University Announces Director for New Center
Release Date: 07-16-2006
Lisa Aultman-Hall was named director of the National University Transportation Center at the University of Vermont on July 17. Aultman-Hall is currently director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute at the University of Connecticut's School of Engineering, where she is also an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. She starts her position with UVM on August 28.
As director of the new center, one of only 10 National University Transportation Centers in the nation, Aultman-Hall will oversee daily operations and a budget that includes $16 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation over the next five years to advance research and demonstration opportunities, education programs, and technology development in service of the transportation sector.
UVM and several public and private partners will match the Department of Transporation grant funds for a total $32 million investment.
Housed in Farrell Hall along with the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies and Vermont Advanced Computing Center, both of which Aultman-Hall hopes to partner with on relevant projects, the new center was made possible through the efforts of Sen. Jim Jeffords, who helped secure more than $1 billion for the state through 2009 as part of the federal highway bill. He was also instrumental in Congressí vote to designate the university a National UTC in August 2005.
"I live for transportation. I absolutely love it, said Aultman-Hall, a self-described Ďtransportation geek.í "All of the pieces are in place to become a leader in transportation innovation. Itís a perfect situation because the theme of the center matches the theme of the university. I have a personal passion for many of the same goals of the center and university, and with a multi-disciplinary approach we can achieve them."
With transportation centers traditionally housed in civil engineering departments, Aultman-Hall said the location of the center within the provostís office is critical to the creation of a multi-disciplinary organization. By involving a wider range of departments and disciplines, Aultman-Hall said more ideas are generated increasing the likelihood of solving some of the nationís major transportation problems such as the creation of newer, more environmentally safe forms of fuel.
Aultman-Hall said her initial goals include the creation of a multi-disciplinary environment that encourages the inclusion of faculty to generate a wide range of transportation solutions and innovations; to meet state and national transportation needs; and to distinguish the center as the standard by which others are measured. ďFour or five years from now I want us to be written up by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a national example of a model program."
Aultman-Hall has an extensive research background in transportation with focuses on travel behavior, freight transportation planning, transportation safety, bicycle transportation and others. She has a B.A. in engineering; a master of Science degree from the department of civil engineering; and a Ph.D. in civil engineering all from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Photo top right: (Sally McCay) Lisa Aultman-Hall (middle) talks with U.S. Department of Transportation acting secretary Maria Cino as President Daniel Mark Fogel looks on at the July 17 launch of the University of Vermontís National University Transportation Center.