T3 Webinar Overview

Keeping Risks in Check: Applying the Updated FHWA Model Systems Engineering Document to
Adaptive Signal Control Technology Systems (ASCT) Implementation

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Date:   December 20, 2012
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


This webinar will walk participants through the application of the Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology Systems (HTML version, PDF version). The speakers will provide an overview of the document and discuss its application through the use of real world scenarios to produce a concept of operations and system requirements.


To account for the risks involved in deploying new technology, agencies typically conduct a small scale demonstration project to learn about the systems functionality and to evaluate its performance. More than half of the time, and specifically in the case of Adaptive Signal Control technology, these demonstration projects end with the abandonment of the system and the loss of the initial capital and productivity investment. Often the reasons cited for abandoning the project can be characterized as unmitigated risks and are generally related to the system not meeting agency needs, excessive operations and maintenance costs, or complexity and uncertainty about benefits.

By examining the needs of the agency and clearly articulating requirements, the potential for successful Adaptive Signal Control Technology ASCT deployment and demonstration projects can be greatly increased. Systems engineering is a process that creates traceability between needs and requirements to address implementation risks. Systems engineering increases the potential for successful ITS implementation, saves time, saves money, and is required for all ITS projects that utilize Federal aid dollars (23 CFR 940.11).

The goal of the FHWA Every Day Counts Initiative is to mainstream the use of Adaptive Signal Control Technology where agency needs and resources support its implementation. The Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology Systems (HTML version, PDF version) is a resource that walks agencies through the systems engineering process to facilitate the procurement, implementation, operation, and maintenance of ASCT. The documents help an agency explore the need for and define a set of requirements that enable the agency to specify, select, implement, and test ASCT.

Target Audience

Agencies involved in the management and operation of traffic signal systems

Learning Objectives

Discuss the application of the Model Systems Engineering Documents for ASCT Systems to inform the ASCT implementation process

Additional ASCT Resources

Please visit: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/technology/adsc/.


Paul Olson, P.E., PTOE, ITS Technology Specialist, FHWA Resource Center (Lakewood, CO)

photograph of Ed Fok

With 30 years of experience, Mr. Olson is a widely known and respected expert on traffic signals and signal systems design and operation. In his current role with FHWA, he provides specialized technical support both to the FHWA headquarters and Federal-aid field offices and partner state and local agencies, in addition to the ITS Joint Programs Office in the Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

Paul began his career with the Washington State Department of Transportation designing and operating traffic signals in the Northwest Region that includes the King and Snohomish County Metroplex. Prior to joining FWHA, he served as a consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. During that engagement, Paul managed traffic signal timing optimization projects for the California jurisdictions of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, and Caltrans.

Paul has had significant roles in the development of the Traffic Signal Timing Manual and the development of many National Highway Institute courses. He also had a significant role in the development of the Mobile Hands on Traffic Signal Timing Training. Paul is a Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and has been active for many years on the Transportation Research Board's standing committees on Traffic Signal Systems. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Washington State University and a Certificate in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley; a Professional Transportation Operations Engineer certification from the Institute of Transportation Engineers; and he holds registrations as a civil engineer in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona and registrations as a traffic engineer in California and Oregon.


Richard W. Denney, Jr. P.E., Traffic Management Specialist, FHWA Resource Center (Baltimore, MD)

photograph of Dr. Douglas Gettman

With 30 years of experience, Mr. Denney is a widely known and respected expert on traffic signals, ITS architecture and design, standards, and systems engineering for transportation management projects. Prior to joining FHWA, Rick served as a consultant and led projects implementing systems engineering in the development of standards and also in the planning and development of a wide range of ITS projects. Rick also managed all types of ITS projects throughout the country, including signal systems, ITS systems engineering, communications plans, regional architectures, and dynamic message sign systems design and testing. He chairs the National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) Field Management Stations Working Group.

Rick began his career at the Texas Department of Transportation in the Freeway Operations Unit. He then served as the Traffic Signal Engineer for the City of Austin, and subsequently as the Traffic Management Engineer for the City of San Antonio, where he managed the planning, design, and operation of traffic signals and several large and small traffic signal system projects for a combined network of 1,100 traffic signals.

Rick holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is widely published, and recently received the Transportation Research Board's D. Grant Mickle Award for Outstanding Paper on Operations.