Environmental pioneer wins ITS (UK) Lifetime Achievement award

October 16 2019

Professor Margaret Bell of Newcastle University has been given the Rees-Hills Award for Outstanding Personal Contribution by a UK ITS professional at the ITS (UK) President’s Dinner in Coventry.

For many years Margaret Bell has researched traffic flow monitoring, modelling, and control in order to understand the relationships between different traffic regimes and emissions and health impacts.  She was a leader in the development of the “Instrumented City” concept in which a range of ITS tools enables the development of on-line traffic noise and emission models, forecasting of air quality by novel statistical methods, and ITS-based strategies to control ‘hotspot’ emissions.  She has also worked on health impacts of emissions, and IS the founding chair of the Society’s Smart Environment Forum.

Professor Bell’s was one of five awards handed out by ITS (UK) President Steve Norris (pictured) at the Ricoh Arena on the eve of the Annual ITS (UK) Summit at the same venue.  The dinner was sponsored by WSP and SNC-Lavalin business Atkins

For the first time the Young ITS Professional of the Year  was awarded in the name of former ITS (UK) Chairman Eric Sampson.  It was handed to Keelan Fadden-Hopper of Transport for West Midlands who, the ceremony heard, has a passion for transport, shown by his willingness to contribute HIS own personal time to support initiatives in the transport industry from a young age. He has been involved with the Youth Panel at National Express, been the Secretary for the Youth Panel at Transport for London, and took part in TfWM’s Youth Forum  for over four years  at TfWM including presenting at the Smarter Travel Conference.

Professor Sampson was unable to attend the awards because he is travelling to the ITS World Congress in Singapore, but he sent a video message and bottle of champagne to Keelan.

In project awards, the ITS Project of the Year was won by A2/M2 Connected Corridor Testbed, recognising Costain, Highways England/WSP, Department for Transport, Transport for London and Kent County Council.  They beat other shortlisted entries, York’s Eboracum Project and Highways England Expressways Concept.

A journey time monitoring solution by Clearview Intelligence won the Innovative Use of Technology Award, ahead of Signalling for Roadworks and AppyWay’s Smart City Parking.

Meanwhile for the first time, a project that has made a significant improvement to inclusive mobility has been recognised with its own category.  TOC Ability beat Grid Smarter Cities’ ADAPT Project.

ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin said, “Congratulations to all the winners who have thoroughly deserved their awards, winning against some very strong competition – anyone shortlisted also deserves recognition.  We at ITS (UK) are proud to facilitate excellent networking and  knowledge sharing, and our dinner, which is a relaxed celebration of ITS in the UK, followed by the Summit is a perfect example of us bringing the best in the business together to share good times and good ideas at the combined event.”

The full citations for the winners are below:

ITS Project of the Year 2019

Shortlisted Nominees: 

Eboracum Project

A2/M2 Corridor Testbed

Highways England Expressways Concept

WINNER: A2/M2 Connected Corridor Testbed

Organisations involved: Costain, Highways England/WSP, Department for Transport, Transport for London and Kent County Council

The A2/M2 Connected Corridor testbed is a flagship project, contributing to industry knowledge and promoting the UK as market leader in Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) technologies. What was delivered was one of the UK’s first connected vehicle corridors on a live road.

The service allows the creation of simulated scenarios to test real-world situations, to demonstrate seamless interoperability of services between the countries.

The test event attracted 62 participants from 34 organisations across 6 countries, and will feed into C-ROADS, the European platform for C-ITS deployment, to harmonise technical standards and provide a better understanding of the opportunities, risks and challenges facing transport network operation in the coming years.

Innovative Use of Technology Award

Shortlisted Nominees:

Journey Time Monitoring by Clearview Intelligence

Signalling for Roadworks

AppyWay’s Smart City Parking

WINNER: Journey Time Monitoring by Clearview Intelligence

Citation:

Clearview’s Journey Time Monitoring (JTM) application uses crowdsourced data rather than Bluetooth roadside equipment to obtain information which is clearly displayed in graphs and charts.

The system is a step change from traditional monitoring methods as it is set up in minutes from a computer, it eliminates risks to roadworkers, offers increased flexibility, can be used for temporary and permanent projects and provides more coverage for the money spent.

As an example, with this application, ITS (UK) Executive Members Transport Scotland and Amey were able to increase the number of spans from 250 to over 900, collecting reliable real-time data that provided an accurate reflection of the network’s performance.

Inclusive Mobility Award

Shortlisted Nominees:

GRID Smarter Cities ADAPT Project

TOC Ability

WINNERTOC Ability

Citation:

Co-funded by The Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB), the MaaS-like digital platform facilitates the sharing of disabled passengers’ travel requirements with train operating companies (TOCs).

This digitally-led solution seeks to enable the rail industry to measure and maximise the impact of improvements to passenger accessibility, exchanging data in real-time about rail journeys between disabled passengers and train station staff.

Trials have already been run and the results have shown an increase in overall trust and therefore encourages more passengers with accessibility needs to travel by rail safely and more comfortably.

Sampson Young ITS Professional of the Year

This Award is renamed from this Year as the Sampson Award to mark the contribution of Professor Eric Sampson, the ITS (UK) Ambassador, to supporting younger staff and students.  All too often, these marks of respect are only bestowed once an ITS VIP is no longer with us.  Happily, this is not the case with Eric.

WINNER:  Keelan Fadden-Hopper of Transport for West Midlands

Citation:

Keelan has a passion for transport, shown by his willingness to contribute is own personal time to support initiatives in the transport industry from a young age. He has been involved with the Youth Panel at National Express, been the Secretary for the Youth Panel at Transport for London,  and took part in TfWM’s Youth Forum  for over 4 years  at TfWM including presenting at the Smarter Travel Conference.

After graduating in 2018, he started as a graduate trainee in Transport for West Midland’s Innovation Team and soon was the TfWM’s lead in the €4,000,000 Horizon 2020 funded SUITS project, representing the authority at meetings with European partners and helping to organise a European Conference bringing together ITS partners from all around Europe. He has also supported connected autonomous vehicle and drone projects.

He is currently in a new role as Senior Future Mobility Zone Developer and is now managing Transport for West Midlands’ £22 million Future Mobility Zone funded by DfT.

Rees Hills Award for Life Achievement

While we do not share the list of nominations for this Award, we note that all nominees this year were female, the first time this has happened and a sign that things are changing in the ITS workforce.

WINNER:  Margaret Bell of Newcastle University

Citation:

For many years Margaret Bell has researched traffic flow monitoring, modelling, and control in order to understand the relationships between different traffic regimes and emissions and health impacts.  She was a pioneer of the “Instrumented City” concept in which a range of ITS tools enables the development of on-line traffic noise and emission models, forecasting of air quality by novel statistical methods, and ITS-based strategies to control ‘hotspot’ emissions.

Furthermore, she has publicised warnings on the health impacts of vehicle emissions and her early work at Leeds showed conclusively how the exposure of school children to traffic related pollution affected asthma and other respiratory difficulties.  She has set up the Newcastle University Integrated Database and Analysis Platform, NUIDAP, for continuous measurement and real-time analysis of traffic, pollution and meteorological conditions and air pollution prediction.

Margaret is a member of the UK Research Council Peer Review College and advisor to 7 overseas governments.  She is the Founding Chair of the society’s Smart Environment Forum and has given evidence at the Commons Transport Select Committee.  She has been an Associate Editor of the IET-ITS Journal and is currently Editor in Chief.

Margaret’s unstinting support for colleagues and students is well known and she never says no to a request for help or information.  Her workload is always considerable and often not entirely made up of work strictly her own.

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