The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is part of a team of surface transportation research organizations led by ENSCO, Inc., that was recently awarded a $571 million contract by the Federal Railroad Administration to provide research, testing, engineering and training services at the Transportation Technology Center.
The team will focus on initiatives that support the Federal Railroad Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation objectives to establish the Transportation Technology Center as a vibrant, engaging and modern center for railroad and ground transportation safety, security and innovation. Transfer of the center’s operations to the ENSCO team is anticipated to be completed by October 2022.
“The College of Engineering and the members of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility are proud to work with ENSCO, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration and other team members on this important research initiative,” said Lance C. Pérez, dean of the College of Engineering. “The international expertise of our Midwest Roadside Safety Facility researchers and engineers will help advance the science of surface transportation safety and technology during this exciting new era at the Transportation Technology Center.”
The university is a member of the Center for Surface Transportation Testing and Academic Research consortium established by ENSCO. This consortium of eight universities and academic research centers will provide expertise in research focus areas across all modes of surface transportation, including intermodal transportation to support Transportation Technology Center growth initiatives. The consortium will be led by the University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research and includes Colorado State University-Pueblo, Michigan Tech, the University of Hawaii, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and the Mineta Transportation Institute.
Ron Faller, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, said Husker researchers will conduct and participate in testing across key surface transportation safety technology areas. The facility is a research organization focusing on researching all aspects of highway design and safety. A major focus includes vehicle run-off-road containment and occupant crash safety in such areas as roadside safety engineering and impact engineering and crash simulation.
A second focus will include vehicle stability, control, security and modeling research for roadside wireless infrastructure and vehicle connectivity, and vehicle dynamics and handling.
A third focus is on high-energy vehicle disaster prevention for motorsports safety engineering; vehicle threat mitigation, physical security and force protection; and crash and blast mitigation on critical infrastructure.
Roadside safety and surface transportation research at Nebraska began in the mid-1970s, and the university is recognized as an international leader in transportation engineering and roadside safety hardware.