US Department of Transportation awards grant to Rutgers

University to receive $1 million per year through 2010

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. Rutgers' Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) has won a rigorous national competition for funding $1 million per year through the end of 2010 as a Tier I University Transportation Center of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

"This federal grant recognizes the quality of the research conducted at CAIT and acknowledges the center's contributions to stakeholders such as the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey," said Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "CAIT is critical to forming a broad research alliance within the School of Engineering and across education, government and industry."

CAIT competed with 36 top engineering schools to become one of 10 Tier I centers in the country. The center held that distinction during the previous six-year funding cycle, but only five of the original 10 Tier I center were winners this time around.

Tier I centers advance U.S. technology and expertise in the many disciplines comprising transportation through the mechanisms of research, education and technology transfer.

"More than the money, it's really the prestige," said Ali Maher, CAIT director and chair of civil and environmental engineering at Rutgers. "We are now in the company of major engineering schools with other Tier I centers such as Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan and Iowa State University, a position that gives credence to the high standard of our operation."

CAIT is a dynamic enterprise whose activities extend far beyond the borders of the university's campuses in providing service to the citizens of New Jersey with research, education, local assistance and workforce training programs. It helps address the needs of the state's aging transportation infrastructure to handle population growth and serve as an international gateway for goods and people, Maher said.

It pursues innovative solutions to crucial infrastructure challenges, such as expediting freight movement through harbors, enhancing port security, developing pipeline safety and security programs, improving road durability, and implementing traffic analysis and forecasting systems. CAIT also provides safety training to highway workers, law enforcement personnel and local communities.

In addition to its funding from the U. S. Department of Transportation, CAIT receives support from the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The center conducts between $4 million and $6 million in research annually, some in collaboration with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, part of the university's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

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