Larson Institute receives $3.5 million grant to lead federal transportation center
The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State has been awarded grant as part of its leadership role in the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center.
University Park, Pa. - The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State has been awarded a $3.5-million grant from the U. S. Department of Transportation as part of its leadership role in the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC).
MAUTC has been the federally designated University Transportation Center (UTC) for Region 3 since the inception of the UTC program in 1988. Region 3 encompasses Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
MAUTC resides at the Larson Institute, a multidisciplinary research unit within Penn State’s College of Engineering. The grant carries the center’s work forward into 2014. The University of Maryland, Morgan State University, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and West Virginia University are also part of the center.
“This is indicative of Penn State’s highly respected leadership position in the national transportation arena,” said David Wormley, dean of the College of Engineering. “As a regional center uniting academic, public and private partners, MAUTC contributes significantly to critical transportation initiatives.”
“It’s exciting and an honor to help lead the important work of the University Transportation Centers Program,” said Martin Pietrucha, who serves as executive director of MAUTC and director of the Larson Institute. “Combining dedicated and enterprising faculty, staff and students has enabled MAUTC to realize important collaborative opportunities in education, research and technology transfer in service to our region and the nation.”
Penn State and the partnering universities will use the grant to focus on knowledge creation, knowledge management, and knowledge implementation related to transportation systems operation and management, working on the needs of Mid-Atlantic states in the areas of safety, state of good repair, and environmental sustainability.
The Larson Institute is also part of a new, nine-university National Transit Research Consortium led by the Mineta Institute at San Jose State University that will be one of two national university transit research consortia.
The Bus Research and Testing Program and other advanced vehicle research managed by the Larson Institute were contributing factors to the winning proposal.
This grant application was supported by U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, and U.S. Representatives Jason Altmire, Bill Shuster and Glenn Thompson.