Delivering resources to save time, lives, and money

2020 Annual Report



How transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) continues to expand its role inside agen


Which new NOCoE initiatives are accelerating the deployment of TSMO practices.


About the emerging leaders in the TSMO industry as well as long-standing TSMO champions.


TSMO Fellowship Program

This year, NOCoE launched the TSMO Fellowship Program to assist the next generation of TSMO practitioners. A major element of NOCoE's Workforce Campaign, the Fellowship Program supports participants' short and long-term career goals with a focus on advancing communications skills to complement technical expertise.

The program exists in three phases:

  • Identify and Plan to ensure training and developmental experiences align with current job and career goals
  • Develop and connect TSMO practitioners with resources and networks to increase the knowledge skills and abilities
  • Promote and celebrate quality work being done within TSMO agencies

Key Facts About the TSMO Fellowship Program

  1. The program originated from industry requests to develop Individual Development Plans (IDPs) that could be used as part of human resource initiatives to identify training for staff.
  2. In 2019, NOCoE piloted this program with Courtney Sell, an engineer from Washington State DOT.
  3. The inaugural program formally began in June 2020 and will run through May 20201
The Fellows

The inaugural class of fellows were chosen for their diverse backgrounds within the transportation industry and the desire to contribute in the effort of transferring knowledge among the industry as a whole.

Austin Yates
Murad Al Qurishee
Graduate Transportation Associate (GTA), Tennessee DOT
Joshua Byrd
Data Specialist, Virginia DOT
Chester Osborne
Superintendent of Operations Management, Massachusetts DOT
Drew Sorenson
Highway Engineer, Graduate Engineer Development Program, Indiana DOT
Jacob Whitfield
Signal Operations Engineer, Washington State DOT

Impact on Our Industry

The NOCoE Fellowship Program will strengthen the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of TSMO professionals in support of their long term career growth and build a network for knowledge sharing professionals who can effectively communicate and transfer knowledge among agencies and organizations.


Each year, NOCoE and the U.S. DOT ITS Joint Program Office Professional Capacity Building Program host a competition for students to work directly with public agencies to solve real-world transportation problems.

This year’s tournament was turned into a virtual event, after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled in-person events. Student teams quickly adapted to the new format and delivered virtual presentations at the ITE Virtual Annual Meeting. A panel of judges watched the presentations, responded with live questions for the students, and then convened to choose the University of Michigan as the winner, for the second year in a row.

Participate in the 2021 Transportation Technology Tournament.

The Winner: University of Michigan team for their curb space management project for multi-modal transportation in downtown areas.

Auburn University

Problem Statement: A new method to detect and estimate the potential risk for wrong-way driving incidents based on Yolo V3

University of Michigan

Problem Statement: Curb space management for multi-modal transportation in downtown areas

Florida International University

Problem Statement: Automation of traffic signal plan modification decision in response to non-recurrent congestion

University of South Florida

Problem Statement: Mitigating work zone incidents and improving work zone safety through ITS technologies

Iowa State University

Problem Statement: Improving the communication of work zone data

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Problem Statement: Rural ITS solutions for I-40 at Rockwood Mountain and I-75 at Jellico Mountain in Tennessee

Impact on Our Industry

The Transportation Technology Tournament introduces future TSMO leaders to the challenges of solving real-world transportation problems by teaching them teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills. But also, the solutions these teams develop influence agencies in how they think about applying TSMO strategies to solve their transportation system needs.


Webinars on Emerging TSMO Practices

In 2020, NOCoE averaged four webinars a month, increasing its webinar schedule to accommodate the increased demand for online training and knowledge transfer needs. NOCoE webinars are often developed by key partners, such as the Federal Highway Administration, and are conducted by industry leaders and NOCoE staff. Webinar series, such as Talking TIM and Adventures in Crowdsourcing, have delivered high quality TSMO knowledge every month.

All NOCoE webinars are free, and recordings are available on the NOCoE website and NOCoE YouTube Channel.

New Webinar Series in 2020

TSMO Workforce Webinar Series

This webinar series provides an overview of how the TSMO Workforce Guidebook was developed and the resources that resulted from the completed NCHRP report and on-going NOCoE efforts. The webinar series focuses on understanding concepts, approaches and insights provided by the research team and offers a glimpse into the depth of information available within the Guidebook.

Carma Webinar Series

CARMASM is a USDOT initiative, developed by the Federal Highway Administration, steering efforts to advance the research and development (R&D) of cooperative driving automation (CDA). NOCoE has been hosting the CARMA webinar series to assist organizations in implementing CARMA products.

TSMO Roundtables

AASHTO's Committee on Transportation System Operations (CTSO) developed a series of TSMO Roundtables to exchange new best practices and strategies across TSMO agencies. The first roundtable focused on TSMO project selection and prioritization and the second covered best practices for TSMO training programs at all levels of the workforce.

