The first North American roads were foot trails- trails that widened, with the centuries, to accommodate horses and then teams. A horse and wagon traveled at an average speed of four miles per hour. Our average travel speed has changed a bit since then, yet many of those same trails- made to offer the least resistance possible for animals two-legged and four- now carry millions of Americans to their destinations. Builders, policy experts, and others who plan and study transportation systems must literally build the future on top of the past.
The University of Michigan today opened Mcity, the world's first controlled environment specifically designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way to mass-market driverless cars.
As a child growing up in Lebanon, Carol Menassa was given a gift that sparked a lifelong interest in structural design.
“When I was five, I received a Lego set. That was it. That’s when I knew I wanted to build things.”
During her childhood, Menassa - University of Michigan Assistant Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar - became passionate about structures: how they are built, and later, how they are designed to withstand use over time. As an undergraduate, she decided to make construction her life’s work and majored in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the American University of Beirut.
Electricity for rainforest villages in Gabon. Tent fabric that harvests solar energy for nomadic people in Kazakhstan. A modular greenhouse and fish farm in an unused industrial building in Highland Park, Michigan.
These are some of the goals and possibilities a team of 17 researchers will pursue with a new $3 million Third Century Initiative Global Challenges grant from the University of Michigan.