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Research

Research and Resources:

Research

From its inception, the Center has offered research opportunities to qualified University of Missouri-St. Louis graduate students. Six to eight assistants are supported through the Center at any one time. Through their work at the Center and in their Logistics and Supply Chain Certificate and MBA programs, graduate research assistants have performed several research projects and network analyses for many organizations and companies. These include:

Additionally, the Center engages in research related to airports and per capita for-hire transportation through its partnership with the Airport Ground Transportation Association (AGTA), an international trade association headquartered at the Center. 

The Center has developed a special capacity to conduct computer simulations to analyze traffic flows and product distribution patterns. For a recent project funded by the Midwest Transportation Consortium and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, a research team at the Center examined and evaluated alternative policies designed to improve the efficiency of lockage operations in an intermittently congested segment of the Upper Mississippi River navigation system. The team used a discrete event simulation model explicitly incorporating seasonal and interdependent traffic demands for a specific origin and destination trips.

Furthermore, the Center has partnered with Federal-Mogul Corporation, a global supplier of original equipment and after-market automobile parts, to jointly investigate the firm’s existing North American outbound distribution network by examining the assignment of customers to its five central (CDC) and four regional (RDC) distribution centers. The network rationalization was completed by identifying current shipping practices and comparing the cost and service characteristics of current operations with three alternative rationalizations of the firm’s existing outbound distribution system. To complete the investigation, data provided by Federal-Mogul regarding current outbound distribution flows and transportation costs were incorporated into the Insight Corporation’s SAILS 21 software for the outbound distribution system rationalizations.  The distribution rationalizations for Federal-Mogul were then evaluated, and recommendations for changes to the distribution system were provided.

 

The Center is particularly proud of its graduate student research assistants. Due in large measure to the outstanding education in Logistics and Supply Chain Management received at UMSL, former research assistants are currently working in their areas of expertise at firms such as Emerson Motor Technologies, Federal-Mogul Corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton, Praxair, and the Arthur Wells Group.

 

Research Projects at Glance:

Application of Discrete-Event Simulation to Capacity Planning at a Commercial Airport

  1. Douglas Smith, Liang Xu, Ziyi Wang, Deng Pan, Laura Hellman, Jan F. Ehmke

In this project we describe the construction, calibration and application of a discrete-event simulation model to estimate the potential effects of changes in airport infrastructure, operating procedures, and traffic intensity upon system performance. Logistic and regression models provide time-varying parameters for probability distributions used for physical processes. Detailed event logs of simulated aircraft activity and corresponding logs of actual aircraft operations allow us to validate the model and analyze the effects of normal disruptions and extraordinary events. With multivariate statistical analysis, we assess the influence of design capacity, airline scheduling practices and uncontrollable events on flight delays. We also estimate the effects of selectively removing airport assets from service for major maintenance.

 

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS – Replacement of Merchants Bridge Main Spans at St. Louis

Prepared by Emma J. Nix under the direction of Dr. Ray Mundy and Dr. Raniel Rust.

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS: REPLACEMENT OF THE MERCHANTS MEMORIAL MISSISSIPPI RAIL BRIDGE MAIN SPANS

Owned by the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, the Merchants Rail Bridge is one of the most heavily used Mississippi River rail crossings. However, the bridge is 126 years old and in significant need of repair. Without improvements, the bridge will close in 2034 and all current traffic will be rerouted to longer routes. This project contends that reconstructing the Merchants Bridge will generate significant economic benefits and should receive federal support.

Funded by the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis and the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

Airport Drop-Off Charges in Great Britain – Will they come to United States?

Written by Emma J. Nix under the direction of Dr. Ray Mundy

 

Driver Crash Causation Study by Gender – Missouri, Iowa and Illinois Comparison

Dr. Jill Bernard Bracy, Chris Mondy, Dr. Ray Mundy, Dr. Daniel Rust.

This study examines traffic crash contributing factors among Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa Drivers. Comparisons are made by driver gender from each state.

 

Cost-Benefit Analysis:

Substituting the Subsidized Essential Air Services with a Subsidized Ground Transportation Service.

