Dr. Bruce Wang, associate professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, recently won two grants as a principal investigator through the federal University Transportation Center (UTC) program funded by the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) as mandated in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST) 2015. Nationally, FAST authorizes about $75 million each year for five consecutive years to fund 35 centers. A total of 212 applications were received in May 2016 in this competition.
Wang and his co-workers Dr. Yunlong Zhang, co-principal investigator, professor and assistant department head for graduate programs, and Jim Kruse, Texas A&M Transportation Institute program manager, center director and research scientist, are on two winning UTCs. A five-year total of about $1.75 million will be awarded to Texas A&M from the DOT, as well as matching funds.
The first of the two UTCs is led by the University of Arkansas along with five other consortium members with a focus in maritime transportation infrastructure. The second UTC is led by Florida Atlantic University studying freight mobility modeling along with five other consortium members. FAST designated a significant portion of the funding to freight transportation.
Wang formerly served as the Transportation Research Board (TRB) committee chair for AT015 Freight Panning and Logistics for six years and was twice nominated by the cluster of 13 TRB freight committees for the TRB Blue Ribbon Award for Advancing Freight Research.
The new UTC funding will support recruitment of additional Ph.D. students and allow exploratory research of cutting-edge theories and methods in contemporary freight transportation and logistics.