2160B - Southern Plains Transportation Center (SPTC)

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the results of the competition for the University Transportation Center (UTC) program for FY 2013 and 2014 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) funds. In that announcement, the Southern Plains Transportation Center (SPTC) was designated as the Region 6 UTC. The SPTC consortium consists of eight academic institutions from Region 6, namely The University of Oklahoma (OU; Consortium Lead), Oklahoma State University (OSU), Langston University (LU), University of Arkansas (UARK), The University of New Mexico (UNM), Louisiana Tech University (LTU), The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and Texas Tech University (TTU). Two international universities will also collaborate with the consortium: Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, Mumbai, India, and Shandong University, Jinan, China. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) played a pivotal role in making the SPTC a reality. In addition to supporting the SPTC Proposal Team in identifying potential research topics that led to selecting "Climate-adaptive freight and transportation infrastructure" as the SPTC theme, ODOT's financial commitment to support key SPTC activities was extremely important to this success. The two complementary goals of the SPTC are: (i) to develop comprehensive, cost-effective and immediately implementable solutions to critical infrastructure-related issues facing the transportation system in Region 6 and the nation; and (ii) to prepare transportation professionals for leadership roles in professional and research careers in support of the nation's transportation systems.