On July 29, 2005, the 109th congress of the United States passed a major highway legislation, the TEA-LU bill, which authorized the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund 22 Tier II university transportation centers (UTC) throughout the nation. The Ohio Transportation Consortium was designated as one of these Tier II recipients.
The University of Akron was named the lead institution of the OTC, with Central state University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton, Case Western Reserve University, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and Kent State University completing the Consortium. The theme of the Ohio Transportation Consortium is Transportation Mobility and Infrastructure Management. Our work will focus on conducting applied research, providing quality education to the future transportation professionals, and disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge and technology for implementation in the real world.
The center will work with other university research programs in Ohio and collaborate closely with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to address problems in areas covering:
1) Traffic operation and system optimization
2) Traffic safety, including work zone and older driver safety
3) Snow and ice control
4) Remote sensing, GIS, wireless data communication, and data management
5) Health monitoring, testing, retrofitting, maintenance, design, and construction of bridge systems
6) Alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles
7) Monitoring, assessment and modeling of pavements and materials
8) Economic and homeland security
In addition to research activities, the Ohio Transportation Consortium will collaborate with other excellent education programs in Ohio regarding a number of activities including:
1) Offering new multidisciplinary transportation engineering courses by experts at our different institutions, and communication to other institutions through distance learning
2) Developing mechanisms for liberal sharing of lab facilities and equipment
3) Fostering student organizations and activities in transportation, organizing student paper/project competitions, and sponsoring students to attend regional and national transportation conferences
The Ohio Transportation Consortium will also make advancement in the way of technology transfer, again collaborating with its member universities and transportation associates through Ohio in order to:
1) Provide continuing education opportunities (workshops, seminars, and special training courses) for local industry
2) Develop web-based delivery of transportation news
3) Sponsor or jointly host transportation conferences to showcase the work done within the center
4) Collaborate with local business to promote transportation projects.