Rowan University Researchers Working to Find Solutions to Traffic Accidents, Bridge Damage

By: Joshua Gras, Follow South Jersey Higher Education Intern

Photo: Michael Mandarino | Follow South Jersey

GLASSBORO, N.J. — Rowan University’s Center for Research & Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems has three researchers searching for ways to lessen the damage caused by poor infrastructure.

In 2019, more than 18,000 people were killed in New Jersey in traffic accidents at intersections. Civil and environmental engineering assistant professor Dr. Mohammad Jalayer and his team aims to reduce this number through his research.

Using video data collected from several intersections across the state over the course of six months, the team will grade each intersection and then find ways to stop incidents from happening at each site.

“With the advancements in transportation engineering, we have to implement a proactive approach to save road-users’ lives,” Deep Patel, a graduate research fellow who’s working with Jalayer, said of the project.

Additionally, assistant professor Dr. Adriana Trias Blanco is working on her own project that can help bridge owners know how to best maintain bridges so that they don’t collapse. Trias Blanco will utilize a new laser technology called LiDAR to scan five different bridges and reveal how each one may deteriorate over time. This method can potentially save bridge owners money, as it’s a safer, cheaper alternative to scouring bridges for cracks.

“The idea is for this to be a tool that bridge owners can use to predict the deterioration patterns of their bridge decks,” Trias Blanco said. “We’re promoting it as a screening tool.”

Dr. Ghulam Rasool, another assistant professor, is using an algorithm to improve access to helipads across the country. Approximately 30% of helipad listings across the country don’t actually have one, so Rasool hopes to make it more clear for helicopter pilots where exactly they can land.

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.