On February 21, 2023, USDOT announced $435 million in grant awards for 34 University Transportation Centers. The grant was highly competitive, as there was the largest number of applications ever submitted in the 35–year history of the UTC
program, at 230 applications.
The UofL CEE team (PI: Zhihui Sun, co–PI: Omid Ghasemi Fare, Tyler Mahoney) partnered with University of Missouri Kansas City (lead), Washington State University, Tennessee State University, and Texas State University to compete for a Tier 1 UTC. Their proposed center entitled “Environmentally Responsible Transportation Center for Communities of Concern (ERTC3)” was selected as one of the winning Tier 1 UTCs with a total grant of $10M for five years. The overall focus of ERTC3 is on measuring, modeling, and mitigating the environmental effects of transportation infrastructure on vulnerable communities. As a key player, the UofL’s team will focus its research on (1) sustainable construction materials and practices; (2) innovative materials and technologies; and (3) soil and water pollution prevention. Dr. Sun will serve as the site director for the center.