You are here

Front Matter

Secretary Ray LaHood

Ray LaHood
U.S. Department of Transportation

Transportation is the lifeblood of our economy, and the challenges we face today bring new opportunities. The University Transportation Centers Program has been making important contributions to research, education, and development of innovative approaches to improving the nation's transportation systems since it was established in 1987.

The 60 Centers involving 125 universities are incubators of new ideas, and many of the projects initiated by these Centers have been translated into transportation improvements.

This document presents examples of significant University Transportation Centers' projects that are aligned with the nation's needs and with the U.S. Department of Transportation's goals of ensuring safety, livability and sustainability, and promoting economic and infrastructure investment.

Administrator Peter H. Appel

Peter H. Appel
Research and Innovative Technology Administration

The University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program was the recipient of the
Research and Innovative Technology Administrations (RITA) Administrator's team award in 2008, in recognition of its creation of an annual research Spotlight Conference. This and other innovations occurred during a time when it managed the expansion in the number of Centers from 33 to 60 and ensured high-quality execution of grant-management responsibilities.

Through the UTC program, the Department of Transportation invests in the future of transportation by awarding grants to universities across the United States to advance the state-of-the-art in transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals.

There is growing recognition among policy makers that local needs and conditions vary substantially from place to place, influenced by socio-economic conditions, local political relationships, climate, topography, and a variety of other factors. The geographic range of the Centers enables them to contribute to solving problems at the regional and local level.

Solving these problems can contribute to solutions that have national significance. This publication highlights significant UTC projects that have yielded lessons and potential best practices that RITA believes merit sharing nationwide.

Director Dr. Curtis J. Tompkins

Dr. Curtis J. Tompkins
University Transportation Centers Program

This document is first and foremost a tribute to the excellence of each University Transportation Center (UTC). The projects presented here exemplify the UTCs' abilities to offer pragmatic solutions to transportation problems and to respond to new and continuing needs. Each highlighted project is aligned with the Department of Transportation's strategic goals of safety, livability, sustainability, and economy and infrastructure investment.

Typically, a UTC brings together faculty and students from several parts of the university, or even from several universities and outside institutions, to work on projects managed under the umbrella of the center's administrative structure.

Further exemplifying the tradition of excellence, the document also presents a list of UTC Students of the Year along with their areas of research and expertise. UTCs provide excellent environments in which to learn and grow while tackling real world issues, and I am confident that these students will become transportation leaders of tomorrow.