Morgan State University National Center for Transportation Management, Research, and Development has further cemented its position as one of the nation’s foremost transportation research authorities, with the recent receipt of a $15-million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In further support of the center, Maryland’s Department of Transportation has committed an additional $4 million in state appropriations to Morgan State spanning the five-year term of the federal transportation research initiative.
Morgan State University is the first historically Black college or university and the first university in Maryland to lead a U.S. Department of Transportation Regional University Transportation Center.
Morgan State University will serve as the principal institution coalescing a consortium of institutions in the formation of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Region 3 University Transportation Center’s Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Regional Transportation Equity Research (SMARTER) Center. The partner institutions forming the SMARTER Center include Howard University, the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.
The SMARTER Center’s research activities will focus on providing immediate and near-immediate implementation capabilities for policymakers, industry, and the public at large. Researchers will explore novel applications for emerging technologies, such as machine learning, connected and automated vehicles, and electric vehicles, to strengthen the region’s transportation network.
David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University, said that “this recognition of Morgan’s value by way of funding received from the Department of Transportation underpins our strengths and leadership in transportation research and education. We look forward to continuing the center’s work in addressing an array of transportation challenges, from congestion and energy efficiency to equity and modernization.”
Mansoureh Jeihani, director of Morgan State University’s National Transportation Center, added that “transportation is universal, and we intend to augment our research efforts with a strong dose of community involvement. Engaging underserved communities and community-based organizations in research and workforce development initiatives designed to improve mobility in the region and expand multimodal transit options, both for rural and urban travelers, is essential. Community has to be central to solutions that not just support but drive equity and sustainability.”