NOCoE Now Offers PDH Credits

NOCoE’s free webinars are now also available for professional development hour credits (PDHs). Each month, NOCoE provides a PDH tracking sheet to assist webinar attendees with keeping track of their professional development activities. The PDH credits are available for those attendees who register and attend the live webinar.

Impact on Our Industry

NOCoE webinars continue to reach 1000s of TSMO practitioners each year and are a primary force for transferring knowledge around emerging TSMO practices to accelerate deployment.

NOCoE Peer Exchanges

NOCoE Peer Exchanges switched to a virtual environment for 2020, with participants joining a virtual platform over a series of days to exchange information and TSMO practices.

Asset Management and TSMO Peer Exchange

The Asset Management and TSMO peer exchange featured 45-55 people from 15 organizations (State DOTs, Regional MPOs, and FHWA) representing multiple departments and groups. The peer exchange discussed how to define Transportation Asset Management for TSMO, how to develop, maintain and operate inventors for TSMO assets and the future needs of the industry. In addition to the technical dialogue, the participants provided meaningful suggestions on how NOCoE and industry partners can support Asset Management for TSMO.

Upcoming Peer Exchanges include:

  • Mobility on Demand and TSMO
  • Using Data for Improving TSMO
  • Innovative Methods in TSMO Procurement and Contracting

Impact on Our Industry

NOCoE’s previous experience in hosting virtual peer exchanges allowed for a quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The key topics chosen for this year and 2021 will ensure agencies are discussing emerging trends in TSMO to consistently improve their agencies and the transportation system.

TSMO Resource Connect

In 2020, NOCoE expanded the way they connect practitioners with resources via the TSMO Resource Connect effort. The TSMO Resource Connect service connects the growing TSMO industry with the people and resources they need to develop TSMO solutions and programs. While the Knowledge Center, case studies, and webinar recording library is full of valuable TSMO resources, NOCoE can now provide practitioners with more direct access to the resources and networking opportunities needed to improve your TSMO activities.

Here are some examples of how this service is helping practitioners:

  • Looking for resources on any topic of TSMO
  • Looking for an expert on a particular TSMO topic
  • Researching new technologies or initiatives
  • Learning more about an existing initiative that NOCoE is involved in
  • Anything TSMO

Impact on Our Industry

TSMO Resource Connect allows TSMO practitioners to find resources as quickly and easily as possible, ensuring as efficient of knowledge transfer as possible in the ongoing effort to improve the transportation system.


2020 TSMO Awards

Georgia DOT was named the winner of the TSMO Award Overall Winner in September 2020 via a YouTube Live Event hosted by AASHTO Executive Director, Jim Tymon.

Chosen from the four category winners, Georgia DOT’s project on Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures demonstrated how knowledge sharing among states can help to create a traffic signal platform that is utilized by thousands of practitioners across the state.


Overall Winner

Agency Improvement
TSMO Workforce Development
Best TSMO Project
2020 TSMO Champions
NOCoE announced two TSMO Champions for 2020:
Tony Kratofil
Chief Operation Officer and Chief Engineer
Faisal Saleem
ITS Branch Manager and MCDOT SMARTDrive Program Manager

Tony and Faisal were celebrated for their continued leadership and support of TSMO, and were honored during a YouTube Live Event hosted by AASHTO Executive Director, Jim Tymon.

NOCoE Case Studies

Up-close examinations of TSMO strategies being used to improve our transportation system.

There are now over 100 NOCoE Case Studies available, built from a variety of sources, including TSMO award submissions and academic and DOT collaborations. The range of case studies topics has increased in 2020, with the addition of case studies focused on data management and workforce as well as an additional set of case studies on how DOTs are collaborating with local universities and colleges.

Case Study Metrics:

  • 102 NOCoE Case Studies since August 2018
  • 9,000+ case study views in 2020 (up 16% from 2019)
  • 42 organizations have served as authors

Impact on Our Industry

NOCoE Case Studies continue to be the most widely viewed resource on the NOCoE website and are utilized by the TSMO community for collaboration, interagency discussion, and the application of new strategies.


NOCoE Strategic Advisory Council (Council) met in February 2020 to set the strategic direction expressed in this NOCoE 2021–2025 Strategic Plan. NOCoE’s first strategic plan, developed shortly after its inception to cover the period of 2016–2019, ably guided NOCoE to execute its mission, and the plan’s goals and objectives guided NOCoE’s services and products to effectively serve the TSMO community.

To identify any new strategic direction for NOCoE, the Council considered the progress TSMO has made as an institution, program, and practice among transportation organizations, as well as how industry trends and the needs of the TSMO community have evolved since NOCoE’s inception. The Council updated the Vision and Mission of the organization and devised a new set of strategic goals and objectives to leverage the good work of NOCoE to date and to continue to advance the services and programs for the TSMO community.

Equity and Access

Transportation equity, the concept of fairly distributing the costs and benefits of transportation services, is an important idea for both system users and system operators, while the concept of basic access to essential goods, services, and activities (e.g. food, health care, or employment) is inherent in NOCoE’s vision of a transportation system that works to save lives, time, and money.

