On June 9, 2008, the OTREC Executive Committee selected the top 28 research, education and technology transfer projects for 2008-2009 funding. Forty-nine proposals requesting over $3 million were received in March, and each proposal went through a rigorous peer review process. Peer-reviewers ranked the proposals on the basis of intellectual merit, broader impacts, relevance to OTRECís theme and the national transportation research agenda. All projects involve transportation faculty and students at one or more of OTREC’s partner campuses, and many involve multiple faculty and collaborations across disciplines. Most projects include at least one external matching partner. The list of 2008-2009 projects, including abstracts, can be found here: 2008-2009 Projects

OTREC was pleased to host a two day course on Geometric Design: Contemporary Considerations of Traditional Elements, taught by Brian Ray and Julia Knudsen, of Kittelson & Associates, June 3-4, 2008. Professionals from around the Northwest participated in the highly interactive course. This is part of OTREC’s ongoing effort to provide relevant and affordable training and education opportunities for working professionals.

Dr. Miguel Figliozzi, PSU, participated in the 10th International Conference on Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation (AATT), held in Athens, Greece in May. Dr. Figliozzi presented a peer reviewed paper, “An Iterative Route Construction and Improvement Algorithm for the Vehicle Routing Problem with Soft and Hard Time Windows,” which was selected from over 600 entries for the conference Best Paper Award in the transportation planning category. The paper appears in the conference proceedings. Figliozzi also chaired session “INTER-4” during the conference. Congratulations to Dr. Figliozzi (pictured with conference chairs Matthew Karlaftis and Samer Madanat)!

OTREC is pleased to announce the third issue of OTREC News. Issues of OTREC News include reports on our research projects, profiles of students and faculty, introductions to our Executive Committee and Advisory Board, updates on education programs and events, reports of partner university transportation news, and examples of exciting collaboration within our Consortium. This issue includes several special features describing ongoing research projects, the Region X Student Conference and much more. We welcome your feedback on our publications! Read the newsletter here: Newsletter Spring 2008.

OTREC was an active participant in the Region X Transportation Consortium meeting hosted by the Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Hau Hagedorn, Chris Higgins, Barnie Jones and Robert Bertini were the Oregon delegation participating in the event. Meeting participants (at left) toured the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility that is part of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. Shown at right is the Oregon group, standing in front of a 30,000 year old ice lens.

Congratulations to Jennifer Dill! Dr. Dill received a Civic Engagement Award from the Center for Academic Excellence at Portland State University this spring. The award is for her work to create the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), a collaborative partnership between the Center for Transportation Studies at PSU, the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management at UO, and the College of Engineering at OSU. Dr. Dill was honored in an awards ceremony in late May. More about IBPI here: IBPI.

On May 15, 2008, Jennifer Dill, Associate Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and Director of the Center for Transportation Studies at Portland State University, participated in a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The briefing was sponsored by the Congressional Bike Caucus and the Active Living Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Biking Your Way to a Healthier Community. The Congressional Bike Caucus is chaired by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Congressman Tom Petri (WI). Dr. Dill described her ongoing research of regional bike trips, tracked by GPS-equipped bicyclists. She notes that preliminary analysis shows that half of the bicycle riding happened on roads with bike lanes, off-street paths, or bicycle boulevards. She also briefly discussed policy implications and further research needs. Read Dr. Dill’s briefing here: Briefing.

OTREC was pleased to host a two day course on Roundabout Design Analysis, taught by Brian Ray and Wade Scarborough, of Kittelson & Associates, May 7-8, 2008. Professionals from around the Northwest (and Canada!) participated in the highly interactive course. This is part of OTREC’s ongoing effort to provide relevant and affordable training and education opportunities for working professionals.

On May 1, 2008, USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Administrator Paul Brubaker and Thomas Marchessault, UTC Outreach Liaison for RITA, spent the day visiting OTREC. Mr. Brubaker and Mr. Marchessault were given an overview of OTRECís web proposal and project management system, and participated in faculty project ìspotlightî demonstrations, and a special poster session with students. In the afternoon, Matthew Garrett, Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Administrator Brubaker gave remarks on the future of transportation technology to an audience that included the OTREC Board of Advisors, Executive Committee, faculty, students and community transportation leaders at an OTREC reception. PSU graduate student Lisa Diercksen introduced the guests and spoke about her experience as a research assistant and OTREC Scholar. Administrator Brubaker spoke about the need for an interdisciplinary approach to transportation problems of the future, as evident in the multidisciplinary nature of OTREC programs that bring together faculty and students from civil engineering, urban studies and planning, public policy, architecture, business, computer science, environmental science, etc.

Proposals for 2008-2009 transportation research, education and technology transfer projects were due on March 14, 2008. OTREC received 50 proposals with a total request of over $3 million. Over half the proposals involve collaboration between two or more researchers, and around 14% involve collaboration between two or more campuses. This underscores OTRECís focus on collaboration and multidisciplinary initiatives. Proposals will now go through a rigorous peer-review process, with projects in total of around $2 million to be selected this summer.