Transportation research is goal of federal grant



YSU is one of four Ohio universities working on the transportation program.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University has secured a $430,000 federal grant to launch a University Transportation Center program through its Rayen College of Engineering and Technology.
Expanded materials engineering research will be the goal of the funding announced by U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, Wednesday. It will be renewable at that same level for three additional years.
Four Ohio universities have been designated by the federal government as the site of University Transportation Centers to research various aspects of transportation. YSU will work in collaboration with the University of Akron, Cleveland State University and the University of Toledo, Voinovich said, adding that he was able to secure the funding through the highway reauthorization bill.
Dr. Cynthia S. Hirtzel, dean of YSU's College of Engineering, said the money will enable the college to expand its focus on materials research, particularly in the area of road building materials. It's a boost that will push the university's materials program, she said.
Others' projects
The University of Akron received federal funding of $500,000 a year, renewable three additional years, for its work in the project, which will include research and education on transportation mobility and asset management issues such as traffic safety, system control, pavement and highway materials testing and foundation stability of highway infrastructure.
Cleveland State has been funded at $440,000 a year for four years. Its focus will be on work-zone safety.
The University of Toledo is being funded at $430,000 a year for four years and will focus on developing improved supply-chain systems using more than one means of transportation and alternative transportation methods such as hybrid-electric, fuel cell and bio-diesel technologies.
Voinovich said that it is critical to improve transportation systems in light of current energy crises. Funding Ohio universities for the effort not only furthers higher-education institutions, but also promises to produce new technology and innovation in transportation that will benefit all Ohioans, he said.
The University Transportation Center program is managed by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
gwin@vindy.com

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