National Institute for Transportation and Communities

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Improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers.

Housed at Portland State University, NITC is a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). This Portland State-led research partnership includes the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington.

Urban populations are increasing, yet so is income inequality. As the second-largest household expense, transportation is a significant contributing factor. Demographic shifts, along with efforts to address climate change and other policy challenges, are contributing to the demand for multimodal solutions. Rapid advances in technology and shared mobility have the potential to address these challenges, yet they also pose new ones in implementation and equity. With constrained resources, we need better data and tools to optimize mobility for all.

To address these challenges, our consortium of six leading universities focuses on research to:





Our research is designed with end-users in mind: elected and appointed decision-makers, transportation professionals, and an engaged public. We disseminate our research through education programs and toolkits in order to produce a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce at all levels and ages.

Our shared goal is a safe and efficient multimodal system that promotes economic opportunities, improves health, and reduces inequality - through innovative technology and effective, data-driven decision making.

The Origin of NITC
Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Institute of Technology jointly formed OTREC in 2005 - one of the first national university transportation centers to be designated and funded by the U.S. DOT. The partnership outgrew Oregon’s borders to welcome the University of Utah in 2012, adopting the NITC name, and again in 2013 with the addition of the University of South Florida. The NITC program continued its national expansion through the University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Arlington and in late 2016 successfully competed for five years of funding as one of five national centers in the U.S.

Our Team at Portland State University

Jennifer Dill, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President, Research and Strategic Partnerships at Portland State University
Professor, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
503-725-5173 |
Twitter | TREC Researcher Profile

Director of TREC and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), Jennifer is also a professor of urban studies and planning. Currently serving as Interim Vice President of Research at Portland State University, she is an internationally cited researcher on sustainable transportation. Among her research projects are Lessons from the Green Lanes: Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S., Understanding Types of Cyclists Nationally, Pedestrian Observation and Data Collection Curriculum and more. See her researcher profile here.

Hau Hagedorn
Associate Director

503-725-2833 |
Twitter | TREC Researcher Profile

Hau Hagedorn is the Interim Director of TREC at Portland State University and manages several large research programs, including the National Institute of Transportation and Communities (NITC) and the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI). Through IBPI, Hau coordinates workshops that help provide training to practicing bicycle-pedestrian professionals and more recently training university faculty on integrating bicycle and pedestrian topics into their curriculum.

Anna Archer
Transaction Specialist
503-725-5954 |

Anna is a Transaction Specialist who supports the Departmental Research Administrator by coordinating new hires, travel, contracts, and student support for grant funded activities at TREC. She is a Portland State graduate, with a bachelor's in Business Administration, focusing in HR Management. She recently moved back to Portland after teaching abroad in South Korea and China.

Michael Espinoza
Events and Office Coordinator

Michael is the Events and Office Coordinator for TREC, overseeing logistics for events and balancing the books. He graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Environmental Analysis and Policy and spent several years as an Environmental Educator in both Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon. Michael speaks three languages, has a passion for public transit and loves biking to work every day.

Lacey Friedly
Communications Coordinator

503-725-8545 |

Lacey is the communications coordinator for TREC. She connects with researchers, writes articles and takes photos to help spread the word about the transportation research being done at TREC and through the NITC program. Before TREC, Lacey was the acquisitions editor for Dark Discoveries magazine. She also managed the editing department at Ooligan Press, Portland State University's student-run publishing house. She graduated from PSU in 2013 with a master's in book publishing. In her spare time Lacey enjoys swimming, reading, and making stop-motion animation videos. she/her/hers

Cheyanne Kalainoff
Financial Research Administrator

503-725-2829 |

Cheyanne focuses on the financial administration of grants for the TREC department, including their NITC grant. She has extensive experience in budget development, financial monitoring, and award management. She serves as the liaison between TREC, our partner’s administrative offices, and PSU’s Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA). She has been at PSU since 2015. Prior to coming to PSU, she was a Financial Analyst/Program Administrator and Contract/Internal Auditor at Sandia National Laboratories. She has a Masters in Accounting from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelors of English from the University of Iowa. She and her husband have two children and two Siberian Huskies.

Tammy Lee
Transportation Data Program Administrator

503-725-2884 |

Tammy is working on a variety of projects for TREC, including documentation, data synthesis, analysis, and visualization supporting ongoing work with PORTAL and Bike-Ped Portal. Tammy received a BS in Genetics & Plant Biology from UC Berkeley before earning a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from WSU. Prior to joining TREC she worked as a data scientist for a political digital media consulting firm. When not working she's either hiding in the forest or experimenting in the kitchen.

John MacArthur
Sustainable Transportation Program Manager

503-725-2866 |
Twitter | TREC Researcher Profile

Mr. MacArthur currently manages a complex Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant to Develop and Test an Emergency Transportation Recovery Plan for the Portland, Oregon Region. This project requires close coordination and collaboration with a variety of public agency partners including city of Portland emergency management and transportation bureaus in addition to transit and other agencies critical to the region’s emergency transportation recovery efforts. In addition, this project is creating national training program that will be tested in six cities in early 2018. MacArthur is the Principal Investigator for TREC's electric bicycle research initiatives. His research also includes low-/no-emission vehicle infrastructure in Portland metro, as well as a climate change impact assessment for surface transportation in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Before joining the TREC staff, John was the Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions Program Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program.

Cait McCusker
Communications Director
503-725-2843 |

Cait joined the TREC team in fall 2017 with an extensive background in event planning and strategic communications for green building policy and design. An avid biker and long-time volunteer with pedestrian advocacy group Oregon Walks, she is excited to tackle the dissemination of the center's progressive portfolio of transportation research on mobility. Storytelling is a critical piece to moving research from the theoretical realm to practical application, and Portland is the perfect landscape for this "living laboratory." Off-hours she spends her time with Tomato the Dog, tending to her 72 house plants, or advocating for more equitable infrastructure in Portland.

Eva-Maria Muecke
Research Program Administrator
503-725-2897 |

Eva-Maria administers NITC's research program at TREC, which involves a range of responsibilities including guiding projects through their life cycle, managing RFPs and peer reviews, compiling performance data for projects and NITC, and generating reports for NITC’s funder, U.S. DOT. She learned about the power of data, interdisciplinary research, and pursuing multiple lines of inquiry in solving problems through her graduate work in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior, research, and more than 10 years of teaching experience. She holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is passionate about all that supports a sustainable future, including transportation research. She has been riding a bike since she was a midget, and is happy to get to ride a bike to work again (at least part of the way) after several years of hiatus.


Lisa Patterson
Technology Transfer and Workforce Development Program Manager
503-725-2838 |

Lisa enjoys working with researchers, students, faculty and practitioners to create a transportation community and network that connects our research with practice and fosters the development of current and future transportation professionals. She graduated from PSU with a masters in Civil Engineering and worked in the transportation and construction management industry for 7 years before returning to PSU to work at TREC. Her passion for professional development and student success also shows through her board involvement on WTS and ITE, transportation professional organizations and Minds Matter Portland, an after school program for accomplished high school students from low income families. In the evenings and weekends, you'll find her chasing after her three kids (two dogs and a toddler), playing volleyball, running, taking random art classes or trying new local restaurants.

Hui Zhang
Web Developer

Hui moved to the Portland area in 2014, attracted by the green scenery and friendly environment. He has been working in the software engineering field for many years, and believes learning is a lifelong experience. He loves to learn new things and enjoys the process.


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University Research Partners

The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. Our university partners conduct research projects around our theme, and match money to each project.

Project Cosponsors

Dozens of partners, including universities, utilities, governments, businessess, and nonprofit organizations have supported NITC projects with cash matches or in-kind assistance.


The NITC program is a member of the Council of University Transportation Centers. CUTC provides a forum for universities and centers to interact with government and industry.

Executive Committee

Arlie Adkins, PhD

Assistant Professor

School of Landscape Architecture and Planning

University of Arizona

Email | Website | NITC Researcher Profile


Keith Bartholomew, PhD

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

College of Architecture + Planning

University of Utah

Email | Website | NITC Researcher Profile


Roger Lindgren, PE, P.Eng, PhD

Professor & Graduate Program Director

Civil Engineering Department 

Oregon Institute of Technology

Email | Website | NITC Researcher Profile



Stephen P. Mattingly, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Civil Engineering

University of Texas at Arlington

Email | Website | NITC Researcher Profile


Marc Schlossberg, PhD

Co-Director, Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI)

Professor, Planning, Public Policy & Management (PPPM)

University of Oregon

Email | Website | NITC Researcher Profile


Avinash Unnikrishnan, PhD

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science

Portland State University

Email | Website | NITC Researcher Profile


Our semiannual progress reports provide information on the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, grant. We also maintain annual reports from NITC's predecessor grant, OTREC. Download a report to learn some of our history and the impacts of our research and programs.