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Truckers and Turnover Research Team Earns Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award

Robert Johns Stephen Burks and Jesse Eklund
Author: 
Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
February 26, 2019
  • T&T is a multi-year UMN Morris research effort also involving faculty co-investigators at other institutions both in the U.S. and internationally.
  • The Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award is presented  to a team of individuals who have  drawn on their diverse expertise to achieve significant impacts on transportation.
  • The award-winning project explored the links between medical conditions and safety performance in tractor trailer drivers.

The Truckers and Turnover Project (T&T), led by University of Minnesota Morris Professor of Economics and Management Stephen Burks, has earned the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) 2019 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award. The team was recognized for its project "Exploring Links between Medical Conditions and Safety Performance in Tractor Trailer Drivers."

"This project perfectly captures the spirit of the new Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award in the way it has involved students and researchers from multiple disciplines and the way it has engaged industry and those affected by this work," said CTS director Laurie McGinnis. "Not only did the research team establish a close working relationship with the private sector, it was able to produce quantifiable results and implement its findings nationally to address the risks from drivers with obstructive sleep apnea."

About the Project

The project explored the links between medical conditions and safety performance in tractor trailer drivers. The project included an analysis of multiple aspects of a motor-carrier-based obstructive sleep apnea program as well development of the capacity for future analysis of medical conditions and safety outcomes. Contributors are:

  • University of Minnesota Morris: Stephen V. Burks, Jon E. Anderson Bibhudutta Panda, Rebecca Erickson Haider '13, Jesse Eklund '17, John Zaharick
  • Harvard Medical School: Charles Czeisler, Stefanos Kales
  • Precision Sleep Solutions: Mark Berger, Wendy Sullivan
  • Virginia Tech Transportation Institute: Jeffrey Hickman, Erin Mabry
  • Schneider Enterprise Resources, LLC: Don Osterberg, Tom DiSalvi, Andrea Sequin

Stephen Burks speaking from a podium at the  at the CTS Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon

About the Award

The Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award is presented annually to a team of individuals who have collaboratively drawn on their diverse expertise to achieve significant impacts on transportation. The award was renamed this year in honor of former CTS director Robert Johns, who provided visionary leadership in recognizing that the most effective research to address today's complex transportation challenges is often a result of interdisciplinary teamwork and partnerships. He demonstrated this by developing and leading several major CTS studies, including transportation and regional growth, transportation and community design, and access to destinations. He continued to champion interdisciplinary research as director of the U.S. DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.

About T&T

T&T is a multi-year UMN Morris research effort also involving faculty co-investigators at other institutions both in the U.S. and internationally. It has provided intensive research training for several generations of UMN Morris students, many of whom have become co-authors of papers published in refereed scientific and medical journals.

Funding for the Truckers & Turnover Project has been provided by Schneider National, Inc.; the Roadway Safety Institute (the USDOT Region 5 University Transportation Center); the University of Minnesota Morris; the MacArthur Foundation; and the Sloan Foundation. Additional funding for this research came from the Harvard Catalyst/Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center of Harvard University, and from the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

On behalf of the T&T team, Burks accepted the award from Robert Johns, who recently returned to the University as a senior advisor to the Humphrey School, at the CTS Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, February 20.

To learn more, visit academics.morris.umn.edu/truckers-turnover-research-project

Photos by Michael McCarthy, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota