Published on

Published in: Technology, Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. INVESTING IN THE TRANSPORTATION LEADERS OF TOMORROW The University Transportation Centers Program T he ATLAS is a massive, 70-ton machine— exemplifies the state-of-the-art technology necessaryEditor’s Note: This its name expresses its powerful utility. to create a modern, resilient transportation systemfeature article was The Accelerated Transportation Loading that will endure for generations.assembled by staff at ASsembly tests the limits of some of the RITA is working to ensure that U.S. transportationthe Research and world’s strongest, most advanced transportation research and education investments effectively addressInnovative Technology materials. Pavement systems designed to withstand national priorities and produce solid results for allAdministration, hundreds of thousands of landings by commercial Americans. This effort involves partnering with theworking with staff at aircraft or rail ties engineered to carry the massive academic community at 136 colleges and universitiescompetitively selected hauls of freight trains are subjected to immense pres- participating in the UTC program, to advance multi-University Transpor- sures to gauge their durability. The data from ATLAS disciplinary transportation research and to educatetation Centers. For help engineers design materials that will define trans- the next generation of transportation professionals.acknowledgments of portation now and in the future. “UTCs capture the spirit of ingenuity and inno-the contributors, ATLAS is more than a marvel of engineering— vation that drives American progress,” notes RITAsee page 10. it is an example of the cutting-edge work under way Administrator Peter H. Appel—“bright minds work- at universities across the country through the Uni- ing together to find solutions that inspire and change versity Transportation Centers (UTC) program. the world for the better.” Managed by the Research and Innovative Technology At the 2011 TRB Annual Administration (RITA), in partnership with the Fed- Meeting, RITA Admin- TR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011 eral Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Fed- istrator Peter H. Appel eral Transit Administration (FTA), the UTC program (left) held an informal has a dual mission: discussion for students interested in transpor- tation careers (photo u To conduct innovative transportation research above). Along with and developing research u To train and educate transportation profes- across transportation sionals. modes, the UTC–RITA partnership also The ATLAS is located at the University of Illinois’ educates and supports Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering up-and-coming professionals. Laboratory facility, 15 miles north of Urbana (1). It 3
  2. 2. Researchers at the U.S. DOT funding for UTC programs represents University of Illinois’ only a fraction of the financial support received by Advanced Transportation participating institutions for transportation research Research and and education. Responsible for providing 100 per- Engineering Laboratory (ATREL) employ the cent matching funds, UTCs are inherently collabo- behemoth ATLAS to rative entities. The centers are encouraged to partner conduct strength and with other transportation stakeholders in pursuing durability tests on high- local, regional, state, and national goals. The part- use pavements for nerships ensure that each federal dollar invested in airports or railways. a UTC is leveraged toward the highest possible return in value for the transportation system. Partners for Solutions Each year, state transportation agencies prioritize projects, programs, and services to accommodate budget constraints and limited resources. This bal- ancing act has implications for the operation, devel- opment, and maintenance of transportation systems. At the same time, the American Recovery and Rein- vestment Act and the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery grants are financing transportation projects nationwide—increasing Encouraging Collaboration demand for expertise across transportation disci- UTCs focus on issues aligned with the priorities of plines. This challenging environment highlights the the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and relevance of UTCs and the value of state partner- work with regional, state, and local agencies to find ships with universities and colleges. solutions to the transportation issues affecting their UTCs offer cooperative research and technology communities. The project selections and products transfer that can help achieve the goals of State Plan- are peer-reviewed, and the results are shared through ning and Research programs. Following are examples the TRID1 (formerly the Transportation Research of UTC collaborations with state transportation Information Services) and Research in Progress2 agencies to address local and regional issues. databases—housed on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) website—and through other forums Road Safety Resource that encourage collaboration. During the past three The Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Trans- years, UTC colleges and universities have completed portation (CAIT) at Rutgers, the State University of a range of activities (see table, below). New Jersey, has built a strong relationship with New 1 Jersey DOT. For example, CAIT’s Transportation 2 Safety Resource Center (TSRC) offers statewide resources, including road safety audits, crash analy- ses, outreach and marketing materials, and training TABLE 1 UTC Performance Measures, 2006–2009 for traffic safety workers (2). By providing a range of Total number of UTC research projects 1,455 engineering and technical services to state decision Total number of UTC research reports published 1,267 makers, TSRC has proved itself an asset in the designTR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011 Total number of UTC presentations on ongoing and completed research 2,212 and implementation of safety programs. Total UTC students involved in transportation research 6,730 TSRC has developed a web-based software appli- Total transportation-related master’s degrees awarded 4,826 cation, Plan4Safety, to assist safety and law enforce- Total transportation-related PhD degrees awarded 489 ment professionals in analyzing traffic crashes. The software incorporates crash records and related data UTC transportation seminars, symposia, and distance learning classes presented 3,004 since 2003 and serves as a tool for identifying dan- gerous intersections and other elements of the road Number of transportation professionals participating in UTC transportation seminars, symposia, and distance learning classes 142,272 environment that contribute to vehicle crashes. Developed and maintained in concert with engi- Number of Research in Progress UTC projects 1,907 neers from CAIT and New Jersey DOT, the partner- Number of UTC TRID entries 1,677 ship has produced data that can improve traffic and Total dollars of research funded ($ millions) $169.2 4 roadway safety efforts in other states as well.
