Historically Black Prairie View A&M University has been selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to lead a historic national-tier University Transportation Center. Joined by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, and Texas A&M University, Prairie View University will lead the National Center for Infrastructure Transformation, which will focus on enhancing the durability and extending the life of the nation’s infrastructure.
The National Center for Infrastructure Transformation will receive $4 million per year for five years and is one of only five awarded national-tier centers. With strong capabilities to address the infrastructure issues of both urban and rural areas across all transportation modes, the work of this innovative center will improve durability and resilience across the country for years to come.
“Prairie View is the first HBCU to lead a national UTC, and we are proud to bring this to Texas, particularly when the national centers have historically been on the East and West coasts,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “This is what can be accomplished when we combine the research expertise of one of our universities with the resources of the A&M System, and this team will achieve a great result for the state of Texas and the nation.”
“I am delighted that this award has put Prairie View A&M University’s long-held transportation research expertise on the national stage,” said Judy Perkins, a professor of civil and environmental engineering who will serve as the center’s director. “Prairie View A&M University’s leadership, expertise, and spirit of innovation will, as the center’s name suggests, work to transform our nation’s infrastructure over the next five years and beyond.”
Dr. Perkins joined the faculty at Prairie View A&M University in 2004 after teaching at North Carolina A&T State University, the University of New Orleans, and Southern University in Baton Rouge. Professor Perkins is a graduate of Southern University. She holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.