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– Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Page address: http://grad.mnsu.edu/research/ctri.html

Center for Transportation Research and Implementation

Civil Engineering Faculty, Jim Wilde and Aaron Budge, in the Center for Transportation Research and Implementation

In response to the great need for innovation and implementation of research products in the areas of transportation, highway construction, and materials, Minnesota State University, Mankato created The Minnesota Center for Transportation Research and Implementation. The Center addresses the needs of Minnesota and the Nation by bridging the gap between research and practice in the critical areas of transportation, construction, and materials. The Center will aid Minnesota's Department of Transportation and Local Highway Agencies by providing:

  • Implementable deliverables derived from research, regardless of its source.
  • Overall implementation program development to integrate the results of many research products into a comprehensive plan to serve transportation professionals and Minnesota taxpayers in the best possible manner.

Construction EquipmentThe Center's unique approach to implementation is to create partnerships between the public, private, and academic sectors to develop research products into commercial–quality applications (software, equipment, specifications, training programs) that can be immediately implemented by agencies and other groups in the partnerships.

The Center also provides opportunities for research and practical experience to civil engineering students, and enhances the education and training of current and future transportation engineering professionals.

The primary objectives of the Center are consistent with the University's mission and goals, and include:

  • To serve as an applied research, implementation, and technology transfer agent, primarily for state and local transportation professionals, focused on improving the pipeline for moving transportation research products into the hands of transportation professionals. Initially, these efforts will be in the areas of pavement design, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation, soils and related materials, and bringing new materials and methods, such as recyclable and renewable materials, from the laboratory and classroom to local practitioners who can benefit most from them. As the expertise base of the Center grows, other areas such as traffic modeling, optimization, safety, and others will be added.
  • To be a resource for training and continuing professional development within the transportation community — both locally and nationally.
  • To engage civil engineering students in innovative research, implementation, and technology transfer activities.

Examples of research implementation products developed by Dr. Wilde under Mn/DOT and LRRB contracts include a field reference guide for minimizing bumps in bituminous overlays, a new specification for measuring smoothness in concrete pavement construction, and current projects include a revised specification and a training component to certify operators of pavement profiling equipment, and a new test roller for grading and base construction and quality assurance.

Dr. W. James Wilde and Dr. Aaron S. BudgeDr. W. James Wilde, P.E., serves as director and Dr. Aaron S. Budge serves as associate director, both faculty members in the Civil Engineering Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Wilde's industry and academic background provides the skills to lead a premier research and implementation Center. He has expertise in concrete and asphalt pavement materials, design and analysis, construction specifications, technical and userinterface software development, and implementation of research products. Drs. Wilde and Budge have developed a momentum that can be leveraged for the Center's success. The Minnesota Center for Transportation Research and Implementation will become an important asset for the State of Minnesota and Minnesota State Mankato, as well as the upper Midwest region with transportation innovations clearly benefiting transportation agencies and the public throughout the area. Students will also benefit as they work in an environment of education, research, implementation and technology transfer.