Sunday, January 11, 2015

Power & Importance of Research #TRBAM

I blame graduate school and the internet (yes, that was new way back then) for the excitement I have for the research of transportation. I spent a lot of time during my time at Texas A&M and Texas Transportation Institute learning as much as I could on various topics that would help me be an effective engineer and leader in the future.  All of the time in Texas, I was fortunate to have access to not only the internet, but also many of the researchers who had contributed to our knowledge in the industry.

As I think about research, it truly is an essential part of transportation in many ways. The innovation that comes not only from research but by collaboration that happens at the annual TRB meeting results in leads to development and application of new processes and materials for an effectively functioning system. It is through research that the issues as defined by our political leaders and transportation practitioners can be addressed with limited resources.

The USDOT Research Plan says the following: Funding research is an investment that pays off through the application of concepts that are proven, via research, to be effective, resulting in a more efficient, durable, and convenient national transportation system.  

I appreciate that statement and support it's content, but also think that there was a key. Essays of safety missed in the content. Fortunately, safety is a big part of the document an at the front of much of the work that we do.

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