West Virginia Universitys Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will receive $1.5 million for research and education in transportation issues over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the West Virginia Division of Highways.

The funds will come as part of a DOT grant to the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC), headquartered at Penn State.

MAUTC is a consortium of regional universities working together on transportation education and research. Other partners include University of Maryland, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Transportation is a driving force for economic development in the region and in the world,said David Martinelli, department chair and WVU s principal investigator on the grant.It also has a major impact on many increasingly important aspects of our livesincluding accessibility, mobility, environment, safety and security. This grant will greatly enhance our ability to conduct cutting-edge research and education in these areas.

One area MAUTC researchers will investigate is intelligent transportation systemswhich facilitate the exchange of information between drivers, vehicles and highwaysand the development of automated, centrally-controlled algorithms to manage those systems.

Another area is the development of better systems for managing and maintaining the transportation infrastructure. Efficient infrastructure management can save transportation agencies millions of dollars in maintenance and rehabilitation costs.

In addition to research, the new grant will be used to enhance the education of transportation professionals at all of the participating universities.

We are excited about this opportunity,said Martinelli.And we look forward to continued collaboration with our partners. Together, we will work to advance the state of the art in transportation systems, and to educate the next generation of leaders in this important field.

For more information, contact Susan Case, WVU College of Engineering, 304-293-4821, ext. 2213.