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
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.
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
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.
In early March, six PSU students in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and Masters of Civil and Environmental Engineering programs attended the TransNow Student Conference in Boise, Idaho. The conference was hosted by students at the University of Idaho. Students gave presentations of completed or current work, listened to presentations by the Idaho Department of Transportation, Washington Department of Transportation, and ITS America. There was also time to get to know the approximately 20 other students who attended. Portland State University students would like to commend the University of Idaho on a great job in planning the conference. Participating students were Delia Chi, Ujwalkiran Dharnikota, Laurie Miskimins, Nicole Prehoda, Sandeep Puppala and Benjamin Zielke.
As part of the effort to streamline contracting procedures and encourage cross-campus collaboration, OTREC staff and PSU research and business office representatives made the rainy drive (and some snow!) to Eugene, OR in February for a meeting with UO faculty and administration. Director Robert Bertini gave an OTREC overview and Hau Hagedorn described OTRECís proposal process. A good spirit of collaboration, along with questions and discussion helped OTREC and university staff better understand each otherís grant processes and timelines. OTREC thanks UO for their hospitality.
In February, OTREC and PSU staff travelled to Corvallis, OR to meet with OSU faculty and administration. Alan Kolibaba, Tina Frost and Bill Helsley from ORSP, Wanda Packard and Anisa Chisti from Research Accounting, and Robert Bertini, Hau Hagedorn and Jenny Kincaid from OTREC, along with UO representatives, shared processes and timelines, and discussed ways to work effectively together. OTREC thanks OSU for their hospitality.
Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA, was a guest speaker and OTREC Visiting Scholar in February 2007. During his visit to Portland, Professor Shoup spoke to 130 members of the Lloyd District Transportation Management Association (TMA), and was the speaker at a WTS breakfast round table. Shoupís presentation at the CTS Seminar, “The High Cost of Free Parking,” drew interested questions and comments from the audience. Shoup presented his thoughts on parking issues in our country, showing aerial photos of gigantic parking lots that do little to enhance communities, giving examples of on-street/off-street parking discrepancies in northwest Portland and explaining how ìfreeî parking is not really free to anyone, including businesses, consumers and drivers. He noted that planning requirements for minimum parking can be arbitrary and contrary to the best urban design practices, and showed how smart parking pricing can benefit communities and those of us trying to find a parking spot.