As I am entering the second month as WTI director, I have learned a lot about the organization, Montana, and the rural transportation improvements needed in the region. I am happy to report that WTI and partners submitted our proposal for the USDOT Region 8 University Transportation Center (UTC). In addition, Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and WTI have engaged in extensive dialogue about forging closer ties to solve transportation challenges in Montana. WTI is at a critical junction to grow and expand.
WTI has many strengths in transportation research with several programs of leading reputation, both nationally and internationally. This reputation was built on many decades of relentlessly pursuing excellence and I envision that these programs will continue to thrive and grow. I would like to expand the presence of transportation infrastructure research at WTI in collaboration with civil engineering and other MSU academic units. I also plan to renew our partnerships with existing labs and facilities in order to make the most of our joint efforts in the coming years, which will improve the operation, safety, and condition of the state’s pavements, bridges, and other assets.
The WTI operation figure below illustrates the general organization of WTI and its research focuses. In the weeks ahead, I look forward to further expanding these focus areas through discussions with WTI and MSU staff to further refine our approaches to anticipated growth and expansion. As I learn more about WTI and the state, more details about WTI’s future will be released in the coming months.