  3. 3. Plan4Safety received the FHWA National Road Safety PHOTO: CARISSA SESTITO, CAITAward in 2009 and was cited in FHWA’s High-RiskRural Road Project as an effective tool for trans-portation planning.Highway Planning for Tribal AgenciesLocated at North Dakota State University, the Moun-tain–Plains Consortium (MPC) includes five uni-versities in North Dakota, Utah, South Dakota,Colorado, and Wyoming, and is working withregional, state, and local governments to address theunique challenges facing transportation planners inthe U.S. Mountain West. Strengthening the highway planning capabilitiesof tribal agencies is one of the challenges. The geo-graphic region covered by MPC encompasses a sig-nificant proportion of the lands owned by the 564federally recognized Native American tribes in the to more than 500,000 people. The sprawling rural Team leader RodenUnited States. These holdings include more than settlements often lack the basic needs most people Lightbody calls attention94,000 miles of Indian Reservation Roads (IRR), take for granted, including running water, sewage to the retroreflectivity, clutter, and driverjointly managed by FHWA’s Federal Lands Highway systems, and electricity. Most of the residents are visibility of road signsprogram and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s economically disadvantaged Mexican-Americans during a road safetyBureau of Indian Affairs. Extensive modernization, who often do not have ready access to education and audit conducted for Newoperational improvements, and maintenance are medical care. Their isolation is exacerbated by the Jersey DOT by the Centerneeded to transform these roads into systems that lack of transportation options. for Advancedsupport the safety, livability, and economic needs of In 1991, the Texas A&M University Center for Infrastructure andNative American communities. Housing and Urban Development (CHUD) began a Transportation at Rutgers, the State Although the IRR program funds the design, con- project to improve the lives of impoverished people University of New Jersey.struction, and maintenance of the roadways, the in colonias along the Texas border. The Coloniastribes need to be equipped with the planning, exper- Program sought to promote “community self-devel-tise, and analytic tools applied by state transportation opment”—that is, involving the residents in activitiesagencies. A lack of effective tribal outreach and of to improve the social infrastructure. A core need wasinnovative technology transfer exacerbates the for transportation to the community centers in theissues. The MPC member universities—Colorado colonias, as well as to other towns.State University, North Dakota State University, The Southwest Region University TransportationSouth Dakota State University, the University of Center (SWUTC), housed at Texas A&M in con-Utah, and the University of Wyoming—are collabo- junction with the University of Texas at Austin andrating with federal, state, and tribal agencies to Texas Southern University, joined with CHUD in 1997address barriers to the modernization of the IRR sys- and funded a project to explore transportation issuestems and infrastructure across the region (3). and solutions. After evaluating the needs of the colo- The initial objective is to familiarize tribal planners nias, SWUTC researchers developed a demonstrationwith the types of highway data and models used by project, supplying a 15-passenger van for trans-state and federal governments, to improve under- portation service to and from a community center in TR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011standing of the analyses conducted and the data col- El Cenizo, a colonia in Webb County.lected. The Highway Economic Requirements Systemand the Highway Performance Monitoring System PHOTO: SWUTCwere used in analyzing state highways that passthrough reservations, and the initial results were pre- A 15-passenger van thatsented. As a result, tribal planners can communicate provides transportationmore effectively with state planners and can under- for colonia residents instand how states analyze the needs of highways. Willacy County, Texas, through a project sup- ported by the StateConnecting Colonias Energy ConservationApproximately 2,400 colonias—Spanish for neigh- Office and Texas A&Mborhoods—along the Texas–Mexico border are home University. 5
  4. 4. In April 2005, the Caltrans Division of Research TRANSPORTATION, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY and Innovation asked MTI to assist with the research and publication of a guidebook for Caltrans employ- ees who work with local transit agencies and juris- dictions in planning, designing, and operating BRT systems that involve state facilities. The guidebook, Bus Rapid Transit: A Handbook for Partners, assists transit operators, local governments, community res- FOR PHOTO: INSTITUTE idents, and other stakeholders in the development of BRT systems (6). The guidebook draws on active BRT projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Fran- cisco, and Alameda County, explores their efforts, identifies changes that are needed in statutes and policies, and outlines other state concerns. In addition to the case studies of major BRT proj- ects in California, the MTI team examined several other programs in development around the state. The effort clarified issues to be addressed in