[NTC2015-SU-T2-01] Enhancing the Impact of the Freight Academy via Academic Collaboration

P.I.: 
Mark Franz, Lei Zhang, Xiqun (Michael) Chen
University: 
University of Maryland
Subject Area: 
Technology Transfer (T2)
Year: 
2015
Descriptiion: 

Building on successful collaboration in 2014, this proposal seeks to strengthen the working relationship between the I-95 Corridor Coalition Freight Academy and the National Transportation Center at Maryland (NTC@Maryland).

As increasing demands are pushing the aging transportation infrastructure to its limits, the safe and efficient movement of people and goods has become a challenge. In addition, many of the experienced members of the freight community are scheduled to retire within the next five to 10 years (I-95 Corridor Coalition, 2014). Recognizing the need to train and educate freight professionals on the latest strategies in the goods movement industry, the I-95 Corridor Coalition established the Freight Academy in 2008. Since then, the Freight Academy has produced 120 graduates that have gone on to improve the planning and operations of freight movement for their respective agencies. The graduates include representatives from local, state, federal and international transportation agencies.

The I-95 Corridor Coalition Freight Academy offers a one week total immersion program geared toward training public sector transportation professions. The cost to attend is $3,500, which covers all activities, field trips, food, and lodging (I-95 Corridor Coalition, 2014). However, travel to and from the Academy is the responsibility of the student or the student’s agency. Traditionally, the Academy is offered every other year to thirty students selected from a list of nominated candidates. However, due to increasing demand for trained freight professionals the Freight Academy will be offered in 2015. This event will mark the first time that the Academy will be held in consecutive years.

Though the success of the Freight Academy is unparalleled, the cost to run the academy forces the I-95 Corridor Coalition to make the most of a limited budget. These costs include event planning, attracting top quality instructors, reviewing attendee applications, overseeing the progress of the students’ capstone projects, and evaluation of the capstone project final reports and associated presentations. In light of these constraints, the NTC@Maryland seeks to collaborate with the Freight Academy by offering academic resources and student scholarships. These contributions will allow the Academy to continue to keep their top quality instruction accessible to the freight professionals who impact the future of the industry.

Website: 
http://ntc.umd.edu/node/97