Recognized for its longstanding history of excellence in safety research, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) has been awarded a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety Research and Development.
The contract, which could provide as much as $50 million in funding over the next five years, supports the FHWA Office of Safety Research and Development in its efforts to determine why traffic crashes occur and better understand what affects the severity of injury outcomes.
“For more than 65 years, TTI has been a leader in the highway safety and highway infrastructure areas through successful implementation of innovative research,” says TTI Senior Research Engineer Kay Fitzpatrick, who manages TTI’s Roadway Design Program. Fitzpatrick will serve as the project’s co-principal investigator along with TTI Senior Research Scientist Sue Chrysler. “For this contract, TTI assembled and will lead a carefully chosen team that offers the best from both the academic and consulting worlds, with the added implementation and outreach capabilities of one of the largest international communities of transportation professionals, the Institute of Transportation Engineers.”
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), recognized worldwide as a leader in workforce training, is also a team member.
“This is a tremendous award for TTI and Texas A&M University’s engineering program,” says M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. “TTI, along with TEEX and other partners, has an opportunity to significantly improve traffic safety for our nation’s roadways and save many lives in the process.”
More than 168,000 people representing every U.S. state and territory and 82 countries are served annually through TEEX’s on-site and online resources for specialties from homeland security to economic development and workforce training.
“This is a great chance for us to partner with TTI,” says TEEX Director Gary Sera. “Our mission at TEEX is to make a difference by providing training, developing practical solutions, and saving lives. This award allows us to do just that.”
The contract complements another that was awarded last year to TTI from the FHWA Office of Safety for up to $19 million. For the next five years, the Institute is heading up the only university-led team working in conjunction with both these offices to help make the nation’s roadways safer.
“TTI is pleased to provide support to both the research and implementation arms of FHWA’s safety program. Working with both groups enables us to understand agency priorities and safety goals,” says Chrysler. “We will work with the FHWA Office of Safety Research and Development to conduct research to evaluate safety countermeasures and with the FHWA Office of Safety to develop and refine programs for states and other stakeholders to implement those countermeasures.”
The FHWA Offices of Safety and Safety Research and Development work together to make highway travel safer by conducting research to develop, evaluate, and employ lifesaving countermeasures; advance the use of scientific methods and data-driven decisions; foster a safety culture; and promote a multidisciplinary approach to safety.
“TTI is recognized around the world as a leader in highway safety research, often pushing the envelope and innovating new technology, methods and hardware to improve highway safety,” says TTI Senior Research Engineer Paul Carlson. “TTI’s vast array of highway safety experts and its state-of-the-art research facilities — along with other Texas A&M University System partners such as TEEX — provide FHWA with direct access to some of the most experienced transportation researchers in the country and the most advanced research tools available today.”
TTI has multiple task orders in process under the Office of Safety contract, ranging from pedestrian and bicycle assessment methodology to performance monitoring of high-friction surfacing treatments. The active task orders also include a technical support project for roadway departure safety and a training development project for safety fundamentals.