Prof. Bertini and Hau Hagedorn attended the Northwest Universities Transportation Consortium (Region X) May meeting in Moscow, ID. Region X meetings include representatives from UTCs and state transportation departments in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Participants discuss regional collaboration for transportation research and education efforts. On the agenda was the creation a pooled-fund research study, for which a regional RFP would be issued each year. DOTs would identify the research needs. Education initiatives were also topics, including possible creation of a pilot distance education course that could be offered and coordinated between the Region X universities.

OTREC Director and PSU Professor Robert L. Bertini received the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award at PSU Salutes on May 10, 2007. PSU Salutes, the university’s annual awards recognition event, celebrates the outstanding achievements of alumni, faculty, and friends of Portland State University. The award recognizes Dr. Bertini’s excellence in teaching and research, and dedication to the University and community. Prof. Bertini was honored to have several ITS Lab alumni and students in attendance, including Monica Leal, Edward Anderson, Aaron Myton, Michael Rose, Steve Hansen, Shazia Malik, Sirisha Kothuri and Lynn Peterson. Dr. Bertini dedicated the award to his students and thanked the members of his family who attended.

Rie Anderson has been hired as OTRECís Fiscal Operations Coordinator. Rie will manage the fiscal aspects of OTREC activities by tracking both grant and match expenditures, reviewing sub-award budgets, and communicating with department grant administrators and other universities on fiscal requirements. Rie is a Certified Public Accountant with eight years of experience in fiscal-related work both in public and private sectors. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from Kobe City University of Foreign Studies and a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting from Portland State University. She is a lifetime member of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, and most recently worked at PSU as the grant coordinator in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

In early May, OTREC hosted a visit by Dr. Susan Handy from the Sustainable Transportation Center at the University of California Davis. Dr. Handyís research focuses on the connections between land use and transportation, and she is well known for her work on the impact of neighborhood design on travel behavior. Dr. Handy presented, ìBicycling in Davis, CA: A Critical Look at Policy and Behavior in the First Platinum Bicycle City in the U.S.î at the CTS Transportation Seminar. The seminar was followed by a luncheon discussion with faculty, students and members of the Portland Platinum Advisory Committee. While at PSU, Dr. Handy was also a guest speaker at the weekly Environmental Sciences and Resources Seminar.

OTREC is pleased to announce the inaugural issue of OTREC News. Issues of OTREC News will include reports on our research projects, profiles of students and faculty, introductions to our Executive Committee and Advisory Board, updates on education programs and events, reports of partner university transportation news, and examples of exciting collaboration within our Consortium. Read the newsletter here: Newsletter Spring 2007

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OTREC released its second RFP for transportation research, education and technology transfer proposals on April 11, 2007 (projects will begin October 1, 2007). The RFP invites research proposals that combine advanced research with applied projects that fit the OTREC theme, and are within the USDOTís priority research areas of safety, mobility, global connectivity, environmental stewardship, security and congestion. Education proposals should serve to attract more students to a transportation profession, or support continued education for practitioners. Technology transfer proposals should support transportation outreach, including dissemination of research results, continuing education, and training. Faculty members and research faculty eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) at Portland State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, or the Oregon Institute of Technology may submit proposals. Abstracts are due April 27; full proposals are due May 25.

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Hau Hagedorn, OTREC Research Project Manager, was appointed to the Committee on Conduct of Research of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The Conduct of Research Committee serves to increase the quality and effectiveness of transportation research by supporting and facilitating improved research planning and management processes. It promotes improved coordination between those who sponsor and conduct research and those who implement research products. The Committee assists TRB in its role of stimulating research and serving as a national clearinghouse for research activities. Hau attended the Conduct of Research mid-year meeting in April in Irvine, CA.

On April 2, 2007, the OTREC Executive Committee selected the top 22 research, education and technology transfer projects for 2006-2007 funding. Over 50 proposals requesting over $2.6M were received in January, and each proposal went through a vigorous peer review process. Proposals were sent to at least three expert peer reviewers, including one federal representative. Peer-reviewers ranked the proposals on the basis of intellectual merit, broader impacts, relevance to OTRECís theme and the national transportation research agenda. There were 16 research, 3 education and 3 technology transfer projects selected. Three are multi-campus and 10 are multi-PI, reflecting the great collaboration within OTREC. The list of 2006-2007 projects, including abstracts, can be found here: 2006-2007 Projects

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In March 2007 OTRECís four partner universitiesóPSU, UO, OSU and OITóall part of the Oregon University System, signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing the four institutions to a collaborative partnership as a National University Transportation Center. Each universityís Vice President for Research (or equivalent) has been active in encouraging the partnership and working closely with one another to make certain that OTREC is successful. The MOU reflects the collaborative nature of OTREC. Not only is the MOU a national model for statewide transportation research collaboration, but it provides a model for future collaboration between the state Universities.

Professor Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the CTS seminar guest speaker and OTREC Visiting Scholar on March 9, 2007. Dr. Sussman has been instrumental in developing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the US, and is the author of several books on the subject. Dr. Sussman met with engineering faculty to discuss OpenCourseWare, MIT's large-scale, web-based publication of course materials, and trends in civil engineering education. The PSU Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP) Group hosted an interactive discussion with Professor Sussman which was followed by his seminar, Where Transportation in Going: Transportation in the CLIOS System Era. CLIOS is short for "Complex, Large-Scale, Interconnected, Open, Socio-technical Systems," and his presentation illustrated how complex transportation issues can be. After the seminar, ITS Oregon hosted a lunch in the ITS Lab for Dr. Sussman, ITS Oregon members, faculty and students.

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