Northwestern University receives $3.9 million federal grant for new engineering design center

News U.S. DOT October 10, 2005
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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) recently announced a $3.9 million federal grant for Northwestern University’s Infrastructure Technology Institute (ITI) for its innovative research on the structural stability of bridges, the impact of construction vibrations on adjacent structures, the remote monitoring of highways, bridges, ferries and other technologies to improve transportation safety and efficiency.

ITI, which is part of DOT’s national University Transportation Centers (UTC) program, educates future transportation leaders and applies advanced research to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges.

Last year, ITI assisted the Federal Highway Administration in designing, installing and operating a remote crack monitoring system in the historic Blair House across from the White House during the repaving of Pennsylvania Avenue.

“UTC programs attract talented young people today and engage them in creating the transportation system of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. “This grant demonstrates the Bush Administration’s continued commitment to fostering innovation and leadership, as transportation continues to move the U.S. economy forward in the 21st century.”

The majority of the federal grant funding will be used to support ITI’s new home in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center, which will be dedicated on Oct. 6. More information about the new Center can be found online at

“ITI performs some of the nation’s leading transportation research,” said RITA Administrator Ashok Kaveeshwar. “The new Engineering Design Center will provide students with a state-of-the-art facility in which to advance research and technology solutions to the challenges facing our transportation system in the 21st century.”

More than 75 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. participate in the UTC program. Last year, UTC graduated over 1,100 students with advanced degrees, offered almost 2,000 courses, performed 300 research projects and trained 32,000 practicing transportation professionals. UTC grant recipients are required to provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds.

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