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CATT Lab Assists with Communicating in Crisis

CATT Lab Assists with Communicating in Crisis


The Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) recently volunteered their time to assist the National Academy of Sciences presentation at the USA Science & Engineering Expo.  The presentation, “Mixed Messages: Communicating Complexity in a Crisis” used the CATT Lab’s Virtual Incident Management Training as a visualization tool to be played in the background. The scenario’s story includes a collision between two vehicles near metro, with one of the vehicles carrying gas canisters. One of the gas canisters contains phosgene, a poisonous industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides. The gas was used as a weapon during World War I. The van exploded, and the gas spread around. It is heavier than air, so the underground metro was shut down.

On the stage discussing the topic was: Peter Sunderland, associate professor and director of Undergraduate Studies with University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering; Sharon Kenny, environmental engineer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Bob Marbourg, traffic reporter with WTOP. Behind the computers were CATT Labers: Jenny Lees, Todd Lees, Michael Couture, and Walter Lucman. The goal of the presentation was to discuss the complexities of communication efforts between experts, news reporters and the public during an incident.

For more information about the Expo, visit: USA Science & Engineering Expo.

About the CATT Lab
The Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, supports National, State, and local efforts to provide safe and efficient transportation systems through improved operations and management by means of research and development, technology implementation, training and education. The CATT Lab is supported by an interdisciplinary staff of graduate and undergraduate student researchers, affiliated faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering, and a permanent team of ITS professionals. For more information about the CATT Lab visit www.cattlab.umd.edu.

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May 3, 2012


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