Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

August 8, 2005

UM-Rolla receives federal funds for transportation center

Congress' passage of a new transportation bill July 29 means the University Transportation Center (UTC) at UM-Rolla will receive $16 million over the next five years to research critical national transportation issues. The research center is one of 10 in the nation to receive "national" status under the transportation bill. The new status means more support for the center, which was established in 1998 to build on the campus' infrastructure engineering programs.

"We are indebted to Senator Bond and his staff for the vision and hard work in securing these funds for our institution and the state of Missouri," said Dr. Antonio Nanni, director of the center. "The University of Missouri now has the opportunity to become a national leader in research and education related to surface transportation."

Researchers at the center conduct research into non-destructive testing technologies and lightweight materials for strengthening bridges, roads and buildings. The UTC is closely aligned with another research initiative at the campus: the UMR Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies (CIES), which provides research expertise in the areas of building and civil infrastructure, such as roads and bridges; power infrastructure, such as electric power; and infrastructure management.

According to Nanni, the funding allows the center to partner with the state's Department of Transportation to provide key results for the citizens of Missouri and the nation.

"We will place even more emphasis on tangible and measurable results in terms of both research and development and technology transfer," Nanni said. "We also envision taking a more active role in activities related to security, as this issue has come to the forefront of society world-wide."

Other centers selected for the additional funding are based at the University of Alaska, Marshall University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Oklahoma Transportation Center, Portland State University, University of Vermont, Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University and University of Wisconsin.

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