As part of the Strategic Plan, NOCoE will consider the incorporation of transportation equity and providing basic access to everyone as it develops resources and tools for the TSMO community. NOCoE will also ensure its activities and services are aligned with AASHTO, ITE, ITS America, and FHWA's ongoing leadership in these areas.


NOCoE’s exceptional services to the transportation systems management and operations community saves lives, improves travel times, and enhances economic vitality.


NOCoE provides centralized services to support the transportation industry through workforce readiness, deployment of technology and practices, and mainstreaming of TSMO solutions through education, networking, communication, and knowledge transfer.

Strategic Goal #1:

Attract, Develop, Sustain, and Expand the TSMO Workforce

  1. Increase the knowledge and capabilities of the TSMO workforce along their career paths, from students to executives
  2. Articulate an inclusive and understandable approach to TSMO (e.g. urban, rural, large, small agency TSMO practices)
  3. Leverage all available resources (e.g. partner agencies, universities, federal, private sector) to expand the reach of workforce development
  4. Broaden workforce development to TSMO paraprofessionals, other agency disciplines (e.g. planning, design, etc.), local agencies, etc.
  5. Facilitate connections among members of the TSMO workforce to learn from one another

Strategic Goal #2:

Accelerate Deployment of Current and Emerging TSMO Practices (Technology and Strategies)

  1. Monitor, synthesize, and share TSMO best practices, lessons learned, and deployment activities
    Examples of potential activities include, but not limited to:
    • Synthesize and highlight emerging trends
    • Identify topical needs or gaps in deployment and practices
  2. Provide and facilitate forums for exchanges on TSMO experiences and challenges
  3. Provide a real-time or on-demand platform to respond to user requests

Strategic Goal #3:

Mainstream TSMO as a Core Function of Providing Transportation System Solutions for All

  1. Use knowledge management and strategic communication processes
  2. Empower and support champions
  3. Continue demonstrating the benefits and value of TSMO
  4. Highlight and demonstrate the path for agencies to mainstream TSMO
    The Council discussed the following activity to be included, but not limited to:
    • Applying available tools such as capability maturity model resources
  5. Demonstrate value to broaden technical services’ reach to include other audiences (e.g. local agencies, MPOs, etc.)

Impact on Our Industry

This new strategic plan will effectively guide NOCoE on how best to empower the TSMO community in their effort to improve the transportation system. The focus of mainstreaming TSMO and improving the workforce, in combination with providing resources, will allow TSMO strategies to become a core function of transportation solutions.


Key Metrics We've Been Looking at in 2020

Top 5 most viewed NOCoE Case Studies 2022
  • 6,894
  • 800+ hours of watch time
  • Most viewed Video from this year: 2020 TSMO Champions Interview

  • Watch Now

All 50 States Plus D.C. and Puerto Rico Participate in NOCoE Activities.


Founding Partners

NOCoE Staff
Patrick Son
Managing Director
Sarah Abel
Technical Program Manager
Niloo Parvinashtiani
Technical Services Associate
Adam Hopps
Communications and Program Manager
Thomas Kern
Senior Consultant

Strategic Advisory Council

  • Jennifer Cohan, Secretary, Delaware DOT
  • James M. Bass, Executive Director, Texas DOT
  • William T. Panos, Director, North Dakota DOT
  • Abbas Mohaddes, President and COO, Econolite
  • Eric Rensel, Vice President, Gannett Fleming
  • Kris Milster, Business Development Manager, CUBIC ITS
  • Martin Knopp, Associate Administrator, FHWA Office of Operations (non-voting)
  • Ed Bradley, Program Manager, Toyota

Technical Advisory Committee

  • Brad Freeze, Tennessee Department of Transportation (Chair)
  • Beverly Kuhn, Texas Transportation Institute
  • Laurie Matkowski, Gannett Fleming
  • Galen McGill, Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Patrick McGowan, WSP
  • Eric Hill, MetroPlan Orlando
  • Joey Sagal, Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Tracy Scriba, Federal Highway Administration
  • Nicolaas Swart, Maricopa County of Government
  • Aaron Johnson, Michigan Department of Transportation

Founding Partners’ Team

  • Jim Tymon, Executive Director, AASHTO
  • King Gee, Director of Safety and Mobility, AASHTO
  • Gummada Murthy, Associate Program Director - Operations, AASHTO
  • Patrick Zelinksi, Associate Program Manager, AASHTO
  • Jeff Paniatti, Executive Director and CEO, ITE
  • Jeff Lindley, Deputy Executive Director and CTO, ITE
  • Shailen Bhatt, President and CEO, ITS America
  • Carlos Alban, Vice President – Technical Programs, ITS America
  • Martin Knopp, Associate Administrator – Office of Operations, FHWA
  • Valerie Briggs, Director, Office of Transportation Management, FHWA
  • Tracy Scriba, Team Lead, Office of Transportation Management, FHWA