Research

The theme for the Utah Transportation Center (UTC) is “Innovative Engineering Against Hazards” and comes from the core expertise of the initial group of colleagues associated with the Center.  For the past decade the transportation research expertise within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Utah State University has been in areas addressing natural hazards:  earthquakes, landslides, and flooding.  It was decided to mold the Center around this expertise and then reach out to other colleagues to provide expertise that can be applied to both hazards and other areas of transportation--congestion and transit being two prime examples.

This approach has been very successful during the first two years of the Center, particularly with the association of colleagues in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).  That association was expanded during the second year with additional colleagues from ECE sharing their wealth of technical and research expertise in the area of transit.  We anticipate the expansion of collaboration will continue in the coming years with the addition of colleagues from USU’s College of Natural Resources.

The educational activities of the Center continue to be primarily centered around instruction by CEE faculty associated with the Center.  This faculty teaches an array of transportation-related courses in many disciplines of civil engineering:  surveying, structures, hydraulics, operations, transportation design, planning, and engineering economics.  Center research activities continue to focus on “engineering against hazards,” and have also expanded to include transit.  The Center’s principal research partner continues to be the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and has grown to include the Utah Transit Authority (UTA).  We anticipate additional partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as well as local agencies in the near future as our work with the Utah Local Technical Assistance (LTAP) Program expands.

The technology transfer activities of the Center this past year have been in the presentation of papers at professional conferences--the annual Transportation Research Board meeting being the principal medium for these presentations.  Peer reviewed journal publications are also a key element to the Center’s technology transfer activities.  With the restructure and reauthorization of the Utah LTAP Center at Utah State University, we anticipate the ability to utilize the Utah LTAP Center for dissemination of Center research results to expand.