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About UCTC—Director's Message

Fall 2010 Director's Message from Robert Cervero

Robert Cervero, UCTC DirectorWelcome to incoming and continuing students as well as faculty and other friends of UCTC as we start the fall academic term. Despite the tough economic times, UCTC received funding support from our sponsors comparable to that of previous years, which we’re very thankful for. Thus things are in place to continue doing what we do best: advance knowledge and practice on important transportation issues of the day through cutting-edge research, student support, and tech-transfer activities.

For the past 23 years, UCTC’s core research theme has been on linking the findings from transportation systems analysis to policy actions in the field. We remain deeply committed to making sure UCTC-funded research gets translated in a format that reaches policy makers and informs policy practice. Besides the faculty research reports and student dissertations that we support, we get the word out about our work through the venerable Access magazine and more recently through UCTC Policy Briefs. Check out the Policy Briefs posted on our web site to get a 2-page distillation of recent faculty-led research and findings. Working with our sister organization at UC Davis, we also recently launched a webinar series on faculty-led research on specific topics that is targeted at Caltrans officials and transportation professionals throughout the state.

UCTC’s Strategic Plan identified the development and expansion of undergraduate education in transportation as a priority area. This summer, an intensive short course was offered on the Berkeley campus that provided an overview of the transportation field to several dozen undergraduate students. The course was very “hands-on”, complete with field trips (e.g., to the Oakland Port Authority, to BART transit-oriented developments) and guest lectures given by local practitioners. We plan to offer additional short courses in the coming year, at Berkeley and other UC campuses, with the hope of drawing more of UC’s bright undergraduate minds to the transportation field.

For doctoral students in transportation about to start their dissertation work, a date to keep in mind this fall is November 1. That’s the deadline for submitting a request for a UCTC Dissertation Research Grant. If you miss that deadline, you’ll have another chance to receive support in the Spring 2011 award cycle.

This month, two new faces joined UCTC’s staff. Lisa Simon-Parker is our new Research Grants Administrator. And Jin Murakami, a recent Ph.D. graduate in city and regional planning at UC Berkeley, came on board as a UCTC post-doc. A hearty welcome and thanks to both Lisa and Jin for joining us.

Finally, even though UCTC’s office is off-campus, catty-corner to People’s Park, don’t be shy about swinging by to see us. We welcome walk-in visitors. Among the things you can do at UCTC’s offices is thumb through hardcopies of 36 past issues of Access, 168 UCTC-funded dissertations, and 911 UCTC faculty research reports – all chronologically organized in our Library!

Robert Cervero, UCTC Director
January 2010