Transportation Challenges

Location of Program: Guanajuato, Mexico      Year: 2012
Program Director(s): Mitsuru Saito
Participating Major(s): Civil and Environmental Engineering


In this program students work with students and faculty from partnering institutions in Mexico to solve transportation problems existing in the communities where partnering institutions are located, by applying knowledge and skills they acquired in transportation courses they have taken at BYU. The program helps students develop team work and leadership skills in a global work environment. They begin collaboration through the Internet to prepare for the trip. While in Mexico they collect data, prepare alternative improvements, and create models necessary for in-depth analysis after returning. Through communication with their counterparts, they complete the analysis, prepare a final report and present their work through video conference.

Recap of the Year:

In winter 2012, the program was hosted by the University of Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico and co-sponsored by the University of Guanajuato and the University of Zacatecas. BYU students and their counterparts studied traffic conditions of two Glorietas (a Mexican version of roundabouts) and one unsignalized intersection. Team members collected data and brainstormed workable improvements to improve traffic flow at these locations. Then, simulation models of the existing case and of the case with proposed improvements were developed and their performance measures were compared. The final report and presentation file were prepared in both Spanish and English so that our Mexican counterparts who do not speak English can appreciate what this collaborative work has produced.
The trip to Guanajuato was made in mid-March, from March 9th to March 19th. Four BYU students who participated in this program were: Nikra Wilkinson, Joe Yaede, Scott Johnson, and Adam Leslie. All students were given some sort of leadership task: Joe was the project manager and simulation model developer, Nikra was in charge of translation and report editing, Adam was in charge of development of the program website, and Scott was a photo and videographer and in charge of report organization.