CTRE  en route
Winter 2007

CTRE en route is published twice a year to inform readers about CTRE's projects and programs.

Address: CTRE, 2901 S. Loop Drive, Suite 3100, Ames, IA 50010

Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467

Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

CTRE Communications:
Marcia Brink
CTRE en route editor:
Michele Regenold

CTRE is an Iowa State University center.

Iowa State University: Becoming the best

Director’s message

Shashi Nambisan

Shashi Nambisan

by Shashi Nambisan, CTRE Director

It is with great pleasure that I write this column—my first as a member of the Iowa State community. I am delighted to serve the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) and the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering here. My family and I are deeply touched by the warmth and hospitality extended to us by so many individuals, and Iowa State as an organization, as we made the move in late January (right in the midst of the winter) from the “warmer climes” of the Las Vegas valley in Nevada.

As individuals who have followed CTRE know, the range of activities in research, education, and extension carried on at CTRE has been broad. The programs have seen significant growth over the past two decades. Their impacts have been wide ranging. The potential to further grow the programs and their impacts along with the opportunity to work with the wonderful complement of people, programs and partnerships excite me about being at CTRE. Key among these partnerships is that between CTRE and the Iowa Department of transportation. This partnership is seen across the nation as one to emulate. We also enjoy very strong support from various federal, state, and local agencies and the industry.

Opportunities abound, and we will pursue them strategically so as to best address the needs of our constituents, partners, sponsors, and stakeholders, while at the same time taking on challenges that might appear to be risky but which have significant payoff potential. To restate an old adage, Nothing ventured, nothing gained (hey, spoken like one who came from Las Vegas!). Some of the efforts will be to explore new frontiers and cross-disciplinary activities. The following are some examples of some of the newer activities in this regard at CTRE:

  • The bio-economy and bio-fuels initiatives are among the highly visible university wide (and statewide) initiatives that researchers at CTRE are working on with colleagues across the university.
  • Likewise, sustainability is of significant societal concern not only in Iowa, but across the nation, and around the world. To address this need, researchers at CTRE have initiated a Sustainable Transportation Systems Program.
  • Our extension and education programs complement the research conducted at CTRE. An example of combining these three groups of activities is our hosting the 2007 Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium (August 16-17, 2007 in Ames, Iowa), which will bring together students and educators, researchers and practitioners, decision makers and policy makers to discuss a broad spectrum of transportation related topics.
  • Go! magazine is a new publication that aims to introduce the world of transportation to teenagers and excite them about pursuing educational opportunities and careers in transportation.

In closing, I recognize the invaluable contributions of several individuals (students, staff, researchers, and faculty) who have brought CTRE to its current form. Principal among them are my predecessors in this office: Tom Maze, Steve Andrle, and Lowell Greimann. I join others at CTRE to salute them for their leadership and vision. I look forward to working with my colleagues at CTRE and ISU, our partners and sponsors, so as to help nurture people, enhance our programs and partnerships, and to build on the impact, value, and recognition of the outcomes of our efforts at CTRE. I believe that in doing so, we will serve a much broader constituency, one that extends beyond Iowa, and beyond the nation.

Inside this edition of En route you will find several articles that highlight some of our activities. I would love to hear from you about your thoughts and comments on En route or CTRE’s activities. Contact me at shashi@iastate.edu.