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U.S. Department of Transportation Awards $3.5 Million to Continue OTREC Sustainable Transportation Research and Programs

Jan 24, 2012
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a $3.5 million grant to a four-university consortium, including Oregon Institute of Technology, for research and education on sustainable transportation topics.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a $3.5 million grant to a four-university consortium, including Oregon Institute of Technology, for research and education on sustainable transportation topics. The consortium, led by Portland State University, also includes the University of Oregon and the University of Utah.

This new, two-year grant builds on prior work done by OTREC (the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium). The award reaffirms OTREC’s evolution into one of the nation’s leading transportation livability research centers and provides the resources to address national problems strategically.

Research and educational programs under the grant will focus on the following topics:

  • Improving health and safety for all users
  • Increasing the efficiency and understanding of cycling, walking and transit
  • Making the best use of data, performance measures and analytical tools
  • Integrating multimodal transportation with land use
  • Taking long-term action on transportation emissions and climate change

The consortium is one of 22 grant recipients, out of 63 applicants. The grant competition challenged university transportation center leaders to demonstrate the ability and experience to produce the country’s best transportation research and educational programs. “In five years, our consortium has advanced the state of research on topics such as the connections between transportation and land use; intelligent transportation systems; and bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure,” said OTREC Director Jennifer Dill. “This award recognizes that work while allowing us to focus deeper on pressing national problems.”

Charlie Jones, Dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Management at Oregon Tech commented, “I am very pleased that Oregon Institute of Technology, through the work of Dr. Roger Lindgren, is a part of this new University Transportation Center grant and that we and our partner universities will be able to build upon the previous work done by OTREC.”

Roger Lindgren, Ph.D., OTREC Associate Director and Professor of civil engineering at Oregon Tech, said that benefits for Oregon Tech will include funding transportation related student activities such as field trips, conferences, and sending the university’s Traffic Bowl Team to competition. Funding from the grant will also sponsor guest lecturers on transportation at Oregon Tech and enable all Oregon Tech faculty to be PIs on OTREC research.

As with current OTREC research, each project under the new grant will require a one-to-one match, doubling the effect of each federal dollar awarded. In recent years, the consortium has worked with nearly 70 partners on projects, including transportation departments, transit districts, metropolitan planning organizations, foundations, and private businesses.

Projects under the grant will be awarded competitively and will begin this coming fall. “This partnership brings together the best researchers from Oregon and Utah to address the problems that affect us all,” said Associate Professor Keith Bartholomew, UU’s campus leader in the new partnership.

Find out more about OTREC/OUTREC research and programs at http://otrec.us

Information on the USDOT University Transportation Centers program is at http://utc.dot.gov/

More on the grant competition is at http://utc.dot.gov/about/grants_competitions/2011/

About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven institutions in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communications and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech’s main campus is in Klamath Falls; other sites are located in Portland, Salem, La Grande and Seattle. Oregon Tech will consolidate its campuses in the Portland area to a larger facility in Wilsonville in Fall 2012. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

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