NIATT to partner with other regional universities
to improve transportation systems

Officials at the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology (NIATT) recently learned the award of a $600,000 grant to partner in a Regional University Transportation Center led by the University of Washington.

NIATT, which is supported by the Idaho Transportation Department, will focus on the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest, such as transportation safety, using data to improve traffic movement, measuring freight routing performance, and sustainability and livability for the northwest.

Other regional partners are Washington State University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Oregon State University.
“The component to improve vehicle safety is especially important to the Idaho Transportation Department,” said Jerry Whitehead, chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board. “Our strategic plan focuses on safety, along with mobility and economic opportunity. This research aligns with our mission and goals. NIATT is so important to the future of transportation, not only in the state of Idaho, but in the Pacific Northwest.”
The research results will provide ITD with information to help implement safety and traffic improvements. In addition, regional partnerships involving major universities, including the U of I, deepens the knowledge base for the transportation industry.
“Research collaborations with our peer institutions bring intellectual power and diversity of expertise to the areas we collectively examine,” said Jack McIver, vice president for research and economic development at the University of Idaho. “In addition, competitive research funding – and the expenditures from these important grants, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation – helps stimulate our states’ economic development by bringing in new money to our economies.”
The University of Idaho will also leverage the grant to help increase knowledge and awareness of STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The U of I will focus on educating K-12 students and funding student fellowships, summer programs and workshops for industry practitioners. The research findings from the work on these grants also will be integrated into undergraduate courses at the University of Idaho.

Published 3-2-2012