WITS “Women in ITS” Seminar Update

ITS Ireland and ITS UK held a “Women in ITS” seminar on the 26th April. The meeting was jointly chaired by Roisin Barton-Murray (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) and Jennie Martin (ITS UK) and focussed on identifying how best to encourage women to consider a career in ITS.

The highlight of the seminar was undoubtedly two presentations provided by 2nd-level students whereby: Students from St. Joseph’s Girls Secondary School, Castlebar gave a presentation on their project that won first place in the Saffron School’s Science competition and shared a video of their class trip to the European Space Agency in Brussels (which was their prize for winning the competition which is sponsored by eFlow and ITS Ireland).

Mia Casey from Kinsale Community School presented her project on “is Human Behaviour now the Limiting Factor to the Minimisation of Phantom Traffic Jams?” which won the Social and Behavioural Sciences Junior Individual award and RSA special award at the recent BT Young Scientist competition. ITS Ireland presented each school with a special education excellence award in recognition of their achievements.Mia Casey from Kinsale Community School presented her project on “is Human Behaviour now the Limiting Factor to the Minimisation of Phantom Traffic Jams?” which won the Social and Behavioural Sciences Junior Individual award and RSA special award at the recent BT Young Scientist competition. This was followed by an audience discussion on how we, as an industry, can do more to promote ITS as a career choice to Students in 2nd-level Education.

The contributions from the 2nd-level students demonstrated that the future is bright for our industry if we can work together to encourage more young people to select a career in ITS.

Elizabeth Hegg (National Transport Authority) and Clare Mee (OpenSky Data Systems) gave a presentation on how technology such as the Driver Check app assists the National Transport Authority in its work in regulating the taxi industry in Ireland. Margaret Malone (Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport) presented on a bureaucrat’s view of how ITS can assist in meeting policy objectives of reducing emissions, facilitating traffic flow, reducing congestion and improving road safety. Nada Svilar (AECOM) presented on the opportunities for operations and asset management in an environment where Cooperative and Autonomous Vehicles share the road with traditional vehicles.Sharon Kindleysides presented on the lessons to be learned from the recent “Pokemon Go” phenomenon as we embrace the advantages offered by connectivity through the Internet of Things. The game’s popularity and the size of its user base highlighted the need to plan sufficient contingency to ensure that the systems can cope with the expected demand whilst also highlight challenges surrounding data security and the potential for social and digital exclusion within IoT.

Jennie Martin (ITS UK) and Celine Crawford (ITS Ireland) wrapped up the seminar by thanking everyone for their contribution to an extremely informative seminar.