Proposals for 2006-2007 transportation research, education and technology transfer projects were due on January 12, 2007. OTREC received 54 proposals with a total request of $2.6M. There were 38 unique proposers, 30 proposals with multiple PIs, and 10 were multi-campus. The diversity of the proposals displays impressive breadth of discipline and demonstrates great collaboration between universities and with external partners. As governed by the OTREC Strategic Plan, all proposals will be peer reviewed by at least three expert reviewers, including one federal representative. Awards will be announced in the spring.
With approval of the OTREC Strategic Plan, OTREC is pleased to release its first Request for Proposals (RFP) for transportation research, education and technology transfer projects. OTREC will consider funding high quality projects from the many disciplines that support the transportation field. Brief abstracts are due by December 15, 2006, and more detailed proposals will be due January 12, 2007.
Much anticiapted news of OTREC Strategic Plan approval was received December 1, 2006. The Plan was approved by OTREC’s federal sponsor, USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The Strategic Plan was written by Director Robert Bertini, with input from the Executive Committee, faculty and other stakeholders. It outlines OTREC’s theme, structure, programatic goals, budget plan and baseline performance measures. Approval of the plan means that OTREC programs may now officially get underway!
Hau Hagedorn has been appointed OTREC's Research Program Manager. Hau is working to build strong collaborative relationships among OTREC faculty, researchers, students, and staff at the four partner campuses, developing relationships with government and industry partners, and overseeing the peer-reviewed Request for Proposal process and research reporting. Prior to this role, she spent over nine years working in the private and public sector on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiatives. Her work at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) primarily focused on coordinating and implementing an operations management system. The intent of the system was to assist ODOT in better understanding the impacts and benefits of operations-based approaches within the agency. Previous work at Castle Rock Consultants focused primarily on advanced traveler information systems, road weather information systems, and ITS planning. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, is an active member of ITS Oregon, and was the state chapter president in 2006.
Alan Pisarski, author of “Commuting in America III,” visited PSU in October 2006 as part of the OTREC Visiting Scholar Program. Pisarski is a transportation expert known for his major studies of American commuting patterns. During his visit, he spoke at a Womenís Transportation Seminar (WTS) breakfast meeting, visited with students in the PSU ITS Lab, and was the guest speaker for the weekly CTS Transportation Seminar. Pisarski summarized changes and trends in commuting patterns in the United States and noted such statistics as lengthening average daily commutes, (many are more than 90 minute or ìextremeî commutes), increase in carpooling and transit use, shifts in city to suburb vs. suburb to city commuters and increase in numbers of people working at home. Pisarskiís research shows that transportation is influenced significantly by economic and social phenomena.
OTREC hosted the fall 2006 meeting of the Northwest Universities Transportation Consortium (Region X) on the Portland State University campus. 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. FHWA Oregon Administrator David Cox gave the welcoming remarks, and the agenda included reports from UTC and State DOT directors, and a discussion of a student awards and conference. Breakout sessions for collaborative working groups included topics of simulation, freight, infrastructure and environment; faculty from several universities participated with UTC and DOT staff. Agenda and Participants
Jenny Kincaid joined OTREC in October 2006 after nine years as the Executive Assistant in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at PSU. Ms. Kincaid had various budgetary, personnel, outreach and communication responsibilities in CEE. As OTRECís Communication and Education Coordinator, Jenny is coordinating and developing all communication, publications and outreach materials, including newsletters, brochures and annual reports. She is coordinating OTREC outreach and technology transfer programs, managing the web site, and collecting performance data for RITA. Jenny is originally from Illinois, and has a B.A. in English from the University of Chicago.
Prof. Robert L. Bertini attended the 2006 Summer CUTC Meeting in Big Sky, Montana, June 21-23. The meeting was hosted by the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University-Bozeman. The meeting offered new UTC directors and other personnel the opportunity to learn more about the UTC program, and to participate in CUTC planning and discuss major functional components of the UTC/CUTC program.
Prof. Robert Bertini attended the University Transportation Center Plenary Session in Washington, D.C. in April 2006. This two-day plenary session provided general information about where current and prospective UTC Program participants could receive information and engaged participants in general discussion about the broad research, development and technology goals of USDOT. Participants also learned about UTC Program goals and requirements under SAFETEA-LU, and heard about UTC grant preparation, approval, administration, oversight and best practices.
On August 10, 2005 the President signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SAFETEA-LU authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for 2005-2009. Within SAFETEA-LU, University Transportation Centers are authorized, and through this legislation a National University Transportation Center was created at Portland State University (PSU). Later named the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), the Center is a partnership between PSU, the University of Oregon (UO), Oregon State University (OSU) and the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT). OTREC was granted $16 million over five years and will focus funding on activities that support its theme of advanced technologies, integration of land use and transportation and healthy communities. OTREC is dedicated to stimulating and conducting collaborative multi-disciplinary research on multi-modal surface transportation issues, educating a diverse array of current practitioners and future leaders in the transportation field and encouraging implementation of research results.