Southern Plains Transportation Center receives $3 million in funding

Feb 23, 2023 | Engineering and Science, Faculty/Staff, General News, Partnerships, Research

The United States Department of Transportation has provided $3 million in funding for the Southern Plains Transportation Center (SPTC), a regional university transportation center in which Louisiana Tech is a member of, made possible by the efforts of College of Engineering and Science faculty member, Dr. Nazimuddin Wasiuddin, and his contributions to the writing of the proposal.

“This new funding enables us to advance our transportation infrastructure research goals using our resources and faculty,” said Dr. Sumeet Dua, Executive Vice President of Research and Partnerships. “Promoting the research goals of SPTC at Louisiana Tech will make us competitive for future federal investments in advanced and smart infrastructure.”

The SPTC’s mission is “to develop comprehensive, cost-effective, and imminently implementable solutions to critical infrastructure-related issues facing the transportation infrastructure of the region and the nation; and to prepare transportation professionals for leadership roles in professional and research careers in support of the nation’s transportation systems.” Dr. Musharraf Zaman, the Director of the SPTC, addressed the challenges and need for the research in Region 6 on the SPTC website.

“The complex and diverse nature of the impact of weather extremes to our transportation and freight infrastructure is evident in our roadways, bridges and waterways,” Zaman said. “Recent severe droughts have resulted in losses worth nearly $9 billion annually to managed systems in Oklahoma and Texas alone, including transportation and freight infrastructure. Extreme summer temperatures, flash floods and large numbers of freeze-thaw cycles, coupled with poor soils in most Region 6 states, create monumental challenges to transportation infrastructure health and to public safety.”

The lead university of the SPTC is the University of Oklahoma under the direction of Zaman. Other consortium members are El Paso Community College, Louisiana State University, Navajo Technical University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, Texas Southern University, the University of Arkansas, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas El Paso. 

“Louisiana Tech has been a productive participant of the SPTC in the past, and we look forward to this new partnership with ten other academic institutions,” Dua said. “Promoting the research goals of SPTC at Louisiana Tech and beyond will make us competitive for future federal investments in advanced and smart infrastructure.”