UNO Transportation Institute Awarded $750,000 in Federal Grants
The Merritt C. Becker Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute has been awarded $750,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The University of New Orleans is a member of two different university consortiums that were successful in obtaining funding through the National University Transportation Center Program.
UNO will receive $500,000 through its membership in a University of Arkansas consortium. The research conducted by this group will focus on sustainable maritime and multimodal transportation systems.
UNO will also receive $250,000 through its membership in a University of Maryland consortium to conduct research related to freight transportation and the effects of freight operations.
"These awards reaffirm UNO's research excellence in transportation," said John Renne, director of the Merritt C. Becker Jr. UNO Transportation Institute. "It demonstrates and builds upon our unique strengths in the areas of maritime and freight, evacuation planning and sustainable transportation."
Renne, an associate professor of planning and urban studies, is the principal investigator on UNO's grants with Bethany Stich, associate professor of planning and urban studies, serving as co-principal investigator.
According to Renne, these grants will allow the UNO Transportation Institute to expand its partnership with the Port of New Orleans and the local maritime community. They will also help the institute support local and regional freight-based economic development activities, bridging academia, business and industry, Renne said.
According to the Department of Transportation, the purpose of the University Transportation Centers is to advance U.S. technology and expertise in transportation through research, education and technology transfer; to provide a critical knowledge base outside of the Department of Transportation; and to address workforce needs for the next generation of transportation leaders.
"We are so appreciative of the political leaders who were instrumental in securing these federal funds," said Rachel Kincaid, vice president for external affairs. "We would like to thank Sen. Mary Landrieu, Sen. David Vitter, Congressman Steve Scalise, Congressman Cedric Richmond and Louisiana Senate Education Committee Chairman Conrad Appel."