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Session No. 2C

Session Title: Transportation Research and Testing Facilities

Session Description: Pennsylvania is planning on a mid-Atlantic testing and training facility, PennSTART. In this session, we will discuss the planning, design, implementation, operations, and maintenance of multiple transportation research testing and training facilities around the country. 

Moderator: Eric Donnell, Ph.D., Penn State

PennSTART, Eric Donnell, Ph.D., Penn State

PennSTARTJerome Frederick, Civil Engineer, Traveler Information and Advanced Vehicle Technology, PennDOT

PennSTARTJoe Sutor, P.E., Planning & Environmental Manager, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

PennSTART, Troy Truax, A.I.C.P., Senior Associate, Planning Department Manager, Michael Baker International, Inc. 

PennSTART, Vijay Varadarajan, P.E., Senior Project Manager, HNTB

American Center for Mobility (ACM)Mark Chaput, P.E., VP of Facility Operations and Construction, American Center for Mobility

Suntrax, Paul Satchfield, Program Management Administrator, Suntrax

Suntrax, Josh Pedersen, P.E., P.M.P., Senior Project Manager, Suntrax

Speaker Bios

Eric Donnell is the Director of the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, and a Professor of Civil Engineering, at Penn State University. He is chair of the TRB Design Section, and former chair of the PennDOT-FHWA Safety Technical Advisory Group. Donnell has 20 years of research and teaching experience related to traffic safety, speed management, and highway design; serves as an associate editor and advisory board member on two international journals; and is a past leadership fellow of the Eno Foundation.

Jerome Frederick is a Civil Engineer with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Maintenance and Operations, in the Traveler Information and Advanced Vehicle Technology section. His primary duties involve managing the operations of the PA 511 system and trying to improve the system through evaluating feedback from travelers and other PennDOT employees. He has also become more involved with CAV’s through working on Pennsylvania’s CAV Strategic Plan and the PennSTART testing facility. He has also recently finished up a research project with Penn State University on the effectiveness of colored coded travel time on Dynamic Message Signs. He holds a Mechanical Engineering and Physics degree from Wilkes University.

Joe Sutor has been with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission since 2004 and currently works as the Planning and Environmental Manager in the Engineering Department. Sutor's 30 years of engineering experience includes time with Lower Paxton Township, Ephrata Borough and Grinnell Corporation. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and has a Master of Public Administration Degree from Penn State Capital Campus. Sutor is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Troy Truax is a Senior Associate specializing in land use and transportation planning, emergency and incident management, and business continuity/continuity of operations planning. Truax is a certified planner with over 20 years of professional experience in both the private and public sectors that includes serving as Fulton County, PA’s Director of Planning, Emergency Management and 911. Truax is currently involved with supporting the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s strategic planning, long-range planning, continuity of operations planning, and Transportation Incident Management (TIM) programs.  

Vijay Varadarajan is a Senior Project Manager for emerging mobility projects. He is a certified professional engineer with more than 18 years of transportation engineering and ITS experience. His experience includes ITS/emerging technologies planning & research, design, implementation, integration, construction engineering and inspection, and project management. He is currently managing the PennDOT Connected and Automated Open End and assisting with the developing the ConOps, Requirements, and Business Plan for the PennSTART facility.

After more than 31 years at Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Mark Chaput is the newest team member for the American Center for Mobility. Chaput retired in August of this year from the DOT and joined ACM as the Vice President of Facility Operations and Construction. Chaput's responsibilities include overseeing the ACM Facility Operations, as well as the design and construction of the remaining build-out of this World Class CAV Test Facility. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Construction) from Lawrence Institute of Technology, in Southfield Michigan.

Paul Satchfield has served at Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise since 2003 and has been the Program Management Administrator since 2013. In that position Paul oversees a staff of over 30, including 15 Project Managers who are responsible for delivering all the Turnpike’s projects from concept to construction. Over the next five years, the Turnpike will deliver approximately $3.8 billion worth of construction projects across the state of Florida. Satchfield also currently serves as the SunTrax Program Manager, responsible for the overall development of a new facility dedicated to advancing innovative transportation solutions.

Josh Pedersen is a Professional Engineer who has worked in the Transportation industry for 16 years, with a background in traffic engineering, roadway design, and project management. For the last several years, Pedersen has served as a PM at Florida’s Turnpike. His current projects include the conversion of the Turnpike’s 150-mile ticket system to All-Electronic-Tolling, a connected vehicle pilot project on the Beachline in Orlando, and SunTrax.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Room 208

  • Full Presentation Slides (PDF)


American Center for Mobility (ACM)






The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) attracts professionals from throughout Pennsylvania, the mid-Atlantic region, and the country. It is an authoritative source of information on pressing issues from some of the foremost experts in transportation today.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-1891