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WSU Recieves $7.5M Grant to Study Infrastructure

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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Washington State University was recently chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation to receive a $7.5 million grant for researching ways to repair national infrastructure. The grant was awarded after a competitive application process, with one other university receiving similar funding.

According to The Spokesman-Review, both WSU and the University of South Florida are now designated as national University Transportation Centers. A University Transportation Center consists of a group of two- to four-year colleges and universities that work together on a specific research topic related to transportation.

Infrastructure Repair Study Grant

WSU notes that its center is one of only seven in the U.S., and is specifically the only one focused on repairing infrastructure, while USF is to focus on alleviating traffic congestion in its research.

Washington State University

The center, led by Xianming Shi (pictured), a WSU professor of civil and environmental engineering, will also be named the Congestion Research and Education: Advancing Transportation Efficiency (or CREATE).

In this venture, WSU will work with researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Texas A&M University, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Utah, among a number of other schools. The center, led by Xianming Shi, a WSU professor of civil and environmental engineering, will also be named the Congestion Research and Education: Advancing Transportation Efficiency (or CREATE).

“This award is more national recognition of our success in providing practical answers for everyday problems,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “It’s also an indicator of the caliber of our research in this field. We look forward to providing solutions that address the nation’s transportation challenges.”

According to the university, much of the nation’s infrastructure was built from the 1950s to the 1970s, and is therefore reaching the end of its intended lifespan. The infrastructure report card issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers has trended between a D+ and a D over the years.

“Maintaining a competitive and strong national economy requires well-maintained infrastructure—instead of putting Band-Aids on every once in a while,” said Shi.

“The new center is long overdue and very timely, considering the pressing need of dealing with aging infrastructure. Our shared vision is to develop cost-effective innovations and holistic solutions to enhance multi-modal infrastructure durability.”

The center will facilitate research, education, industry and public partnerships as well as fill other roles. Key focus research areas are to include new materials, such as ultrahigh performance concrete, and developing non-destructive methods for infrastructure evaluation. Asset management will also be a critical focus.

Currently, there are also plans to publish Journal of Infrastructure Preservation & Resilience, a new journal that will disseminate information and also facilitate outreach.


Tagged categories: Colleges and Universities; Department of Transportation (DOT); Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Research and development

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