Ken Bao and Abby Wood

 

WOMEN IN TRANSPORTATION FIELD JOBS: THE HIDDEN ASSET

The US rail, barge, and trucking industries have long labored under the image of a diversity-challenged sector with few women employed in field jobs. However, due to a prevalence of vacant operating positions in an increasingly demanding economic market, change is imminent as companies seek to hire more women. In addition to analyzing trends and challenges of employing women in male-dominated roles, this project will consider the economic impact women will make by filling more field positions in transportation, how the job vacancies should be marketed to gain the interest of potential female employees, and forecast future trends and benefits of a more diverse workforce.

In cooperation with and funded by the Union Pacific Railroad, and funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

MASS TRANSIT SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ST. LOUIS REGION

Public transportation funding continues to require federal, state, and local tax reserves. Caught between looming deficits and a failure to attract large numbers of new consumers are a tangled web of inefficient operations, financially unsustainable funding commitments, and an inability to adequately modernize transit systems. This project explores alternatives and urges the adoption of innovative and rewarding approaches to leveraging and restructuring mass transit systems in the St. Louis region.

Funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

ASSET UTILIZATION POTENTIAL OF BUILDING A MOTOR CARRIER AND RAIL MEGA INTERMODAL HUB IN THE ST. LOUIS REGION

The objective of this study is to assess the asset utilization potential of building a common trucking and rail intermodal hub in the Saint Louis region by looking at industry history, examining transportation policies and initiatives in the Saint Louis region, and evaluating the major stakeholders affected by intermodal initiatives.

 Funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

ST.LOUIS METROPOLITAN TAXICAB COMMISSION REVIEW ON TAXICAB AND LIMOUSINE SERVICES

Access to available, safe, and economical public taxi service is important to any community. This project is a review and update of an earlier 2007 study of the St. Louis area taxi services for the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission. This review includes measurements to determine if the Commission and its actions are assisting in the improvement of area taxi services. It also attempts to assist the Commission on aspects of introducing Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) into the taxi market of St. Louis.  

Funded by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission and the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

LAMBERT-ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HISTORY PROJECT

Founded by Albert Bond Lambert in 1920, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is one of the most historic airports in the United States. Dr. Daniel L. Rust, assistant director of the Center for Transportation Studies, is under contract with the Missouri History Museum Press to author an authoritative account of the history of Lambert Airport as part of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society’s Lambert-St. Louis International Airport History Project.

 

ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE: AN INVESTIGATION OF ALTERNATIVES

Originally conceived as a temporary solution for smaller communities that could lose scheduled air service following airline deregulation in 1978, Essential Air Service (EAS) program currently provides federally-subsidized commercial air service to nearly 160 communities. This project explores possible ground transportation alternatives for some EAS communities.

Funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

INVESTIGATION OF GENDER DIFFERENCES IN LARGE TRUCK CRASH INJURY SEVERITY IN MISSOURI

Undertaken by the Center’s Big Data Laboratory, this study will use Missouri crash data to analyze circumstances that increase the probability of severity, given a large truck, a crash occurs. CHAID decision tree models will be developed for both male and female drivers to better understand predictor importance and to uncover interactions among contributing factors.

Funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

USING CHAID DECISION TREES TO EVALUATE SEVERITIES OF MISSOURI TRUCK CRASHES

Using traffic, personal, and vehicle crash data from 2002-2012 supplied by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Traffic Division, the Center’s Big Data Laboratory is using CHAID decision tree models to evaluate severities of Missouri truck crashes to identify areas of potential improvement of motor carrier safety public policy.

Funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

MODELING AIRSIDE OPERATIONS AT MAJOR AIRPORTS FOR STRATEGIC DECISION SUPPORT

This project will result in the creation of a planning tool that can help airport planning managers analyze airport capacity with appropriate linkages to the external environment.

In cooperation with the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Authority and funded by the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE BENEFITS OF USING DATA ANALYTICS TO EXAMINE MISSOURI MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH SEVERITY OUTCOMES

In this dissertation, Jill Bernard compares four individual modeling techniques and three ensemble scoring methods using traffic, personal, and vehicle crash data from 2002-2012 supplied by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Traffic Division. The author also explores whether or not the findings support current Missouri public policy or point to needed revision.

Supported in part by the UMSL Center for Transportation Studies and the US Department of Transportation Office of Research and Technology

 

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING IN AIRPORT GROUND TRANSPORTATION

The Center for Transportation Studies, in conjunction with the Airport Ground Transportation Association (AGTA), offers training workshops to airport ground transportation industry professionals.

Supported by the UMSL Center for Transportation Studies and the Airport Ground Transportation Association

 

Information on Research

 

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