers attend Transportation Research Board Meeting; earn second in Transportation Forecasting Competition

February 06, 2024

Group of students
Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, left, and his team earn second place in the Transportation Forecasting Competition at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.

Mizzou Engineers last month attended the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, the largest gathering of transportation researchers and practitioners in the world with more than 13,000 attendees. TRB is part of the National Academies of Science.

Bill Buttlar

On January 8, Professor Bill Buttlar presented on the importance of modeling and data science in the area of asphalt pavements as part of the series “Paving the Way Forward: Exploring Building Information Modeling for Pavements and Why You Cannot Afford to Miss It.”

Buttlar—founding director of the Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation (MCTI) and Glen Barton Endowed Faculty Chair—discussed automated pavement and asset detection and evaluation and its convergence with building information modeling (BIM). BIM plays a crucial role in infrastructure development as it is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristic of infrastructure. It involves the creation and use of intelligent 3D models to improve design, construction and operation. During his presentation, Buttlar reviewed the ways in which he, along with Associate Professor Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, Assistant Professor Oliver Giraldo-Londono and postdoctoral fellow Hamed Majidifard, are contributing new research findings to the emerging field.

“The adoption of BIM is becoming increasingly common in engineering and construction, as it offers numerous benefits such as improved efficiency, reduced errors, better collaboration and enhanced decision-making throughout the lifecycle of a project,” Buttlar said.

Also during the weeklong TRB meeting, Adu-Gyamfi and a Mizzou Engineering team participated in the Transportation Forecasting Competition. The team, comprised of Abdul Musah, Neema Owor, Linlin Zhang and Xiang Yu, took home second place for Multivariate, Multitask Long-Short-Term Memory for Pedestrian Action Forecasting and Intent Prediction.

“This competition allowed our students to address difficult problems in the emerging area of smart transportation,” Adu-Gyamfi said. “They were able to develop a model that took into account multiple variables to predict pedestrian actions and intentions, which will be critical as more autonomous vehicles and smart transportation systems come online.”

The competition was sponsored by The Center for Urban Informatics and Progress at UTC, Amazon Web Services, the National Science Foundation, the City of Chattanooga and ITS America.

For the second year, MCTI hosted a reception to help kick off the TRB Annual Meeting. The reception, held January 8 at City Tap in Washington, D.C., attracted stakeholders from industry, government and academia.

“We were thrilled to once again host this reception to thank partners for their continued support,” Buttlar said. “MCTI has brought together the best minds in transportation with a shared goal of transforming Missouri infrastructure, and we look forward to another year of innovation that benefits the state and nation.”  

Learn more about MCTI.