the Iowa State University The success of the pilot program prompted guidebook and compiled information that assisted in graduate assistant SWUTC and CHUD to approach the State Energy identifying needs and emerging issues for legislative Stewart McCoy describes Conservation Office (SECO) to buy additional pas- or regulatory action and for Caltrans to address Go! and its mission to senger vans for established centers in the colonias. through district directives or internal measures. then-Governor Chet Culver at the Iowa Through a multiyear SECO contract administered Science and Mathematics by SWUTC, the pilot project has been replicated Workforce Development Teacher Educators many times, and the program has purchased 31 vans The transportation research at every UTC involves a Summit at Grinnell (4). The vehicles have provided more than 2 million dedicated group of students and faculty who work on College. passenger miles of travel annually for medical and projects across the spectrum of disciplines. UTC stu- dental care, adult education, infant and geriatric ser- dents typically are dedicated to finding solutions to vices, recreation, employment, and economic devel- transportation issues—they represent the next gen- opment initiatives for colonia residents. eration of transportation professionals and decision “Many of these residents who don’t have a vehi- makers. Reflecting the diversity that characterizes cle now have the opportunity to become part of the the U.S population, the students have taken many community by being able to make use of some of the different paths to arrive at their career choice. community services at the resource centers,” says Nonetheless, the number of Americans who are Robert Otto, a former program administrator with choosing careers in transportation or in related fields SECO. “The resource centers are a gathering place for such as engineering, science, and mathematics is not the people in each community.” As a result of the keeping pace with the nation’s needs. program, thousands living in South Texas colonias The U.S. transportation workforce is undergoing have greater access to critical services and economic fundamental changes. Up to 50 percent of the work- opportunities. force is expected to retire in the next 10 years; their successors, moreover, need to develop new skills in Facilitating Bus Rapid Transit response to new and emerging areas of expertise. Many consider bus rapid transit (BRT) a key ingre- High-speed rail exemplifies the gap between theTR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011 dient in future transit system management. BRT nation’s needs and capabilities. In the past four applies intelligent transportation systems technol- decades, Europe, Japan, and China have invested ogy, operational strategies, and innovative transit heavily in high-speed rail; as a result, jobs in design- planning to improve mobility and livability in met- ing, building, and operating high-speed rail networks ropolitan areas. As urban communities seek to have grown overseas, while similar careers have develop and deploy BRT systems, research into best faded in the United States. The Mineta practices and lessons learned becomes critical for Transportation Institute design, implementation, and operation. The Mineta Expanding Skills and Disciplines at San José State University helped Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State Uni- The initial $10 billion federal investment in a nation- California DOT develop a versity has worked with California DOT (Caltrans) wide high-speed rail network has provided an oppor- guidebook on bus rapid to create a guide for the deployment of BRT systems tunity to establish a foundational education program 6 transit for its employees. statewide (5). to develop the expertise needed for high-speed rail
  5. 5. and other critical elements of the 21st century trans-portation system. Bringing the transportation infra-structure into a state of good repair and deployingsystems crucial to modernization—such as NextGenair traffic control and intelligent transportation sys-tems—is an ambitious undertaking that will demandall of the nation’s knowledge and ingenuity. “The U.S. transportation system will depend on ahighly skilled and multidisciplinary workforce tomeet the challenges of the 21st century,” states RITADeputy Administrator Robert Bertini. “The UTC pro-gram has been and will continue to be a key part ofour national strategy.” UTCs are establishing programs and partnershipsto spark interest in transportation careers and to sup-port those who choose to enter the field. Since 2008,through a joint initiative of the Council of UniversityTransportation Centers (CUTC) and RITA, individ- annual Professional Development Science and Math The monthly onlineual UTCs have sponsored regional workforce devel- Summer Technology Institute in 2006 to help teach- magazine Go!, publishedopment summits to engage local, regional, and ers foster interest in transportation careers among by the Institute for Transportation at Iowanational partners in addressing the transportation secondary school students. The Nebraska Depart- State University,workforce challenge (7). ment of Education organizes and hosts the summer introduces teenagers to The future transportation workforce will depend program. transportation issues andnot only on efforts to increase interest among