Dr. Charley V. Wootan, former TTI Agency Director, was named a distinguished alumnus of Texas A&M University today by the Association of Former Students.
Wootan joined TTI in 1956 as an Associate Research Economist. He served as Associate Director from 1966 to 1976 and as Director from 1976 to 1993. Under his leadership, TTI grew to become the largest university-based transportation research agency in the nation.
“I had the privilege of knowing and working with Charley Wootan for three decades,” said Dennis L. Christiansen, TTI Agency Director. “He was a giant in the transportation field who tirelessly promoted the value of transportation research and made significant contributions to the growth and national reputation of TTI. He was a devoted Aggie who gave unselfishly of his time to improve the world through research, education and service to others. This honor is well-deserved.”
One of the founders of the Council of University Transportation Centers, Wootan was selected as its first president. He was actively involved in the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies for more than 40 years and was elected chair of TRB in 1979 and again in 1983. He also served on the executive committee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
Wootan led the way for Texas to become a national model for how universities and state departments of transportation could work together to solve transportation problems. The path he forged remains the model that other states emulate today. He tirelessly contributed thousands of hours serving in state and national leadership roles on committees and task forces established for the purpose of improving transportation throughout Texas and the United States. He won numerous awards for his contributions, including the TRB Distinguished Service Award, the George S. Bartlett Award for outstanding contributions to highway progress, and the Luther DeBerry award for significant accomplishments to Texas transportation from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Active in mentoring young people and promoting education as the path to professional success, more than 2,000 Texas A&M students studied in TTI laboratories and worked on TTI research projects in preparation for their careers during Wootan’s tenure at TTI.
For more information on Wootan’s impact on TTI, see the TTI history brochure.