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June 23, 2022

In new roles, researchers drive transportation information, knowledge and practice at UW-Madison

Written By: Staff

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The Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has named two longtime staff members to key leadership roles within the organization. The TOPS Lab deputy director and information technology program manager, Steven T. Parker will become the lab’s managing director, while Andrea (Andi) Bill will extend her traffic safety engineer research program manager role into the lab’s associate director position.

An internationally known research enterprise that currently consists of 40 faculty, research staff and student members, the TOPS Lab has logged more than $50 million in total research expenditures since its inception in 2003.

Steven T. Parker

In his new role, Parker will manage the TOPS Lab’s day-to-day operations. He also will manage the lab’s research partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. He will continue to lead his nationally recognized efforts in safety and operations data management, the WisTransPortal data management system, and his role as IT program manager.

David A. Noyce, TOPS Lab executive director and Arthur F. Hawnn Professor of Transportation Engineering at UW-Madison, says he is excited about Parker’s new leadership opportunity, and calls his contributions over the past 20 years “priceless.”

“Steven joined the TOPS Lab in 2004 after completing his PhD in computer science at UW-Madison,” he says. “As the first full-time research staff member in the TOPS Lab, Steven’s role was to take our vision of a world-class safety and traffic operations data management system and turn it into reality. The WisTransPortal that Steven created has exceeded all expectations and today is a model for system management and data analytics—something that many across the country have tried to emulate.”

Andrea (Andi) Bill

In her new role, Bill will lead the transportation safety and traffic operations research areas of the TOPS Lab. She also will collaborate with the other TOPS Lab directors in overall leadership of the lab, and will continue as the traffic safety engineer research program manager.

Bill leads research efforts with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and many other state and federal agencies across the country. She also leads professional development courses in transportation engineering as part of the College of Engineering’s Interdisciplinary Professional Programs team. Recently she took on a leadership role in the college’s Transportation Information Center, working specifically in the Wisconsin Local [Transportation] Technical Assistance Program.

Noyce calls her a talented and capable leader.

“Andi joined me in 2004 as a graduate student and researcher within the TOPS Lab,” he says. “Since this time, she has grown in her research and leadership, and is now nationally recognized for her expertise in transportation safety and traffic safety data. She has an incredible ability to lead multiple aspects of our lab, including our longstanding national work in traffic signal operations and the continued development of the flashing yellow arrow permissive left-turn indication.”