students Teachers are on campus for three days in June and careers.but also on the expansion of outreach to women, peo- in August for intensive training in engineering con-ple of color, and other groups traditionally underrep- cepts and their implementation. At both sessions,resented in the transportation community. faculty from the university’s departments of educa- tion and engineering lead workshops on buildingMagazine for Teens student awareness of the positive impacts of engi-Encouraging teenagers and young adults to consider neering (10).a career in transportation requires creative out- The workshop in June introduces teachers to thereaches to raise their awareness, particularly about field of transportation engineering through a variety of Nadia Gkritza discussesthe importance of transportation to communities; presentations, tours, and other activities. In one work- the recruitment of femalethese outreaches are an essential part of the national shop, teachers develop lesson plans for introducing students to the fields of science, technology,workforce development strategy. The Institute for transportation engineering concepts to students. engineering, andTransportation at Iowa State University, for example, mathematics at the 3Other members are Missouri University of Science andpublishes a free, online magazine dedicated to mak- Technology, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Midwest Transportationing transportation—and transportation careers— University of Iowa, Lincoln University, and Prairie View Consortium Workforcerelevant to teenagers. A&M University. Summit. Go! magazine features articles on every elementof transportation, from profiles and personal experi-ences of people who design transportation systems tostories about cities developing green transit (8). Pub- TR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011lished monthly, Go! holds contests to encourageyoung readers to participate and think criticallyabout transportation challenges—such as a “Designyour own maglev” contest. In August 2010, Go! staffpresented the magazine’s mission at the Iowa Sci-ence and Mathematics Teacher Educators Summit,hosted by the Iowa Math and Science Partnership atGrinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa (9).Assisting TeachersThe University of Nebraska, lead member of the Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC),3 created the 7
  6. 6. letters and mitigates the adverse nighttime effects PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS caused by headlights. The font improves driver recognition of the messages and minimizes distrac- tion—definite safety benefits. After two studies conducted by the Texas Trans- portation Institute, FHWA granted interim approval of the Clearview typeface for all public streets, highways, and byways in 2004 (11). Clearview currently is fea- tured on new highway signs throughout Texas and Canada and along Routes 32 and 80 in Pennsylvania. Assisting Disabled Riders Persons with disabilities and the elderly often depend on public transportation and transit. The National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the University A sign on westbound Before heading back to school, teachers test their of South Florida (USF) has developed a travel assis- I-696 in Michigan uses lesson plans on junior high and high school students tance device (TAD), tested by Hillsborough Area both the Clearview at the August session. In addition to technical assis- Regional Transit Authority (HART).4 The TAD applies typeface (for the text) tance and support in creating lesson plans, the insti- Geographic Positioning System technology in cell and Highway Gothic typeface (for the shields). tute provides funds for purchasing curriculum- phones to assist cognitively disabled riders and new Clearview was developed related classroom materials. transit riders with recognizing their stops and exiting from research performed Mary Herrington, a science teacher at Culler Mid- the bus at the appropriate time and place (12). at Pennsylvania State dle School in Lincoln, Nebraska, has witnessed how The TAD software is installed on a personal cell University’s Pennsylvania the institute’s approach has sparked student interest phone. The transit rider or travel trainer visits the Transportation Institute. in transportation. “All the lessons have a real-world TAD website, which features a Google Maps–style connection,” Herrington notes. “The curriculum interface for trip planning, and selects the route, loca- builds interest and excitement about engineering and tion, stop, and travel times. The trip plan downloads technology.” automatically into the user’s cell phone. Sponsors for the Summer Technology Institute The software application on the cell phone gives include MATC, Nebraska’s Coordinating Commis- the transit rider two alerts after boarding the bus. The sion for Postsecondary Education, U.S. DOT, and first is a verbal announcement saying, “Get ready,” the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transporta- issued a few stops before the destination. The phone tion Futures Program. also vibrates and displays a text message, to accom- modate seeing- and hearing-impaired users. The sec- Multidisciplinary Research ond alert tells the rider to pull the stop-request cord, Robust, multidisciplinary transportation research is issuing the cell phone