Posted September 9, 2005 Atlanta
Communcations & Marketing
Contact Matthew Nagel
Crocker will study transportation projects that cross European Union member borders
Inspiration can be found in many places, but sometimes it is the last place that anyone would expect. Georgia Tech Fulbright Fellow and Civil Engineering Ph.D. student John Crocker found his inspiration in the transportation system problems of Atlanta. Crocker was trying to identify the problems that led to Atlanta's current traffic issues when he discovered they could be the result of crossing borders.
"Transportation officials had infrastructure plans designed to meet that population demand of the area," said Crocker. "When I looked to find out why it wasn't built, I found out that it was the projects that crossed county borders that weren't constructed."
Crocker said he believes many of the transportation projects weren't accomplished because of problems that occurred in the cooperation between counties in the area. Further research showed that similar problems occurred when projects crossed state lines and even international boundaries.
"I kept reading about the European Union and wondered whether they were dealing with the same types of issues only on a much larger scale," said Crocker. "They have several projects that cross international borders and need to have the cooperation of several governments."
For part of his Fulbright Fellowship, Crocker will be researching several major European Union transportation projects that cross member state lines, such as the Trans-Alpine tunnel between France and Italy.
Crocker decided that he'd like to find a way to study how the European Union dealt with its transportation issues and see if those lessons could help solve some of the issues here in Atlanta and the United States. "Knowing what types of organizations help facilitate infrastructure construction will become increasingly important, so that's why I'm interested in it," he said.
Crocker believes that the growing population will only increase the demand for better transportation systems and he hopes his work can help solve the issues facing the Atlanta area.
The Fulbright Fellowship program was created in 1946 with legislation sponsored by Senator J. William Fulbright, who reasoned that nations would be less likely to go to war against each other if people could study abroad and learn about each other's cultures. Each year, the U.S. component of the international program awards about 900 grants for American students to pursue international research.