- Our Center
- Graduate Certificate
- Funding/ Assistantships
- Graduate Research
- Job Opportunities
State DOT Research leaders convene in Burlington
- By Glenn McRae
The 2012 AASHTO Research Advisory Committee and TRB State Representatives Annual Meeting took place in Burlington, Vermont from July 22nd – 26th. This annual conference brings together Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Administrators as well as TRB and AASHTO representatives from around the country to discuss best practices, current events, and future initiatives in the world of transportation research.
The UVM Transportation Research Center (TRC) was represented at the conference by Amanda Hanaway-Corrente, who also served on the conference planning committee as the VTrans RAC Liaison, and staff member Kathi Zink. Other TRC staff including Austin Troy, Glenn McRae, Jim Sullivan, and Brian H. Y. Lee attended various functions. The UVM TRC hosted a Welcome Reception at the center with a Wood Fired Pizza BBQ during an evening filled with thunderstorms.
Amanda Hanaway-Corrente was invited to be a panelist for the session entitled “Raising the Profile of Research: Making the Case to Elected and Appointed Officials”. Transportation leaders from the US Department of Transportation, state departments of transportation, TRB, and academia were brought together to discuss the importance of research to their agencies and how the case should be made to other elected and appointed officials. Key questions that the panel addressed included:
- What are some of the challenges in making the case for transportation research to elected and appointed officials?
- What are some of the things your organization has done to make this case to your elected and appointed officials? What are some “tips” to capture their attention?
- MAP-21 requires states and the federal government to rely more on performance management. What metrics might apply to the research programs, and what role might research play in helping to meet the new performance measurement requirements?
- It seems that there is an expectation among transportation practitioners that research implementation is conducted by research programs. Do you think that is an accurate assumption? What do you think the role of subject matter experts is in facilitating implementation of research?
- How do members of Congress and Congressional staff view transportation research? What, if anything, can be done to raise the profile of transportation research on the Hill?
- How does transportation research differ from other transportation programs when it comes to determining and demonstrating the return-on-investment?
The panel included (from left to right) Katherine F. Turnbull, TRB Technical Activities Council Chair, and Texas Transportation Institute Executive Associate Director; Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan DOT, and AASHTO President; Gregory Winfree, US DOT, Acting RITA Administrator; Harold Paul (Moderator), Louisiana DOTD; Robert Skinner, TRB Executive Director; and Amanda Hanaway-Corrente, NETC Coordinator at the University of Vermont Transportation Research Center.
Next year’s conference will be in Baton Rouge, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Transportation.