prompt, “Pull the cord now.” a hallmark of the UTC program. Investing in The NCTR team conducted tests with six devel- forward-thinking research not only will lead to inno- opmentally disabled 18- to 22-year-old special edu- vative solutions to critical transportation problems cation transitional students in April and May 2008. but also will provide crucial experience for the trans- The 12 test trips included two different bus routes for portation professionals who will grapple with emerg- each student. The students disembarked at the ing issues in the coming decades. planned destinations successfully each time. “Having a travel trainer accompany on the busesTR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011 Readable Signs creates a sense of security and comfort for a devel- Sometimes the simplest solution is the most practi- opmentally disabled patron,” observes Mark Shep- Developed by the cal. An example is the Clearview Typeface System, pard, a travel trainer with HART. “A TAD in their National Center for Transit developed through a decade of research by a multi- pocket is the next best thing to having the travel Research at the University disciplinary team of psychologists, traffic engineers, trainer beside them.” of South Florida, Travel type designers, graphic designers, vision experts, and USF has licensed the TAD to a Florida company, Assistance Device optics engineers at the Pennsylvania Transportation Dajuta, LLC, which will handle the daily operation software can be installed Institute, Pennsylvania State University. and support of the system and will train travel on a user’s cell phone and provides safe transit riding The Clearview font increases the legibility of 4 Editor’s Note: Seed funding and advice for the early TAD assistance for persons traffic control signage and devices by 20 percent, research were provided through TRB’s Transit Innovations with disabilities and the compared with the FHWA’s standard Highway Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Program (Project 8 elderly. Gothic font. Clearview employs a special spacing of 52).
  7. 7. instructors in the use of the TAD. Dajuta officials PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLEhave stated that the cost savings, increased bus rid-ership, and ability to empower people to travel inde-pendently make TAD a “win–win.” Sheppard agrees: “The biggest challenge we facein training disabled riders on the fixed-bus routes istheir ability to remember when to pull the cord to getoff the bus. The TAD solves this challenge by givingriders voice, text, and vibration alerts that remindthem when to take action.”Bike SharingAs urban communities across the United States grap-ple with traffic congestion, air quality issues, anderoding livability, many transportation agencies areexploring bike-sharing programs. For example, theSoutheastern Transportation Center (STC), working will guide related research by universities, U.S. DOT, Chris Cherry, University ofwith Tennessee DOT, the University of Tennessee, and industry and through TRB. Tennessee, Knoxville,and Currie Technologies, is seeking to develop and shows students from Transportation Academyevaluate the nation’s first automated sharing system UTC Program’s Future 2010 how to ride anfor e-bikes, or electric bicycles, on the campus of the RITA is working to increase the cross-modal focus of electric bicycle, or e-bike.University of Tennessee, Knoxville (13). E-bikes are the U.S. DOT’s research agenda and to create insti- The university is pilotingpowered with a rechargeable battery and electric tutional mechanisms that promote coordination and an automated sharingmotor in tandem with the rider’s pedaling and can communication among the modes of transportation, system for the battery-achieve top speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour, offer- while developing tools to bolster coordination and powered an efficient and environmentally sustainable communication among RITA partners.alternative to automobiles and transit vehicles. These efforts have implications for the UTC pro- The pilot test in spring 2011 will feature two sta- gram and how research partners inside U.S. DOTtions with 20 shared bicycles—a mix of e-bikes and and in the transportation community collaborate,traditional models. The research team consists of fac- share information, and produce tangible solutions toulty and students from the STC and corporate current, emerging, and anticipated challenges thatresearchers from Biosystems Engineering. The affect national transportation goals.research team is also working with Currie Tech- RITA’s Office of Research, Development, and Rebecca Sanders,nologies, makers of IZIP e-bikes, to develop an inte- Technology is developing a web-based platform University of California,grated system. to facilitate collaborative research among U.S. Berkeley, discusses her DOT researchers and partners and to optimize the research on pedestrian and bicyclist safety at theUTC Spotlight Conference results of research studies across disciplines. The Transportation SystemsRITA partners with TRB to sponsor an annual UTC Web 2.0 platform will support 14 research clusters for Livable CommunitiesSpotlight Conference, which brings together the that will share information and identify areas for Conference at theUTC community, industry, and federal, state, and collaboration. National