On February 26, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the School of Engineering has been named the research lead among seven newly-crowned national centers in transportation security (CETS). The School will receive at least $500,000 for first-year activities. U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman and Christopher Dodd championed the selection of UConn and joined in lauding the DHS announcement.
The new CETS will draw upon research expertise within the Connecticut Transportation Institute, the Center for Clean Energy Engineering, the Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technologies and five engineering departments. It will coordinate the research efforts of its six academic partners, the Mack-Blackwell National Rural Transportation Study Center at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Texas Southern University (Houston), Tougaloo College (Jackson, MS) and the Homeland Security Management Institute at Long Island University (Brooklyn, NY). Tougaloo College has been chosen the Education Lead and Texas Southern University will serve as the Petrochemical Transportation Lead for the network.
Commenting on the new federal designation, Engineering Dean Mun Y. Choi said “We are deeply grateful to Senators Lieberman and Dodd for bringing visibility to the nation’s need for a safe, resilient and responsive transportation infrastructure. We are particularly appreciative of their roles in proactively bringing UConn’s tremendous reservoir of transportation expertise to the attention of DHS officials. As the research lead, we will coordinate the efforts of our partners to develop state-of-the-art techniques and advanced methods to defend, protect, and increase the resilience of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. We look forward to the opportunity to involve our students, industry leaders, transportation officials and the public in building a new transportation paradigm the meets current and future needs.”
“The School of Engineering, with our demonstrated expertise in different facets of transportation engineering and with enabling technologies related to off-grid power, advanced communications and computation, and advanced sensors, is poised to address this serious national need,” he said.