Penn State, PENNDOT Forge $15 Million Agreement

April 22, 1998

University Park, Pa. --- Penn State and PennDOT have signed a five-year, $15 million agreement through which the University's Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (PTI) will conduct research, education, technology transfer and management programs for the Pennsylvania transportation agency.

As part of the contract, PTI will assist PennDOT in assembling and managing focused teams from Penn State and other educational institutions and will serve as administrative manager for PennDOT subcontracts with universities and colleges.

The contract, known as the "University-Based Research, Education and Transportation Program," is under the direction of Dr. James H. Miller, associate professor of business logistics, Smeal College of Business Administration, and Dr. John M. Mason, professor of civil engineering and associate dean for research, College of Engineering. Both are PTI affiliates.

Miller said, "We are delighted to formalize, through this contract, what has been a growing relationship between Penn State and PennDOT. It is a recognition of the value that both organizations perceive from our close relationship."

Bradley L. Mallory, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said, "This cooperative research agreement will provide the vehicle that will move technology from university classrooms and laboratories onto Pennsylvania's roads, railways, rivers and airways. The academic heritage and world-class researchers at these institutions of higher education will help PennDOT build a new Pennsylvania."

"Transportation is an increasingly important link to the Commonwealth's ability to compete in international markets. Penn State and the other educational institutions that work with us will support the state's economic interests by delivering research and educational programs that will increase the safety and mobility of our road and transit systems," Mason said.

"We will be developing mechanisms to access the best ideas and the best people, for example, to offer training on best practices for road maintenance and improving highway safety. We'll be identifying researchers to study the application of advanced technologies in surface transportation, sustaining a cost effective infrastructure, and new construction material analysis."

Currently, teams are being formed involving personnel from Bucknell, Drexel, Cheyney, Lafayette, Lehigh, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova and West Virginia University, as well as Penn State, to investigate applications of advanced technologies to commercial vehicle transportation, guide rail testing, development of advanced training for PennDOT professionals and other projects.

PTI, led by Dr. Bohdan Kulakowski, is celebrating its 30th year of operation in 1998. It has provided broad-based idea development, research, and formal and informal education, including selective and focused in-house training, for PennDOT throughout those 30 years. Over the past five years, through a series of contracts with PennDOT, PTI has worked to strengthen and build the transportation agency's partnerships with colleges and universities throughout the nation. PTI's response, last year, to PennDOT's request for proposals for the University-based Research, Education and Technology Transfer Program led to the current contract.

PTI's affiliated programs and centers include the Bus Testing and Research Center, the Center for Intelligent Transportation Systems (CITRANS), the Crash Safety Research Center, the Pennsylvania Local Roads Program-LTAP, the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC) and the Northeast Center of Excellence for Pavement Technology.

Until his recent appointment as associate dean, Mason served as director of PTI's Transportation Operations Program and of the CITRANS. Miller is current director of MAUTC which is a five-university consortium and one of 14 centers in the nationwide University Transportation Centers Program (UTCP). Since 1990 MAUTC has served as the national clearinghouse for the UTCP.
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Contacts:
Barbara Hale (814) 865-9481 (office) (814) 238-0997 (home) bah@psu.edu
Vicki Fong (814) 865-9481 (office) (814) 238-1221 (home) vyf1@psu.eduEDITORS: Dr. Miller is at (814) 863-1909 and Dr. Mason at (814) 865-4542.
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Penn State

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