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Organization of educational seminars

 

Among the key priorities of HIT is the organization of educational seminars and educational activities aiming at the practical implementation and dissemination of research results and providing specialized training in the field of transport.


  • MATLAB on-line Seminar

This is an internet based Seminar on MATLAB which was first held in October of 2010 at the headquarters of H.I.T. in Thessaloniki. The seminar traines on the algorithm development and information analysis using MATLAB and the automatic conversion of the algorithm from MATLAB code into embeddable C/C++ code.

  • Info Days: National info days on various calls of the 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development.

Such Info Days are held in cooperation with the PRAXI/HELP – FORWARD Network – the national contact point in Greece for transport and member of the Enterprise Europe Network–Hellas. The participants have the opportunity to be informed about a coming call,  present their ideas for research topics in the transport and aeronautics sectors and to find partners as well as to discuss further issues regarding research in these specific areas.


 

A. «Advanced Transport Modeling and Tools»

The study week on “Advanced Transport Modeling and Tools” has been performed twice in the past  with considerable success.

The objective is to comprehensively cover the issues of advanced demand and supply modeling, which are increasingly used in order to perform traffic management and planning tasks as well as supply and demand management techniques.

The program of the Seminar is normally divided in three parts:

  1. The first part is an in-depth study of discrete choice models and their applications and provided the participants the opportunity to be familiarized with problems of data collection, model formulation, testing, and forecasting. Practice through laboratory exercises was done on computers available for each student using software statistical packages. The aim of this part was to estimate and test discrete choice models from real data usage.
  2. The second part deals with advanced supply models. Both Steady State and Time Varying Traffic Assignment Models were covered. Analytical and simulation based traffic assignment models are demonstrated with emphasis on practical applications in management and impact analysis. Participants learn about traffic simulation, dynamic traffic assignment (DTA), origin-destination estimation and prediction for real-time applications, traffic flow models, traffic control and guidance systems, and off-line evaluation methods using the simulation and assignment tools of VISTA and DYNASMART.
  3. In the last part of the Seminar the combined distribution, mode choice and assignment models are presented.

The course lecturers include staff of the Institute and others internationally-reknown  researchers.  

 

B. Training seminar: " Road Safety in Road Work Zones"

 

This seminar concerns road safety in the road construction zones. 

The training is divided into 3 sections. During the first part there is a presentation of the European project PREVENT, which was coordinated by HIT (funded by the program Leonardo Da Vinci and the then Ministry of Public Works), and which gave rise to this seminar.

 

During the second part the theoretical training for the existing specifications, for the measures and appropriate processes that ensure safety conditions in road worksites, takes place.

 

Finally, in the third part there is a  presentation of the electronic tool (the main product of the project PREVENT), that contains all the theoretical part of the specification and practice through typical examples and exercises to assess understanding of the educational material.

 

Our experience with this Seminars shows that :

 

·         There is an intense interest among the employees in services that supervise public Road Works, for information - education for the sign standards of the road work zones. These people guide the contractors of projects to the study of the signs, that have to approve, while in many cases have been sanctioned for irregularities that have caused accidents. For this reason it is a common practice an insurance company to cover the areas where road works are carried out.

·         The training of the private companies that are contractors of public road projects is essential, as they prepare road traffic sign studies, and they are responsible for the safety of the construction sites and their workers.

·         There are examples in the specifications of the signalization of worksites, that cover a very small part of the actual cases, while do not include any form of worksite zone in an urban network.

·         In most of the cases the length and width limits, set by the specifications, cannot be applied due to the constraints imposed by the morphology of the street that is under construction works; especially in cases where there is no diversion of traffic, but narrowing of the existing road.

·         There is no reference in the specifications about the lighting conditions of the road, which should apply in any case, in order for the signs to be visible 24 hours a day and under any weather conditions.

·         The use of e-learning and assessment tool is considered a practical solution for the stakeholders in engaging and understanding the signalization standards.

·         A basic observation is the need for inspections by both contractors and the services within the deadlines, defined by the specifications; but also greater and essential involvement of the Road Traffic Police in this process is needed.

 

 

C. Training for driving instructors on eco-driving

 

The main objective of this Seminar is to develop environmental awareness and new ways of driving that aim in fuel efficiency and therefore at lower emissions, cleaner air and better quality of life in urban environments.

 

The driving style of the “clean” vehicles and hybrids, the most widespread of the remaining “clean” (in absolute terms, unfortunately, is not so widespread) can and/or must be different from a conventional vehicle, in order for the driver to exploit its capabilities, and eventually to achieve the desirable; lower fuel consumption and emissions.

 

    

D. Training post-graduate students to evaluate traffic interventions through the use of traffic (micro / macro- simulation)

The computer simulation has become a widespread tool in transport engineering with a wide range of applications, from scientific research to planning, training and operation. The transportation systems constitute a great application field for research based on traffic modeling and design techniques.

The reasons for using simulation to analyze transportation problems are those that apply to all simulations: the problems arising from the analytical solution of the problem under consideration, the need for monitoring, evaluation and demonstration of a proposed project before its implementation, the research (learning), and training people.

The theory of traffic flow and simulation models are classified into microscopic, macroscopic and mesoscopic. The microscopic models are based on the car-following principles and are usually computationally demanding, but can accurately represent traffic evolution. The macroscopic models are based on the average motion of groups of vehicles, which improves the computational performance, but provides less detailed representation. The mesoscopic models provide a balanced representation between accuracy and computational efficiency.

This workshop aims at making familiar with all these issues (usually) postgraduate students in the postgraduate course “Planning, Organization, and management of Transport Systems”.


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