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$2.8 Million funding for New Transportation Centers

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $2.8 Million
in Funding for new Transportation Centers at Texas Southern University

(Houston) February 27, 2023 – Texas Southern University’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology earned three grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation totaling nearly $3 million for transportation infrastructure research.

The grants are part of an $87 million national award from the U.S. Department of Transportation to 34 University Transportation Centers (UTC) to advance research and education programs that address critical transportation challenges facing our nation. The UTCs, which are located throughout the United States, conduct research that directly supports the priorities of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The participating universities and teams are a critical part of our national transportation strategy. TSU teams received three new UTC grant awards, including the new National UTC totaling $1.8 million with Dr. Lei Yu as Principal Investigator (PI) and Dr. Fengxiang Qiao as Co-PI, the new regional UTC worth $625 thousand with Dr. Gwendolyn Goodwin as PI, and Dr. Carol Abel Lewis and Dr. Yi Qi as Co-PIs, and the new tier-1 UTC for $375 thousand with Dr. Yi Qi as PI, totaling $2.8 million dollars to TSU. The Acting Dean Dr. Wei Wayne Li, College of Science, Engineering and Technology (COSET), said that “It is a great news for TSU, COSET, Transportation Department, and the faculty and students to have achieved the $2.8m research awards over the next five years. Congratulations, Dr. Yu and Dr. Qiao, Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Lewis, and Dr. Qi, for your leadership as the PIs and Co-PIs at TSU for the new National University Transportation Center, the new Regional University Transportation Center, and the new Tier 1 University Transportation Center, respectively. Thank you very much for your continued effort and time in your research which turned out to be a great success in terms of federal grant awards, publications, and student training, which significantly increases TSU’s visibility on the way toward R1 from current R2 status.”

The National UTC research is for sustainable transportation, which will focus on preserving the environment. The TSU portion of the project will be administered through the Innovative Transportation Research Institute (ITRI). “TSU is honored to join the highly prestigious team of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) and is truly excited for the great opportunity for our faculty, researcher, and students to make contributions to research and education that promote a sustainable and equitable transportation development” said by Dr. Yu, Professor of Transportation Studies and Director of the TSU Innovative Transportation Research Institute (ITRI), and Dr. Qiao, Professor of Transportation Studies and Co-director of ITRI.

A regional UTC called “Southern Plains Transportation Center” is for Improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure. TSU portion of the project is administered through the Center for Transportation Training and Research (CTTR). The research will focus on intensive freight movement through Region 6 and the interface between inland ports and neighborhoods. “We are 100% thrilled that with the recent USDOT transportation centers’ awards. TSU’s CTTR will begin its 35th year conducting important innovative research to address local and national transportation challenges. Our students will actively participate in these research projects, better preparing them to begin and advance their careers, which is invaluable!” said by Dr. Gwendolyn Goodwin, Assistant Professor and Director, and Dr. Carol Abel Lewis, Professor and Co-Director, of the CTTR. 

The Tier 1 UTC, called “Connected Communities for Smart Mobility Toward Accessible and Resilient Transportation for Equitably Reducing Congestion” is governed by the Department of Transportation Studies. “TSU team is thrilled to join the C2SMART center to conduct research on innovative intersection designs to reduce the congestion on our existing roadways!” said by Dr. Yi Qi, the Chairperson of the Department of Transportation Studies. 

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Texas Southern University (TSU) honors our designation as a special-purpose institution for urban programming and research. As such, TSU is a comprehensive university providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities with academic and research programs that address critical urban issues and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. A distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas.