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Fall 2014

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Making Communities Livable

Investigators studying whether alternative transportation options can create better, more habitable communities 

bike and car sharing roadway

UTA is part of a national initiative to rethink transportation solutions.

The key to creating happy cities may be as simple as stepping away from the concrete mixer. “We can’t just continue to build lanes of highways,” says civil engineering Associate Professor Stephen Mattingly.

“There have to be more comprehensive, more livable solutions out there.” Finding those solutions is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s national initiative to develop so-called “livable communities.” As part of this effort, the federal agency is funding a series of University Transportation Centers at universities throughout the country. UT Arlington is working with one at Western Michigan University to develop alternative transportation modes and finding advanced technologies to improve public transportation.

“The aim of the research is to start thinking differently about transportation,” says Dr. Mattingly, who is leading the University’s effort. “We can use technology to enable different lifestyle choices that do not require car ownership.”

He and his colleagues are studying how such technology can improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and are looking at the impact of GPS and cell- phone technologies on driver safety. They’re also researching how social media can be used to shape more sustainable commuting practices; for example, using Facebook to encourage ride-sharing and smartphones to collect transportation and activity information.

“Walking and bicycling represent the most sustainable forms of transportation, and these modes need to be part of future transportation solutions,” Mattingly says. “The center is identifying strategies and technologies to encourage more sustainable transportation choices and to improve their safety.”

Overall, the Department of Transportation will distribute about $63 million in grants to 33 University Transportation Centers. The other members of the center at Western Michigan University are Wayne State University, Utah State University, and Tennessee State University.

Ali Abolmaali, chairman of the Civil Engineering Department, thinks Mattingly’s work has the potential to transform North Texas and beyond. “This research could help travelers in decades to come,” he says. “We need to continue to push the envelope in transportation, coming up with inventive ways to address local and national challenges.”


More articles from this issue

UT Arlington - Office of Research