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E-Bikes Add to Walking and Conventional Bicycles as Forms of Exercise

Knoxville, Tenn – Researchers from the Southeastern Transportation Center (STC) in Knoxville, including CEE Professor Chris Cherry, have published a paper in the Journal of Transport & Health that finds that e-bikes still provide health-enhancing physical activity, much like walking and riding conventional bicycles.

Some have suggested that e-bikes are “cheater bikes” compared with conventional bicycles. This paper helps expand the notion that e-bikes can in fact be useful machines for exercise, not simply faster transportation.

The study describes field trials of 17 users of a bikesharing system at the University of Tennessee and investigates physical activity metrics on identical trips made by these three different modes of transportation. Heart rates and human power output were monitored along with the GPS for the hilly 4.43 km route. The e-bike results showed that riders still get moderate-intensity, and even at times vigorous-intensity, physical activity depending on the terrain.

“Reasons people use e-bikes are to travel farther and reduce the very hard work associated with cycling hilly terrain. E-bikes moderate the spikes in exercise that turns away many non-athletic bicyclists while still providing much-needed moderate exercise levels for the whole trip”

While the study required users to choose the highest power setting, users can choose lower power settings to get even more exercise benefits from an e-bikes. As e-bikes become more popular in transportation systems and are adopted at higher rates, e-bike use can certainly contribute to meeting the physical activity recommendation of acquiring an equivalent of 150 minutes of modertate-intensity physical activity.

The Southeastern Transportation Center (STC) is a consortium of nine universities in US Department of Transportation Region 4; it is led by the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee. Operating under the theme Comprehensive Transportation Safety, STC funds research that improves public health and safety by reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries. These Opportunity & Exploratory Grants provide faculty and students the opportunity to engage in safety-related research within their areas of interest and expertise. O&E Grants provide seed funding to explore new and emerging concepts, technologies, and methods with promising safety enhancement applications. All O&E Grants are competitively awarded.

Kristen Wyckoff’s Summer Studies in Beijing

After spending a summer in Beijing, China, as an EAPSI Fellow (East Asia Pacific Summer Institute), I can easily say it was one of the best and most

Jacob Gardner, Steven Anderson, Alex Titus, Courtney Wagner, Kristen Wyckoff, and Cecelia Springer outside the National Art Museum

productive summers I have ever had. The program brings a group of Americans over to various countries to work on a research topic of their choice. All projects for the China fellows were approved by both the National Science Foundation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since my academic advisor at The University of Tennessee has a contact at Tsinghua University in Beijing, I was able to use him as a host for my summer research. One of the attached pictures is of the three of us outside the School of Environment on Tsinghua University’s campus. This summer I took my stormwater, rooftop runoff research to a new level by adding locations in China. This work will be a part of my dissertation which I plan to defend in the next few months.
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CEE Professor Joshua Fu is Awarded the John D. Tickle Professorship

Joshua FuThe Tickle College of Engineering has awarded Professor Joshua Fu one of the first John D. Tickle Professorships for his exemplary scholarly research and publication record, as well as his teaching and service record. The professorship was created as a result of the investments made by John D. Tickle, a UT alumnus and graduate of Industrial Engineering, and his wife, Ann. Some of the Tickle’s other investments include investment in the John D. Tickle Engineering Building, the new engineering complex and the naming of our college.

“Joshua’s prolific and impactful scholarship related to air quality, energy and climate change over the past decade has elevated his own reputation as well as the reputation of the department as a whole,” said CEE Department Head Chris Cox. “I was so pleased that the college was able to recognize him as a Tickle Professor. Professorships play a vital role in retaining talented and successful faculty such as Joshua.”

Fu is a highly published faculty member and is engaged with researchers throughout the United States as well as internationally in studying the effects and impacts of air pollution and climate change,” said Wayne Davis, dean of the college. “The college is pleased to recognize his accomplishments with the John D. Tickle Professorship.”

The focus of Fu’s research work includes climatic changes, air pollution modeling, air quality impact assessments, the impacts of severe weather on health, the impacts of transportation planning and energy usage on air quality, land use (satellite applications) and emissions, diesel track emission effects, and energy optimization planning.

“It is my great honor to be named a John D. Tickle Professor,” said Fu. “I appreciate Mr. Tickle’s generosity and investments in our college and his devotion to the University of Tennessee. I have been a faculty in the department since 2000 and always treasure every growing opportunity that Dean Davis and my Department Head Chris Cox have provided over the years. Establishing scholarly research, making contributions to the literature, improving the quality of life (through better air quality), being inspired by other researchers, and educating students have brought me great joy. I look forward to working with wonderful students, colleagues, and researchers across our campus and across the nation and globe continuously.”

