V-TRC (Vermont Transportation Research Collaborative)

 Vermont AOT logoTRC_Logo-01

UPDATE (March 2017)

The VTRC (Vermont Transportation Research Collaborative) FY17

VTRC was designed as a two-year cycle in identifying, developing and prioritizing research agendas and opportunities between research at UVM and VTrans personnel. Over the winter the VTrans team reviewed both proposals from the first cycle that were not funded, as well as the recommendations of the research projects that had been completed in the last year. Out of that process VTrans asked for updated or new proposals, following the proposal format set up for VTRC, from six research teams:

Research Project PI
 Network level assessment of Vermont bridges for improving resiliency under extreme events (Bridge-stream network assessment to identify sensitive structural and hydrogeologic parameters affecting resiliency of the network) Mandar Dewoolkar (CEE)
 Prediction and Mitigation of Scour for Vermont Bridges


Mandar Dewoolkar (CEE)
Long-Term and Short-Term Measures of Roadway Snow and Ice Control (RSIC) Performance James Sullivan (TRC)
Intelligent Compaction for Embankment, Subgrade, and Base Materials Construction in Vermont


Ehsan Ghazanfari (CEE)
Examining how Disinvestment in Vermont’s Roadway Infrastructure Network may Impact Access to Critically Important Locations James Sullivan (TRC)

David Novak (BSAD)

Jon Dowds (TRC)

 VTRC Assessment: Advancing Tech Transfer Julie Dowds (TRC)

Glenn McRae (TRC)

Proposals are due March 31, 2017, and VTrans will prioritize and select a set of projects to fund as the new collaborative effort. Later in 2017 VTrans and UVM will announce the process for the next cycle of problem statement generation and project development.


UPDATE (Summer 2016)

The research collaborative program chosen for funding by VTrans to start in the Fall 2016 is a funding package of $292,562 for three projects:

  • Monitoring Condition of Structural Elements during Accelerated Bridge Construction, a project lead by College of Engineering faculty Dryver Huston, Mandar Dewoolkar and Tian Xia.
  • Assessing VTrans Employee Retention, an effort organized by Transportation Research Center outreach professionals Glenn McRae and Carol Vallet and Research Faculty member Jennifer Jewiss from the Leadership & Developmental Sciences Department, College of Education and Social Services
  • Assessment of a Research Collaborative, a team effort lead by Glenn McRae at the Transportation Research Center with a VTrans staff from the Policy and Planning Division.

While UVM and VTrans have had a strong research partnership since 2008 last year the agency engaged the Transportation Research Center in a pilot effort to review and initiate new opportunities for aligning the VTrans research program work with UVM closely with the VTrans Strategic Plan. A number of new problem statements were generated through active participation of UVM faculty from multiple colleges, VTrans personnel across all departments, and representative from other state agencies. After a rigorous review process that included of VTrans leadership considering opportunities to advance their strategic goals three projects were selected and bundled into a coordinated award that will decrease administrative overhead and lead to a more coherent and effective dissemination of research results for application. The evolving partnership between VTrans and UVM is an excellent example of both the university’s service to the state, and of the innovative thinking of how to advance public good by coordinating and collaborating across sectors and organizations.

For more information on the projects see the TRC article.


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VTrans Contact: Emily Parkany, VTrans Research Program Manager, Emily.Parkany@vermont.gov

UVM Contact: Glenn McRae, Ph.D., Associate Director, UVM Transportation Research Center 802-656-1317 glenn.mcrae@uvm.edu


UPDATE (June 16, 2016)

VTrans, through their internal prioritization process, has funded its FY17 VTRC research program.  In addition to an ongoing assessment of the research effort by the UVM TRC, two new projects were advanced to being this fall.   UVM researchers Carol Vallett and Jennifer Jewiss will advance a study at VTrans Assessing VTrans employee retention:  who stays, who leaves and what to do about it.  Professors Huston, Dewoolkar and Xia from the UVM School of Engineering will advance a research effort for Monitoring Condition of Structural Elements during Accelerated Bridge Construction.

This spring VTrans engaged a peer review process to gather input on their Research program for other state DOTs, and initiated a strategic planning process to examine the strengths and weaknesses of their research program and provide guidance on how to increase the effectiveness of the program in the future, including the VTRC partnership.  We anticipate an update in July and determination on new VTRC research proposal opportunities at that time.

V-TRC (Vermont Transportation Research Collaborative) FY16

Request for proposals for V-TRC (proposals due September 11)

Budget worksheet for proposals for V-TRC (proposals due September 11)

Problem Statements Submitted July 7, 2015

Reviewer’s Guide to Problem Statement Evaluation

V-TRC is a new collaboration between the UVM Transportation Research Center (TRC) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).  This replaces the process previously known as the RAC, and will test a new annual process of prioritizing research efforts and funding that will most efficiently support VTrans’ Mission.  The process, initiated in June, leads to submission of formal research task proposals (September 15, 2015), the selection and compilation of a final research agenda (January 31, 2016), and implementation of a new research effort lead by the TRC in June 2016.  Approximately $300,000 is available from VTrans for this research effort.

