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UTC Program Map-21 Grants Kick-off Meeting

UTC Program Map-21 Grants Kick-off Meeting

On December 19, 2013, representatives from the Research and Innovative Transportation Administration (RITA) – Ms. Dawn Tucker-Thomas, our UTC Grant Manager, Mr. Caesar Singh, Director of University Grants Office, Ms. Lydia Mercado, University Programs Specialist, and our grant administrators for the new award visited the National Transportation Center @ Maryland, at the University of Maryland, College Park campus

This UTC Kick-off meeting was one of UTC’s visits held across the nation since the National UTC grant has been awarded in October 2013. The University of Maryland was selected in a national competition to lead a two-year new National Center for Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments and Decisions by conducting  transportation research, education and workforce development, and technology transfer programs to address the USDOT strategy goals.

Our UTC Grant Manager, Ms. Dawn Tucker-Thomas commenced the meeting with opening remarks from the RITA viewpoint and then reviewed post award requirements. NTC Director, Dr. Lei Zhang overviewed the Center themes and three major research and education areas, including freight efficiency and reliability, congestion mitigation with multi-modal strategies, and smart and strategic investments in high speed rail. Then during the one-hour open discussion about Center’s plans, Dr. Zhang also addressed the next scheme for the grant implementation plan through the center’s research, education and workforce development, and technology transfer activities, with an focus on enhancing economic competitiveness.

Representatives of our university consortium, Dr. Ali Haghani, Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ms. Stephanie L. Peters, Assistant Director of Finance, Dr. Xiqun (Michael) Chen, Assistant Director of Research and Education, and Mr. Mark Franz, Assistant Director of Outreach and Technology Transfer, were provided an opportunity to communicate with the RITA on the research and education implementation, research funding matching, and annual meeting, workshop, webinars and etc.

After the meeting and open discussions, Dr. Zhang lead the representatives from RITA a technical tour of facilities of NTC offices, transportation library, research and education laboratories, and discussions with graduate students of the transportation program at the UMD campus.

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December 22, 2013

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