The Georgia Institute of Technology has been named by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the lead for one of ten national Tier One University Transportation Centers. Funded by a $3.5 million federal grant and an additional $3.5 million in matching funds for the first two years, the UTC will bring together a consortium of universities in the Southeast, where transportation infrastructure concerns rank as one of the top issues.
Collaborators in the UTC, known as the National Center for Transportation System Productivity and Management, include the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Florida International University and University of Central Florida.
In a related program, Georgia Tech and Auburn University have been named as collaborators in a Regional UTC led by the University of Florida. They will be joined by Florida International University, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Mississippi State University to form a regional consortium that will focus on transportation issues impacting the Southeast.
“Georgia Tech is uniquely qualified to lead the [national] University Transportation Center,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “It is home to one of the largest and most accomplished transportation and logistics research programs in the U.S. and is responsible for many of the strategic improvements that have been made to Georgia’s infrastructure.”
According to Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, the UTC designation provides national recognition of Georgia Tech’s capabilities and expertise in contributing to transportation solutions for the nation, state and metropolitan area.
“We are pleased to take a leading role in working with our industry, government and university partners to devise solutions for our state and regional transportation challenges,” he said.
State transportation departments, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and university partners have provided matching funds for the first two years. Future support will come through government, private and corporate resources.
The Woodruff Foundation supported the initial proposal led by a team from Georgia Tech that included Michael Meyer, director of the Georgia Transportation Institute and Civil Engineering professor; Catherine Ross, professor of City Planning and director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development; and Ken Stewart, senior advisor for industry. An advisory board including industry, government and university representatives from throughout Georgia, Florida and Alabama also provided direction for the grant submission and will continue to provide advice and counsel to the UTC.
“The advisory panel has agreed on broad principles for the program to focus on, including global competitiveness,” said Ross. “The group could help in the development of everything from logistics software to economic development.”
The purpose of the UTC is to advance technology and expertise through research, education and technology transfer in the many disciplines related to transportation, and to provide a critical knowledge base outside the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose School of Architecture + Planning is also an academic partner of Places, is a collaborator in the Tier One UTC led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Places is grateful for the support of a network of academic partners, all of which provide funding and advice. News items are provided by the partners.