About the CSU-UTC
The mission of the federal University Transportation Center (UTC) Program, initiated in 1987, is to advance American technology and expertise through education, research, and technology transfer. Specifically, each of the 60 UTCs across the nation serves an individual transportation-related theme through pursuit of the above-mentioned elements.
A Tier II Transportation Center, Cleveland State University’s UTC operates on a half-million dollar annual budget. Housed within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of CSU’s Fenn College of Engineering, the CSU-UTC shares staff and space with the Department. However, the CSU-UTC remains a standalone organization with its own missions, assets, events, and personnel.
Since beginning operation in 2005, the CSU-UTC has focused on five areas related to the improvement of transportation and work zone safety. These areas include the following: Increased Research Performance, Improvements in Transportation Education, Increased Recruitment of Transportation Professionals, Improved Diversity in the Transportation Field, and Technology Transfer Initiatives. More detail on these areas of focus can be found in the CSU-UTC’s Strategic Plan.
A narrowly defined focus on work zone safety and congestion, as well as on educational issues related to both, has allowed the CSU-UTC to partner with the transportation industry, government agencies, and labor organizations during its initial years or operation. Following significant successes in educational outreach, regional school districts and educational coalitions have also come on board. Stakeholders such as these not only suggest direction for Center efforts, but also provide matching funds, generous resources, and a widening pipeline to the community and future transportation professionals.
Oversight for the CSU-UTC comes from an external advisory board as well as the Department of Transportation (DoT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Funding for the University Transportation Center Program is approved by Congress.
Why Work Zone Safety?
Construction work zones in roadways are often the sites of accidents due to unsafe driving. In 2004, there were nearly 6,400 work zone crashes in Ohio with 2,250 injuries and 14 deaths. In 2003, there were more than 7,400 work zone crashes with more than 2,500 injuries and 16 deaths, including two ODOT workers.