History of University Transportation Centers Program UTC Activity Update

The ITSPAC recommended that the ITS JPO look at opportunities to work more closely with the UTCs. To date, the ITS JPO has undertaken preliminary actions to position the office to increase levels of cooperation and coordination with the UTCs. A summary of these activities will be presented at the Committee meeting. Below is additional information to help inform discussions.

History of UTC program:

  • Initiated in 1987 (via transp. Act) – created 10 centers 1 per Federal Region.
  • 1991 (ISTEA) reauthorized the UTCs for an additional six years and added four national centers and six University Research Institutes (URI).

Mission: To advance U.S. expertise and technology transfer. The six URIs each had a specific transportation research and development mandate.

  • In 1998 (TEA-21) reauthorized the program for an additional 6 years and added 23 centers (for a total of 33). Established education as one of the primary objectives of a UTC & institutionalized the use of strategic planning in university grant management.
  • Currently the program exists and is managed within the US DOT multi-modal, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

Transportation Professional Capacity Building Overview provided to the CUTC Conference by Suzanne Sloan of the Volpe Center. The ITS PCB overview included the following:

  • The transportation PCB experts are looking to partner with university organizations to collaborate on course content development and local delivery.
  • Preliminary thoughts/ideas include:
    • Targeted delivery of local professional development of transportation workforce.
    • Engagement of UTC instructors in the creation of local professional development opportunities.
    • More local knowledge and technology transfer.
    • A broadening of opportunities within the transportation workforce for students who pursue UTC fellowships and scholarships.