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August, 2017 Luncheon

  • 4200 Hillsborough Street Raleigh, NC, 27606 United States (map)

You are invited to the next
American Society of Civil Engineers
North Carolina Section
Eastern Branch

RSVP Deadline: 12:00pm (noon) on August 15th, 2017
RSVP Online Now!

Speaker: Brian Ceccarelli, Talus Software

Date: Thursday, August 17, 2017

Topic: The Yellow Change Interval – Physics in Opposition

Time: Registration: 11:30AM - 12:00PM, Program: 12:00PM - 1:15PM 

Summary: This presentation starts with William Potts, the Detroit police officer who invented the yellow traffic signal light in 1920, then moves on to Alexei Maradudin, the University of California physicist who invented the equation traffic engineers use today to set the duration of the yellow light.  Engineers have been using his equation since 1965, applying it universally to all types of traffic motion approaching an intersection.  But Maradudin’s equation accommodates the kinetics of only one case of traffic movement.   The equation conflicts with the kinetics of the rest.  By traffic engineers applying his equation universally, the engineers induce a systematic failure into every traffic signal, a failure causing reasonably-perceptive drivers to unwillingly run red lights.  The driver experiences this failure by either stepping on the gas, by slamming on the brakes or by consigning himself to run a red light, the latter option occurring frequently when decelerating for turning and avoidance maneuvers.  The failure does cause crashes.  The presentation concludes with a word about the compatibility between engineering, physics and man-made laws.

Brian Ceccarelli is a licensed professional engineer (software engineering) in the State of North Carolina.  Mr. Ceccarelli current owns his own company and works on various software projects.  Mr. Ceccarelli has designed and built applications for NASA’s Mars Observer spacecraft, applications for calculating stresses in copper mines in the Congo and Chile, and CAD/CAM applications for the US defense industry.  Ceccarelli took an interest in transportation engineering when the Town of Cary, North Carolina bestowed upon him a red light camera ticket.  Mr. Ceccarelli since has been published in Traffic Technology International, has been an expert panelist in traffic signal timing for the Institute of Transportation Engineers 2015 International Convention, and a speaker at the International Autonomous Vehicles Symposium in Stuttgart, Germany.  Mr. Ceccarelli has a B.Sc. in physics and is a member of ASCE, ITE, and IEEE.

Location:  This luncheon will be held at the beautiful NC State University Club at 4200 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27606.  You can contact the NC University Club at (919) 828-0308 if you need assistance locating their establishment.

$25 for ASCE Members
$30 for Non-ASCE Members
$10 for ASCE Life Members, Students, and Unemployed ASCE Members.

If you are paying at the door, please bring cash or a check made out to "ASCE NC Eastern Branch".

RSVP:  Our online system handles all registrations and payments.  You can register and pay for the event online using your credit card. Even if you don't want to pay online, please use the online system to register. There are no additional fees, accounts, or passwords to remember. The online system will also allow you to specify your meal preference (Omnivorian or Vegetarian). Upon arrival at the event, just check-in at the registration table using your name.

We understand your schedule may change and you might not be able to make it to the event. Cancellations with refunds can be honored up until 12:00pm (noon) two days prior to the event. If you are neither able to attend nor cancel in time, you may send a replacement. To help Professional Engineers in attendance acquire 15 Professional Development Hour (PDH) units per license renewal period in accordance with 21 NCAC 56.1703, we offer one PDH certificate after the presentation.

Earlier Event: June 15
June, 2017, Luncheon
Later Event: September 18
The 2017 Zia Lecture