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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 14, 2006

UI, ISU, UNI Collaborate On $3 Million Transportation Safety Grant

University of Iowa researchers, in conjunction with researchers at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa, have been awarded a three-year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a transportation research center to help reduce the number of highway crashes by studying driver behavior and other safety-related issues.

Officials at Iowa State University, the lead institution, said that the grant requires the three-university Midwest Transportation Consortium to attract matching funding to support a total of at least $6 million in advanced research, education and outreach activities through 2009. Tom Maze, consortium director and ISU professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, said the center will focus on individual university strengths -- ISU expertise in crash analysis tools and techniques, UI expertise in human factors of transportation safety, and UNI expertise in geographic and spatial data -- to change how departments of transportation plan road projects and manage existing roadways.

Linda Boyle, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in the UI College of Engineering as well as human factors researcher in the UI Public Policy Center, is the UI principal investigator. She noted that the project has strong educational and interdisciplinary components.

"The mission of this grant is to advance the state of the art in transportation research, " Boyle said. "It has a strong emphasis on graduate students -- the future leaders in transportation. It will support graduate student research across campus in transportation-related activities, including engineering, urban and regional planning, and public health."

Boyle will direct the grant's Transportation Scholars Program and be assisted by co-principal investigator Paul Hanley, associate professor of urban and regional planning in the Graduate College and of civil and environmental engineering.

In its successful proposal to win what is formally known as a federal "Tier 1 University Transportation Center Program grant," the consortium noted that U.S. traffic crashes annually result in an economic loss of more than $230 billion.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,