What’s with the boxes and towers in the campus parking lots?

Equipment placed in lots during the summer is part of a traffic pollution study

You’ve probably noticed the antenna-like towers and black tote cases that have appeared around the UC Riverside campus in recent weeks. Not surprisingly, they’ve prompted some questions.

“Some people are curious,” said Ranga Rajan Thiruvenkatachari, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, who is part of the research team that set up the equipment. “Sometimes I see people stopping to see what’s happening.”

It’s a question they get all the time, said Aaron Caddell, a senior mechanical engineering major, who is also part of the research team.

The equipment went up in mid-July and will remain in place for a few more weeks as part of a traffic and air pollution study along the 215 freeway. 

Mechanical engineering Professor Akula Venkatram and his research team of two graduate students and 19 undergraduates received a $550,000 research award from the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, earlier this year for the study. 

Read More