Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability Center – Region 3 University Transportation Center
USDOT Strategic Theme: Environmental Sustainability
The University of Virginia (UVA), located in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the lead university of the Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability University Transportation Center (MATS UTC). The other members of the MATS UTC are: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT), University of Delaware (UD), Morgan State University (MSU), Marshall University (MU), and Old Dominion University (ODU).
The MATS UTC will serve as the focal point in Region 3 to accelerate adoption of sustainable practices in the provision of transportation services. Agencies and firms in the region recognize that the standard environmental practice in transportation has focused on “compliance” with regulations, as opposed to a focus on sustainability.
Given the significant changes that have resulted from the focus on sustainability in other industries (for example, the rise of LEED certification in building construction), it is critical that transportation agencies transition from minimal compliance to sustainability.
The MATS UTC will serve the region through applied research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer focused on environmental sustainability, an area that is not mature in existing regional transportation research and education resources.
The consortium of universities making up the MATS UTC has been crafted in order to (1) bring together faculty with the interdisciplinary skill sets needed for advances in transportation sustainability, (2) pull together educational resources that serve as the foundation to create innovative offerings in transportation sustainability, (3) utilize strong existing resources to aggressively support workforce development, and (4) take advantage of successful existing university-agency/industry relationships. All of the members of MATS UTC have a history of working collaboratively, in particular on federally sponsored UTCs. In fact, many of the members are long-time partners. As the lead institution, UVA has led multi-university partnerships both from a research and educational perspective. In addition, UVA’s continual membership in a UTC since the late 1980s has provided the direct experience in the program needed to assume a leadership role.