President Bush appointee Paul Brubaker, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), told TTI employees, “The world is going to look very, very different in 10 years.”
Brubaker was referring to the nation’s growing and shifting population, the price of oil and the challenge of financing infrastructure projects. As RITA Administrator, Brubaker is responsible for coordinating DOT’s $1 billion research budget and is charged with advancing technologies that will improve the nation’s transportation system.
Brubaker’s December 11-12 visit to TTI was his first since being sworn in as RITA Administrator last summer. RITA Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology Jan Brecht-Clark accompanied him on the tour. Brecht-Clark oversees the University Transportation Centers program, which includes TTI’s Southwest University Transportation Center (SWUTC) and University Transportation Center for Mobility (UTCM). Brubaker and Brecht-Clark were presented overviews of SWUTC and UTCM, and toured TTI’s Translink® Laboratory, the Materials Lab and the Riverside Research Facility.
“TTI is on the cutting edge of transportation research, and I want to thank you for the work you do,” Brubaker said during his visit. He pointed out that transportation costs for American families exceed health care and food costs. Only housing costs more.
“Dr. Jan Brecht-Clark and I found the briefings and exchanges very useful to understanding the major contributions the Institute is making to improve the safety and performance of our national transportation infrastructure. Moreover, TTI is performing a great service to the nation and the state of Texas by training the next generation of national, state and local transportation leaders,” Brubaker said. “The commitment and passion of the Aggie community to creating a world-class transportation research facility at A&M was evident from all of the people we met with.”