Educating the next generation of transportation professionals is a key purpose of the UTC program. Transportation is fundamentally about people-the people who conceive, create,manage, and operate the highways and transit and rail systems for moving people and goods. Without highly trained professionals,our Nation's transportation systems will not be able to perform at the expected levels needed for optimal well-being of our citizens and communities.
The UTC educational activities include development of new courses, scholarships to support individuals to pursue advanced degrees in transportation, recruitment and outreach to prospective students, development of laboratories and on-line learning tools, and internships. Six examples of recent and on-going UTC educational activities are described below.
University: Texas A&M
Activity: On the Move! Exploring Transportation Career Horizons Workshop
Description: A one-day workshop and event for students in grades 5 through 9 that offers an opportunity to gain hands on experience and insight into transportation, engineering, and technology careers.
University: North Dakota State University
Activity: Transportation Engineering Scholarship Annually RITA and the UTCs honor
Description: The scholarships recognize academic one outstanding student from each achievement and promote the education of transportation university. The UTC-selected students students at North Dakota State University. Funding for the two $1,500 scholarship is provided by the Mountain-Plains Consortium through the University Transportation Centers Program. To be considered, students must be a junior or senior, have an interest in transportation, and demonstrate academic excellence. Scholarship winners are recognized each fall at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute awards banquet.
University: Rutgers University
Activity: National Summer Transportation Institute at Garret Morgan Academy
Description: The UTC at Rutgers manages the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program (NJ LTAP). In July and August 2007 it developed and administered a month-long summer enrichment program that introduced minority high school students to several modes of transportation. Activities included presentations by transportation professionals, scheduled field trips, hands-on learning activities, and participation in weekly competitions.
University: University of Washington
Activity: Pavement Interactive
Description: Pavement Interactive is an Internet-based multimedia document. The primary purpose is to provide a general pavement overview covering all aspects from materials to design to construction to maintenance. Pave Interactive functions as a "collaborative website" that resides on the Internet and requires only a PC/Mac and minimal freeware to access the information.
University: University of Idaho
Activity: Development of Traffic Signal Operations Educational Materials
Description: Most transportation engineers receive little if any education on traffic controllers, how they work, and how one designs a signal timing plan that takes advantage of all of the intricacies of the traffic controller-detector system. This project developed materials on traffic signal operations and timing that can be used to educate university students and practicing traffic engineers about the major components of the traffic control system.
University: Portland State University
Activity: Free podcasts of visiting scholars' lectures
Description: The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) now offers free podcasts (audio files in mp3 format) of the Portland State University Transportation Seminar Series. As part of their technology transfer program, podcasts from seminars given by OTREC Visiting Scholars and others are now available for download via iTunes onto an iPod. In addition, nearly 200 PSU seminars are available anywhere in the world as streaming video and downloadable video files.
Annual Outstanding Student of the Year Awards
Annually RITA and the UTCs honor one outstanding student from each university. The UTC-selected students students are acknowledged at a banquet jointly sponsored by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) and RITA held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) every January in Washington, DC. In addition to each fall at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute $1,000 award, students are able to awards banquet. participate in TRB's annual gathering of upwards of 9,000 transportation researchers.
The 2005 and 2006 recipients of the Student of the Year Award are listed in Appendix 2.