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2009-2010 Director's Message

It is with some melancholy that I sit and write what will be my last “From the Director” letter for the Utah Transportation Center. As with all major changes in one’s life this one is bittersweet. I am looking forward with great anticipation to my new role as the Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology within the Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the USDOT. The great thing about this position is that it covers the University Transportation Centers program, so I will continue to be associated with all of you, my fellow Center directors, though in a very different role.

The difficult part of this transition will be to leave my great colleagues here at Utah State University, all of whom are great friends and have done so much to make the past five years of the Utah Transportation Center so successful. It is with pride that I can outline such great achievements for a Tier II university transportation center.

Over the past five years the Utah Transportation Center has developed new external relationships with:

·      Rutgers University, the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation;
·      Virginia Tech University;
·      Utah Transit Authority;
·      University of Utah;
·      Oak Ridge National Laboratory;
·      Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization; and,
·      Cache Valley Transit District.

Internally, we have developed new relationships with other departments on campus:

·      Electrical and Computer Engineering;
·      Wildlife Resources;
·      Energy Dynamics Laboratory; and,
·      Consumer Services;

In concert with the development of these new relationships, some of the major accomplishments of the Center’s colleagues include:

·      Receiving a $1 million special state appropriation for bridge research;
·      Membership in the winning consortium for the Long Term Bridge Performance Program (with CAIT as lead);
·      UTA research projects;
·      Construction of a new structures testing (SMASH) laboratory;
·      Renewal of the Local Technical Assistance Program contract (twice); and,
·      New traffic operations (TIME) laboratory.
 
Kevin Womack

 

Over the past five years the numbers for the Utah Transportation Center are impressive:
 
·      Total Budgeted Expenditures, $9,675,699;
·      Base federal UTC funding, $2,221,600;
·      Leverage of UTC funding, 3.36:1;
·      Research projects initiated, 24;
·      Research projects completed, 15;
·      Graduate students graduated, Masters 40, Ph.D., 8;
·      Papers presented, 85; and,
·      Papers published, 50.

Part of this great success has been the effort that Center colleagues have made to branch out into other areas of research which include transit operations, land use planning and the environment, automated and electric transportation systems, and resiliency of transportation systems.
So as I look forward to the next era of my career, I can certainly look back at the past five years, as the Director of the Utah Transportation Center, and say that the successes of my colleagues have been great and that it has been my privilege to have been associated with so many great and hard working people.

I have nothing but the greatest respect for the University Transportation Center community, and I anticipate great things in the future and look forward to working with all of you to continue to make this program a national model for other research and education centers programs.