OTREC has announced its 2008-2009 Request for Proposals (RFP) for transportation research, education and technology transfer projects. The total funding available under this RFP is approximately $2.8 million, and OTREC expects to fund as many high quality proposals as possible from a variety of disciplines. Proposals should be for relevant work that relates to the OTREC theme and supports national transportation priorities. Proposals must be from faculty members at PSU, UO, OSU or OIT, but faculty investigators are encouraged to work with other academic or agency partners. Non-federal match of 1:1 is required. Abstracts are due 5:00 PM February 15, 2008. Full proposals are due 5:00 pm on March 14, 2008. More information: 2008-2009 RFP.

OTREC is pleased to present our first Annual Report: 2006-2007 Annual Report. This publication is a summary of transportation research, education and technology transfer activities of OTREC for December 1, 2006 ñ September 30, 2007. If you would like a paper copy, please contact us.

Marc Schlossberg, Associate Professor in the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon (UO), was a recipient of a Fund for Faculty Excellence Award in December. This award honors faculty members performing at the forefront of their areas of research at the UO. Dr. Schlossberg is an OTREC Associate Director and Executive Committee member, and principal investigator on a project studying active transportation, neighborhood planning and participatory GIS. Congratulations, Marc!

Over 60 students from eight universities around the northwest visited PSU on November 16 to participate in a transportation research conference organized by and for students. Following a welcome breakfast, a panel consisting of representatives from TriMet, CH2M Hill, Port of Portland and Kittelson & Associates discussed “big picture” transportation issues with students. Ten students gave presentations about research or practice, and many of the students presented posters. The conference concluded with a keynote address from Professor Brian Taylor from UCLA on the topic of “Rethinking Congestion.” Many of the students who arrived the evening before also participated in the Oregon Section ITE Traffic Bowl at McMenamins Edgefield. Thank you to graduate student Oren Eshel, who led the conference organization and did an outstanding job.

Dr. Brian Taylor, Professor in Urban Planning and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, was the guest speaker and OTREC Visiting Scholar for the CTS Transportation Seminar on November 16, 2007. Dr. Taylor presented "Transit’s Dirty Little Secret: Analyzing Patterns of Transit Use." Later in the day, he was also the keynote speaker at the fall TransNow Student Conference at PSU, presenting "Rethinking Congestion" to the group of students from around the northwest. Professor Taylor’s research centers around transportation policy and planning. In particular, his work explores how society pays for transportation systems and how these systems in turn serve the needs of people who have low levels of mobility.

Congratulations to Oren Eshel, OTREC's 2007 Student of the Year! Orenís interest in regional planning techniques drew him to Portland, where is he is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning graduate student at Portland State University. Oren embarked upon graduate study to focus on public transit, equity in provision of transit services, and regional planning. Oren is a research assistant in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab at PSU, and is working on a project to evaluate an adaptive ramp metering system in the Portland region. He is also an intern with the City of Portland’s Transportation Planning section. Oren was nominated by faculty for this award not only because he excels at research and in the classroom, but because he has made a significant mark on the multidisciplinary transportation program at PSU. Oren is President of the PSU transportation student group and ITE chapter (STEP) and coordinated the Fall 2007 Transportation Northwest District 10 Student Conference, which attracted over 70 students from across the region.

OTREC welcomed Robin Kline, Amy Stearns and Lydia Mercado from the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) on November 5. They met with OTREC staff, university leadership and the OTREC Executive Committee. A poster session and reception was held in the afternoon, where RITA staff heard from faculty principal investigators and students who are working on OTREC projects. Members of the OTREC Board of Advisors also met the RITA representatives. RITA oversees the University Transportation Center program, through which OTREC receives federal funding.

OTREC is pleased to announce the formation of its Board of Advisors, as outlined in the OTREC Strategic Plan. The Board consists of representatives from public agencies (including FHWA, FTA, ODOT, TriMet, Port, etc.), private industry and transportation-related interest groups. The role of the BOA is to help develop OTRECís foundation and provide guidance on OTRECís overall mission. The Board will help with long-range planning and direction, identify priority research topics, review annual report and goals, serve as a connection to key agency partners and provide statewide, multimodal, public/private perspectives on research, education and outreach. A complete list of members can be found here.

Dr. Robert Bertini and OTREC faculty and staff hosted guests from Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. on October 31. Nobuo Okubo, Senior Advisor to the Board (Technology), Ryogo Takagi, Manager of Technology Planning and Assistant to Mr. Okubo, and Hayato Akizuki, Director, Technology Planning, were given a tour of Portland transit systems and met with leaders from TriMet, the City of Portland, and Metro. They also toured the ITS Lab at PSU, and had lunch with faculty and community representatives who talked about the history of Portlandís transportation systems. They were welcomed to PSU by Interim President Michael Reardon and Vice Provost for Research William Feyerherm. They ended the day with a ride on the Portland Streetcar and Portland Aerial Tram.

OTREC is pleased to announce the second issue of OTREC News. Issues of OTREC News 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. This issue includes a special feature describing the strong relationship between OTREC and the Oregon Department of Transportation. Read the newsletter here: Newsletter Fall 2007.