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Lighting Research Center
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mullar2@rpi.edu
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Troy, N.Y. -  3/2/2012

Rensselaer Professor Invited to Give Trotter Paterson Memorial Lecture

Mark Rea, professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and director of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer, was invited to London England to deliver the Trotter Paterson Lecture. The Trotter Paterson lecture is a biennial event created in 1951 to commemorate two past Presidents of the United Kingdom Illuminating Engineering Society, Alexander Trotter and Sir Clifford Paterson. The honorific lecture is sponsored by the Society of Light and Lighting, part of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Rea is the first American to be so honored. 
 
In his lecture, Rea spoke on the history and the future of visual performance research. His lecture began with a review of the key visual performance research initiated in the United Kingdom by HC Weston and in the United States by Matthew Luckiesh, pointing out that those efforts lead to very different lighting recommendations in the two countries. Because of the energy crisis of the 1970s, regulators in the United States demanded a resolution of the discrepancy; from that controversy a model of relative visual performance (RVP) was developed by Rea and colleagues in Canada. This model helped rationalize lighting recommendations in the two countries and had a significant impact on reducing electric energy use for lighting in buildings.
 
Rea then discussed how visual performance research can inform the current debate over the value of illuminating roadways. Some communities are strongly in favor of roadway lighting while some are passionately against it. Recent research by Rea and collaborators at the LRC and at Pennsylvania State University has shown that the incremental improvements in visual performance provided by roadway lighting are well correlated with the incremental reductions in nighttime crashes. Through this research, the benefit/cost calculations can be determined for any local scenario where roadway lighting is being considered. Rea showed how the RVP model served as a keystone in those determinations.
 
You can view a copy of Rea’s Trotter Paterson presentation at
 
The full article, “What ever happened to visual performance?” is in press at the Lighting Research & Technology journal.
 
To learn more about the LRC’s transportation lighting and safety research, visit www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/transportation.

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC has been pioneering research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, and energy efficiency for nearly 30 years. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. LRC researchers conduct independent, third-party testing of lighting products in the LRC's state of the art photometric laboratories, the only university lighting laboratories accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab Code: 200480-0). In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science “to the common purposes of life.”