As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.

2nd Annual Transportation Security Institute Held

Recruiting the Next Generation of Professionals

This two week event, held June 8th – June 19th on the Texas Southern University campus, focused on providing a select group of high school students with opportunities to learn more about career options within the transportation security sector.

From the 75 applications received, a total of twenty-five students were invited to attend this year’s program which provided them the opportunity to learn more about the transportation security industry via hands-on technical activities, field trips to transportation facilities, lectures by transportation professionals, and on-site seminars. This year’s curriculum addressed the three principal modes of transportation (air, land and rail) with activities led by transportation and academic professionals.

While participating in the lectures and hands-on activities included in the program, students were able to:

  • learn about aviation with practice on flight simulators;
  • gain knowledge about the complexity of city planning through a city planning simulation game;
  • learn the value and incredible versatility of GIS and how it is used by many different professions;
  • view solar power demonstrations, including an exercise where the students constructed personal solar panels that attached to their phone and ipod/ipad chargers;
  • participate in a signal timing exercise utilizing real-time traffic counts obtained by the students;
  • discover the intricacy of highway bridge design utilizing a student competition to see who could come up with the most efficient bridge design at the lowest cost and still support a simulated truck without collapsing;
  • and learn the importance of geoscience and the role it plays with the construction of roads and rail lines.

This year’s field trips included visits to:

  • the Houston METRO Rail Operating Center where the students learned about the function and history of Houston METRO and the security procedures in place for the protection of all METRO riders.  They also learned, through a hands-on demonstration, about the METRO police dogs and the training they receive;
  • and Houston Transtar’s Control Center as well as the Emergency Operations Center. While at Transtar, they learned who the organization serves, and what they do to help protect the citizens of Houston and surrounding counties on the roadways. Different career opportunities were discussed in emergency management and how Transtar facilitates mass evacuations during emergencies.

Full Program Report

For more information on this program, please contact Khosro Godazi @ godazi_kx@tsu.edu