UCTC on the Map |
About UCTC—Director's Message

Fall 2012 Message from the Director

Introducing UCTC 2.0

In mid-January, we received word from USDOT that UCTC won the competition for the FY 2012 Region 9 University Transportation Center (UTC). We’re delighted to continue serving as the Region 9 UTC and, despite a six-month funding hiatus, we relish the opportunity to continue doing what we do best: advance knowledge on cutting-edge transportation topics and challenges, and educate an up-and-coming generation of top-flight professionals and scholars who can effectively take on these challenges.

UCTC 2.0 is very similar to its predecessor; however, in response to USDOT’s Request for Proposals, there have been a few changes. One, we’ve extended the family. Joining the University of California’s Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Santa Barbara’s campuses as core members of the UCTC consortium is UC Davis. Also, four campuses of the California State University system—Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, and San Luis Obispo—are now affiliate members of UCTC. Besides collaborating with UC campuses on faculty research, we look forward to partnering with the CSUs on UCTC’s educational and workforce development missions. Another change is our strategic focus. In the past, UCTC’s research focused on "systems analysis and policy." Our new focus is on three important, and not unrelated, thematic areas:

  • environmental sustainability,
  • economic competitiveness, and
  • livability.

This shift was in response to USDOT’s strategic vision on future priorities in transportation research and practice. It also reflects areas that UCTC faculty affiliates and graduate students have and continue to be keenly interested in. UCTC’s FY 2012 Work Plan, which is extracted from the recent Region 9 proposal, discusses what we have in mind over the next year-plus.

Organizationally, a few other changes are in the works. The Berkeley campus remains UCTC’s Headquarters; however, oversight and decisions on faculty research and doctoral dissertations are being substantially shifted to the six UC campuses that make up UCTC core partnership. This shift partly reflects the different research interests found across the six campuses. To encourage inter-disciplinary research and strengthen connections across the three thematic focus areas, we're also launching a new cross-campus faculty research program, drawing in both UC and CSU campuses. We're fully committed to building synergies and cross-fertilizing knowledge across our three core research platforms. This new inter-campus initiative should help in this regard. Also, keep an eye open for a new round of requests for dissertation proposals, to be announced fairly soon by each of the six campuses.

UCTC-sponsored activities planned for the next few months include a conference on “Sustainable Mobility and Cities: Marrying Technology and Policy,” being held in downtown Berkeley on February 23. The 2012 UCTC Student Conference and Mel Webber Distinguished Lecture will take place on April 20 at UC Davis. Other exciting things are in store as well, thus keep checking UCTC’s web site to find out more.

I look forward to continue overseeing the UCTC program and working with the Associate Directors from the other campuses—Prof. Samer Madanat (UCB), Prof. Susan Handy (UCD), Prof. Stephen Ritchie (UCI), Prof. Brian Taylor (UCLA), Prof. Matthew Barth (UCR), and Prof. Kostas Goulias (UCSB)—as well as our CSU partners to keep the ideas and research products flowing. Hopefully UCTC will be around for many more years to come.

—Best Regards, Robert Cervero, Director UCTC, January 2012