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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology: Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations



The Impact of Scientific Partnerships on the Future of Transportation

Federal support of innovative research

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February 15, 2009

Workshop Outline


  • Communicate big issues in highway research
  • Name who conducts highway research
  • Describe the FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research Program (EAR)
  • Illustrate research partnerships lessons
  • Assess future opportunities in highway research

Big Research Issues

  • Breakthrough concept for integrating highway safety and system operations
  • Nanoscale research
  • Massive scale systems
  • Human behavior in traffic
  • Financing highways for the next century
  • New yechnologies and advanced policies for energy and resource conservation

Who Conducts Highway Research?

  • FHWA
  • University Transportation Centers
  • State Departments of Transportation
  • Industry
  • International

EAR Key Process

  • Focus on high-risk, high payoff research
  • Research stakeholders are involved throughout
    • From scoping of focus areas through communication of research results
  • Merit review is used to enhance the quality of research processes and results
  • All projects begin with initial stage research (e.g. scanning, literature review, etc.)
    • Assure leverage of the most recent, relevant and advanced research from all fields
  • Not all initial stage research leads to (or is expected to lead to) follow-on or actionable results

Current Partnerships

  • Academic
    • University Transportation Centers, other universities
  • Government
    • Other Federal Agencies, State, Local
  • Non-Governmental, Non-Profit
  • Industry

Forming Partnerships

  • Competitive advantage
    • Expertise
    • New ideas
    • Leverage resources, risk
  • Potential obstacles
    • Gaining agreements
    • Partner viability
    • Project management and coordination

Managing Partnerships

  • Competitive advantage
    • Flexibility and depth
    • Awareness and outreach
  • Potential obstacles
    • Project management and coordination
    • Accountability

Continuing Partnerships

  • Competitive advantage
    • Knowledge capacity building
    • Implementation across sectors
  • Potential obstacles
    • Rights and ownerships
    • Bringing in new partners
    • Research results’ hand-off

Future Opportunities with FHWA EAR

  • Agenda scoping
  • Open competitions
  • Short and longer-term work exchanges
  • Serving as expert reviewers

Thank You

David Kuehn Program Manager (202) 493-3414

Terry Halkyard Program Coordinator (202) 493-3467

Samyra Simmons Program Analyst (202) 493-3469

Program Web Site


Research Highlights


Exploratory Advanced Research Program Brochure,(FHWA-HRT-13-071)- November 2013

Multimedia Downloads

Investigating Advanced Traffic Signal Control, (N/A)- April 2011

Project Fact Sheets

Efficient and Safe Merging Solutions - Advanced Freeway Merge Assistance: Harnessing The Potential of Connected Vehicles,(FHWA-HRT-14-045)- February 2014


Multiscale Materials Modeling Workshop Summary Report April 23-24, 2013(FHWA-HRT-13-103)- December 2013

Scanning and Convening Activities Fact Sheets

Exploring Bridge Maintenance and Asset Management,(FHWA-HRT-11-052)- June 2011


Multiscale Materials Modeling Workshop Summary Report April 23-24, 2013(FHWA-HRT-13-103)- December 2013

Web Articles

For Georgia State Students, EAR Program Opens a Window on Transportation Research ()- March 2014