The first step is a series of 3 Focus Groups based on VTrans’ Five Strategic goals to surface research themes and ideas and to provide an opportunity for UVM researchers and VTrans staff (and invited members from other state agencies) to participate in joint engaged conversations in June to develop specific research tasks. VTrans has invited personnel from other state agencies to participate in the focus groups to develop research tasks and partnership opportunities.

Emerging from the focus groups is an opportunity to compose specific problem statements that will be subject to a prioritization process at VTrans to identify the key issues around which a call for research tasks will be developed.

Major Milestones after Focus Group Meetings

JULY 7, 2015 – Formal Problem Statement Due (VTrans employees, UVM researchers and faculty, other state agencies can all participate).

JULY – Internal VTrans review and prioritization of problem statements; VTrans selection of those to move forward to inform a request for proposals by VTrans.

AUGUST 11, 2015 – TRC releases a call for work plans, led by UVM researchers in partnership with VTrans (and other state agency) personnel addressing the prioritized problem statements that emerged. All work plans must incorporate direct input from VTrans personnel.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 – Research work plans are due to the TRC. Work plans submitted for external peer review.

NOVEMBER 1, 2015 – Reviews provided to PIs to consider revisions or responses to be submitted to VTrans November 20th.

JANUARY 2016 – V-TRC annual meeting at VTrans; researchers are invited to present work plans and discuss outcomes.

– VTrans internal review and ranking of proposals; selection of final projects to be advanced for funding.

– TRC compiles final research agenda based on internal VTrans prioritization process and presents final composite research plan. VTrans approves final plan and awards TRC a Federal Aid Program to implement the research agenda with task start dates from June 1 – October 1, 2016. Research projects undertaken by PIs will have a 2-3 year timeframe.



For more information:

Joe Segale, VTrans Policy, Planning, and Research Bureau Director802-477-2365, joe.segale@state.vt.us
Glenn McRae, UVM Transportation Research Center Associate Director802-656-1317, glenn.mcrae@uvm.edu

2015 Research Brainstorming Notes:

Goal 1

Goal 2

Goal 3

Goal 4

Goal 5


Vtrans and state agency personnel attending research brainstorming meetings


Problem Statement Submittal Form (Deadline July 7)

V-TRC web page (1)


VTrans Funded Research through the RAC Program (Past Projects)

PI Full Name Project Title
Bomblies, Arne The Changing Risk of Extreme Event Impacts on Vermont Transportation Infrastructure
Dewoolkar, Mandar Designing Sustainable Porous Pavements for Northern Communities
Dewoolkar, Mandar Correlating Laboratory Behavior of Porous Concrete to Field Performance
Dewoolkar, Mandar Use of Piles in Slope Stabilization
Dewoolkar, Mandar Verification of Abutment and Retaining Wall Design Assumptions – Phase II
Dewoolkar, Mandar Prediction and Mitigation of Scour for Vermont Bridges
Dewoolkar, Mandar Porous Concrete – Chloride Resistance and Freeze/Thaw Durability
Dewoolkar, Mandar Quantifying the Vulnerability of Vermont Bridges to Seismic Loading
Ghazanfari, Ehsan Intelligent Compaction for Embankment, Subgrade, and Base Materials Construction in Vermont
Hernandez, Eric Vibration Monitoring and Load Characteristics Evaluation of I-89 Bridges 58 N and S, Richmond
Hernandez, Eric Statistical Analysis of Weigh-In-Motion Data to Validate Use of HL-93 AASHTO Vehicle Live Load for Bridge Design in Vermont
Huston, Dryver Cost-Effective and Rapid Concrete Repair Techniques
Lee, Brian Work Zones and Travel Speeds: The Effects of Uniform Traffic Officers and Other Speed Management Measures
Lee, Brian Statewide Analysis of Guardrails, Curves and Crashes
Lee, Brian Personal Transportation Plan Pilot Program (PTP3) – Phase I & II
Novak, David Examining how Disinvestment in Vermont’s Roadway Infrastructure Network may Impact Access to Critically Important Locations throughout the State
Pinder, George Optimal Design for Porous Concrete Pavement
Pinder, George Optimal Design of Porous Concrete Pavement – Phase II
Pinder, George Optimal Design of Porous Concrete – Phase III – Supplement
Sicotte, Richard Renegotiation of Highway Construction Contracts: An Economic Analysis of Change Orders Issued by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, 2004-2009
Sullivan, James Optimization of Snow Removal in Vermont
Sullivan, James Travel Importance and Strategic Investment in Vermont
Sullivan, James Long-Term and Short-Term Measures of Roadway Snow and Ice Control (RSIC) Performance
Sullivan, James Strategic Location of Satellite Salt Storage for Roadway Snow and Ice Control in Vermont
Sullivan, James Using Remote Data Collection to Identify Bridges and Culverts Susceptible to Blockage During Flooding Events
Troy, Austin Development of GIS Tools to Optimize Identification of Road Segments Prone to Flood Damage
Watts, Richard Incentives for Efficient Transportation
Watts, Richard Efficient Transportation Systems
Watts, Richard Quantifying VT Transportation Safety Factors
Wu, Xindong Harvesting Data from Advanced Technologies – Phase I
Xia, Tian High Speed Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for Road Pavement and Bridge Structural Inspection and Maintenance


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