Fu is also an Inaugural Professor of the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education Energy Science and Engineering PhD program, Faculty Affiliate at the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, and holds a Joint Faculty Appointment in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

El-adaway Named Fellow of the ASCE

Islam H. El-adaway

CEE Associate Professor Islam El-adaway was recently honored with the distinction of being named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This distinction is only granted to about one percent of the organization’s 150,000 members in the civil engineering profession.

El-adaway is also the Director of the Civil Infrastructure System-of-Systems Interdependency Laboratory (CI2SI-L), and his research focuses on mitigating the management challenges associated with the sustainability of infrastructure systems. In June he and CEE doctoral graduate Mohamed Saeid Eid were awarded the ASCE 2017 Journal of Management in Engineering Best Peer Reviewed Paper Award for their paper entitled “Sustainable Disaster Recover Decision-Making Support Tool: Integrating Economic Vulnerability into the Objective Functions of the Associated Stakeholders.” This research has implications for post-disaster recovery efforts in regard to reducing the economic vulnerability of the affected community.

ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs and operates society’s economic and social engine – the built environment – while protecting and restoring the natural environment. It is a leading provider of technical and professional conferences and continuing education, the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering content, and an authoritative source for codes and standards that protect the public.


Assistant Professor Candace Brakewood Wins TRB’s 2017 Fred Burggraf Award

Assistant Professor Candace Brakewood recently won the Transportation Research Board’s 2017 Fred Burggraf Award. This international award recognizes the year’s best research paper by researchers 35 years of age or younger, and it is one of the highest honors presented by the Transportation Research Board.

The paper was authored by Brakewood with three of her former students at the City College of New York: Rachel Beer, Subrina Rahman, and Jennifer Viscardi. Brakewood and her former students will be honored with the award in January 2018 at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies in Washington, DC.

They received the award for their paper entitled “Qualitative Analysis of Ridehailing Regulations in Major American Cities” that is published in the Transportation Research Record. The research paper compares city regulations of ridehailing companies, such as Uber, in major metropolitan areas.

The Burggraf Award was established in 1966 to encourage young researchers to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of transportation and was named in honor of Fred Burggraf, who served as TRB’s Executive Director from 1951 until his retirement in 1964. More information can be found here:

CEE Alumnus Appointed to Lead Extension in the UT Institute of Agriculture

CEE alumnus Robert Burns has recently been appointed to lead extension in the UT Institute of Agriculture.

Wayne Davis, Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering, was his faculty advisor and has this statement about Burns’s appointment.

“We are excited to see Dr. Burns’ recent appointment as Dean of UT Extension. Robert received his MS in Environmental Engineering and his PhD in Civil engineering with a concentration in Envr engineering.  I had the pleasure of being his major professor where he concentrated on air quality and pollution control. Ironically, Robert held to his roots in Agricultural Engineering (now Biosystems Engineering) and became a leading international expert on air emissions and odor control related to agricultural emissions from swine and poultry operations.  Our college is proud to have Robert among our alumni and I am particularly proud to have been his mentor during his program and in his early career.”

Read the full story here.

CEE Professor Cherry Publishes Findings on Bicycle Accidents at Railroad Crossings

Chris CherryUniversity of Tennessee Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Chris Cherry, along with graduate students Ziwen Ling and Nirbesh Dhakal, recently published research in the Journal of Transport & Health on bicycle accidents at a railroad crossing. It is the first study that uses empirical video data to identify factors on detailed crossing and crash processes quantitatively. The data showed 13,247 cyclists traversing two sections of the railway over about two months, with higher than expected crash rates. The crash rate on the shoulder over this period was 15.3 per 1000 crossings, while the crash rate of the greenway (eastbound and westbound) was lower, 2.2 per 1000 crossings.

Factors cover crossing angle, cyclist characteristics, bicycle type, riding behavior, and environmental factors. Crashes are nearly eliminated at crossing angles greater than 30° degrees, and no crashes were observed at crossing angles greater than 60°. In areas with tight design constraints, achieving a 60° crossing angle largely eliminates the problem.

The crossing studied was infeasible to construct at a crossing angle that approached 90°, however, the City of Knoxville responded by constructing a jughandle design with a tangent angle of 57°, with a possible minimum angle of 37° (inside-to-outside of bike lane). This design encourages cyclists to approach this crossing at a higher angle and has effectively eliminated crashes except in cases where cyclists traverse the hash marks and cross at low angles. Future research will further evaluate rider behavior and crash performance under this design.

The Open Access paper is available here:

An article about the research was published in City Lab.

A YouTube video documenting the crashes used in the paper (and then some) is available here:

These research findings quickly went viral.

Alumni at Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Funding Unique New Scholarship

It’s not uncommon for alumni to give back to UT by establishing endowed scholarships.

What makes the new Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc. (BWSC) Endowed Scholarship within UT’s Tickle College of Engineering so different is that it wasn’t just one person giving back, but 25 alumni representing seven colleges, who all now work for the company.

Read the full story here.

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