Academies’local government agencies to focus on a salient trans- RITA has embraced workforce development as a Keck Center in October.portation issue and identify needed research. Theresults can inform policy decision making, and the TR NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011program is intended to facilitate communication andcoordination among the academic community, gov-ernment, and industry. The 2010 conference focused on TransportationSystems for Livable Communities. Research into theimpact of transportation on community livability isunder way in many areas and among a diverse arrayof stakeholders. The diversity of facts and opinionson the topic pose a challenge for all. Linking transportation to livable communitieshas become a key national priority for transportationpolicy. The outcome of the 2010 spotlight conference 9
  8. 8. priority for the transportation system. Working with are a small sample of the work undertaken in the aca- U.S. DOT modal partners, RITA is developing a demic community through the UTC program. More focused and data-informed workforce strategy, information about institutions supported by the UTC responding to the needs of current and future program, including links to projects around the employees and of the entire transportation workforce. country, can be found at The workforce initiative recognizes the unique- ness of specific occupations in each mode and Acknowledgments embraces both the short- and long-term workforce The Research and Innovative Technology Adminis- challenges, as well as cross-modal, multidisciplinary, tration (RITA) thanks Jason Melvin, technical writer and career life-cycle dimensions. The transportation in RITA’s Office of Governmental, International, and Beth Osborne, Deputy workforce initiative now has representatives from Public Affairs, and the competitively selected Uni- Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, seven operating administrations of U.S. DOT—rail, versity Transportation Centers that were invited to U.S. DOT, spoke about highways, transit, aviation, maritime, motor carriers, submit information for this article. In particular, the department’s vision and pipelines—creating a comprehensive effort. RITA acknowledges the contributions of Shashi for the future of livable UTCs capture the spirit of enterprise and inno- Nambisan, Iowa State University; Denver Tolliver communities at the vation that has characterized American progress— and John MacGowan, North Dakota State University; October UTC Spotlight bright-minded people of all ages working together. Martin Pietrucha and Philip Garvey, Pennsylvania conference. The UTC program invests in the ideal that the State University; Allison Thomas, Rutgers University; nation’s colleges, universities, and institutes have the Karen Philbrick, San José State University; Dock capability to create groundbreaking, innovative solu- Burke and Oscar Munoz, Texas A&M University; tions that inspire and ultimately change the world for Sean Barbeau, Nevine Georggi, and Ralph Winter, the better. In the process, students gain the expertise University of South Florida; Lindsay Mayo Fincher and experience to effect change as they forge careers and Larry Rilett, University of Nebraska; and Chris as multidisciplinary transportation professionals. Cherry and Lissa Gay, University of Tennessee. UTC programs across the country are an investment that will pay dividends for decades. References The projects and the research cited in this article 1. Illinois Center for Transportation. 2. Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Trans- portation, Transportation Safety Research Center. http:// UTC Spotlight Conferences at a Glance 3. National Local Technical Assistance Program and Tribal 2010 Transportation Systems for Livable Communities Technical Assistance Program. 2009 Infrastructure Preservation and Renewal 4. Transit Services for Sprawling Areas with Relatively Low Demand Density: A Pilot Study in the Texas Border’s Colonias. 2008 The Impact of Changing Demographics on the Transportation Texas Transportation Institute. System project_details.htm?id=3325. 2007 Research Issues in Freight Transportation: Congestion and System 5. Mineta Transportation Institute. 6. Gray, G., N. Kelley, and T. Larwin. Bus Rapid Transit: A Performance Handbook for Partners. Mineta Transportation Institute, 2006 Research Opportunities in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) College of Business, San José State University, San José, Transportation Applications California, June 2006. research/publications/summary/0602.html. 7. Workforce Development. Council of University Transporta- tion Centers. 8. Go! Exploring the World of Transportation. Institute of Transportation, Iowa State University, Ames. www.go- NEWS 272 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2011 9. Midwest Transportation Consortium. http://www.intrans. 10. Mid-America Transportation Center Summer Institute. 11. MUTCD: Interim Approval for Use of Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs. Federal Highway Administration, September 2, 2004. http://mutcd.fhwa. 12. Travel Assistant Device (TAD) Aids Transit Riders with Special Needs. UTC Spotlight, November 2008. http://utc. The UTC spotlight conferences offer opportunities to gain and exchange 0811.html. information and to network. 13. Southeastern Transportation Center.