Oregon State University

DOT Impact

Oregon State University researchers are succssfully using support from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system.


Support to OSU from USDOT during Fiscal Years 2007–2011 totaled almost   $23 million,
with almost $4 million in FY 2012 alone.

How DOT funds make a difference

Environmental Impacts

Bioslopes

Highway storm water runoff into Oregon's survace waters is a source of copper, which detrimentally affects threatened and endangered salmonis. Addis a fish bone-based adsorbent material to bioslope media mix can potentially reduce dissolved copper to background levels. Jeffery Nason of Oregon State's School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering is conducting laboratory and field tests to characterize and quantify theefficacy of Apatite IITM for incorporation into strom-water best management proactices. Small cost increases up front could mean huge construction and maintenance savings, plus positive impacts on human health and environmental safety, thanks to DOT Federal Highway Administration support.

 


section of bridge, sky

Infrastructure

Robust Bridges

Jason Ideker, co-director of the Green Building Materials Laboratory and assistant professor in Otegon State's School of Civil & Construction Engineering, has led a team in development of shrinkage threshold limits and robust testing protocols for high-performance concrete to be used in building better bridge decks. The DOT Federal Highway Administration is the major sponsor. Suppliers will be able to easily determine compliance of materials, and the significant reduction in cracking will increase deck life and reduce costs of inspections and repair. Researchers will also help develop training sessions.

 

 

Stronger Connections

Known as the “Bridge Doctor,” Christopher Higgins of Oregon State’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering and the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation specializes in evaluation and strengthening methods for gusset plates in steel truss bridges. With support from the DOT/Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), researchers are taking advantage of previously developed apparatus and methods in the university’s O.H. Hinsdale Research Laboratory. The multi-institutional team designed and constructed a near full-scale representation of the connection that caused the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. Outcomes included field inspection guidance and strengthening designs to retrofit deficient connections, plus engagement with K-college students and a technology pull by agencies and industry. Further research is supported by National Cooperative Highway Research Program of the National Academies, the DOT Federal Highway Administration Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and several state highway departments.

Energy

 

Biomass Fuels

Supported by the DOT’s Western Region Sun Grant Program, Russ Karow of Oregon State’s Department of
Crop and Soil Science and colleagues have been making “biomass shed” maps of the Pacific Northwest to determine the potential quantity and quality of biomass sources and to estimate the harvest costs of crop residues as feedstocks. They are also exploring options to optimize biomass production on existing acreages through relay cropping or dedicated production, as well as possibilities for dryland cereal and Conservation Reserve Program residue harvest. Tools they create should be applicable to other areas of the United States to increase the profitability of agricultural and natural resource industries while protecting and enhancing environmental quality.

 

Safety

Motorcycle Responsibility

Motorcycles accounted for 3.2 percent of registered vehicles in Oregon, yet were involved in 13 percent of the
fatal crashes, in one recent year. The ODOT Transportation Safety Division and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provide funding to enhance motorcycle safety programs. Steve Garets of Oregon State’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences is lead on the training project that includes development of a new Web-based curriculum, creation of a new training site in the Portland metro area and acquisition of equipment. A variety of programs targeting police and others with diverse experience and skill levels will continue to prepare riders for safety and responsibility.

 

Human Factors in Automation

While flight-deck automation has been well received by pilots and the aviation industry, human factor issues have
also been raised. In a study funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, researchers from Oregon State and partners surveyed pilots and other aviation safety experts, accident and incident reports and documentation from other studies to compile evidence related to 92 flight-deck automation issues. The team prioritized the issues to identify those posing the greatest risks to flight safety and created a Web-based resource for the aviation research, development, manufacturing, operational and regulatory communities.

 

 

 

Accessibility and Efficiency

High-Speed Rail Cars

Kate Hunter-Zaworski and her team from the National Center for Accessible Transportation(NCAT) are working to ensure that the next generation of high-speed passenger rail cars will accommodate the changing passenger demographics, which include  a greater number  of people with physical, sensory, or cognitive limitations. With help from the DOT Federal Railroad Administration,  they are developing specifications that will make rail travel more accessible to all, including families  with strollers,  people who are obese and those with service animals. The new specifications,  going beyond Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, will also inform improvements for wheeled mobility devices on paratransit vehicles and buses.

 

Image of sky, bridge.

Land Use

The use of varying urban and suburban corridor crosssections can directly affect vehicle interactions and road-user safety at driveway locations. A study by Karen Dixon of Oregon State’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering
and a multi-institutional team, funded by the DOT through
the University Transportation Centers program, is using gap-acceptance analysis and microsimulation to assess how driver performance varies as the road configuration changes. Their findings could help better position driveways
safely and efficiently for the needs of road users and property owners.

 

 

New Horizons

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Oregon State will lead a coalition to establish an FAA-approved national test site in the Pacific Northwest to integrate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the national
airspace system. Researchers are developing applications for remote sensing of natural resources (e.g., forests, snow pack, coastal environments), hazard and disaster preparedness, and response and law enforcement. The university is partnering with Economic Development for Central Oregon to establish a research and development center and an incubator for UAS businesses. Other collaborators in the test-site effort include the states of Oregon and Washington, several industries and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The coalition is
building a large base of business, stakeholder and political support that includes U.S. senators.

 

 

 

 

Police and sheriff listening to Steve Garets, photo credit Michael Karr.

 

DOT Funding
to OSU

Award Total
FY 2012

   
   
   
total $   3,736,867.00

Stronger Connections

Known as the “Bridge Doctor,” Christopher Higgins of Oregon State’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering and the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation specializes in evaluation and strengthening methods for gusset plates in steel truss bridges. With support from the DOT/Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), researchers are taking advantage of previously developed apparatus and methods in the university’s O.H. Hinsdale Research Laboratory. The multi-institutional team designed and constructed a near full-scale representation of the connection that caused the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. Outcomes included field ins

Stronger Connections

Known as the “Bridge Doctor,” Christopher Higgins of Oregon State’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering and the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation specializes in evaluation and strengthening methods for gusset plates in steel truss bridges. With support from the DOT/Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), researchers are taking advantage of previously developed apparatus and methods in the university’s O.H. Hinsdale Research Laboratory. The multi-institutional team designed and constructed a near full-scale representation of the connection that caused the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. Outcomes included field inspection guidance and strengthening designs to retrofit deficient connections, plus engagement with K-college students and a technology pull by agencies and industry. Further research is supported by National Cooperative Highway Research Program of the National Academies, the DOT Federal Highway Administration Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and several state highway departments.

pection guidance and strengthening designs to retrofit deficient connections, plus engagement with K-college students and a technology pull by agencies and industry. Further research is supported by National Cooperative Highway Research Program of the National Academies, the DOT Federal Highway Administration Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and several state highway departments.  

Contact Info

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Oregon State University Research Office
312 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone 541-737-3467 Fax 541-737-9041
researchsupport@oregonstate.edu