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Exploratory Advanced Research Program

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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 david.kuehn@dot.gov

Terry Halkyard Program Coordinator (202) 493-3467 terry.halkyard@dot.gov

Samyra Simmons Program Analyst (202) 493-3469 samyra.simmons@dot.gov

Program Web Site www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch


Exploratory Advanced Research Program



NRC Postdoctoral Fellows Help EAR Program Solve Transportation Issues

The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) conducts research across a wide range of topics and disciplines. To supplement the expertise of the permanent staff, it is important to bring in researchers with the appropriate backgrounds to investigate specific problems at short-term basis. Through the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, FHWA utilizes the Resident Associates (or Postdoctoral Fellows) program of the National Research Council (NRC) for this purpose. The NRC provides a process for selecting candidates on a competitive merit basis and subsequently for administration of the Resident Fellows during their tenures at FHWA. [More]

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101