The Competition Has Started!
As I write this month’s message, nearly every T&DI member in academia is feverishly working on preparing proposals for the next University Transportation Center (UTC) competition. With thanks to the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act federal legislation, the Secretary of Transportation has been approved to make grants to establish and operate 35 UTCs. Proposals are due at the end of August so needless to say it will be a very busy summer for many.
The UTC program began with the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 with selected UTCs solely focused on research. Today, UTCs are charged with advancing transportation expertise and technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the field of transportation through education, research, and technology transfer activities; providing a critical multimodal transportation knowledge base outside of the US DOT; and addressing critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of transportation leaders with respect to research priorities. New UTCs will be focused on one of seven research priorities:
A. Improving Mobility of People and Goods;
B. Reducing Congestion;
C. Promoting Safety;
D. Improving the Durability and Extending the Life of Transportation Infrastructure;
E. Preserving the Environment;
F. Preserving the Existing Transportation System; and
G. Reducing Transportation Cybersecurity Risks.
Individual UTC funding support will range from $2 million to $4 million annually, with $90 million allocated each fiscal year to the overall 5-year program. Now you know why this opportunity has the attention of everyone in academics!
You’re not in academics? No problem. There are many ways for T&DI and all of our members to be involved in the UTC program. Research participation, professional development, workforce development, K-12 programs and general outreach are just a few. Contact your local university to learn more about their plans in the UTC competition and how you might contribute.
Planning for T&DI’s International Conference on Transportation and Development (ICTD) 2023 in Austin, Texas is well underway. We will be co-located and joined by the ASCE International Airfield and Highway Pavements Conference. Save the dates – June 14-17, 2023. A full conference website and initial call for papers/presentations will be available in August.
As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome. Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more or need assistance finding an active role in our Institute. Thank you for all you do and will do for this wonderful Institute we call T&DI. Stay healthy and safe!
David A. Noyce, Ph.D., P.E.
President, Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI)
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)