A program with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai, India, consists of faculty and student exchanges, collaborative research and educational programs designed to improve the transportation infrastructure in India. Researchers are exploring computer modeling of roadway networks, development of sensors for vehicles and improvements in roadway materials. Through a contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, TTI is studying the feasibility of converting landfill gas to liquified natural gas to fuel refuse trucks and buses.
TTI and Beijing Transportation Research Center have a cooperative research agreement to help improve the city’s urban transport system. The work includes assessing Beijing’s methods of transportation planning, modeling and design, and traffic operations and management to identify areas in which TTI can help develop solutions to the city’s traffic challenges.
More than 85 percent of surface trade into Texas from Mexico is moved by truck. Texas led all states in surface trade with Mexico in 2006 with $76.1 billion. TTI researchers are working with officials in Cuidad Juárez and El Paso, as well as Mexican Customs and the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport. Efforts are expected to measure and improve the performance of the overall supply chain at the border, expedite border crossing times, enhance border security, and develop a Multimodal Corridor Master Plan to increase Mexico’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.
TTI Program Manager Juan Carlos Villa moved to Mexico City at the beginning of August, 2010, and has been working out of the recently-established Mexico City Center. Villa has continued working on the two on-going projects in Mexico as well as border, Canada, and U.S. projects. He participated in the EU Scan Tour on freight Corridor organized by FHWA and ASSHTO in which US participants were joined by Transport Canada and SCT (Mexican DOT) officials.
The Asociación Argentina de Carreteras (Argentine Roads Association) and TTI are working together to find transportation solutions in Latin America. Through a five-year memorandum of agreement, TTI is sharing “best practices” in U.S. transportation with colleagues in Latin America and applying those, as appropriate, to the unique transportation challenges in Argentina.
Texas A&M University and the Qatar Foundation entered into an agreement in 2003 to bring the University’s top-ranked engineering programs and research to the Gulf Region by establishing a branch campus in Education City, a consortium of educational and research institutions. Now entering its fifth academic year, Texas A&M University at Qatar, which is funded by the Qatar Foundation, has grown to a student body of 421 and faculty of 80. TTI has established an office in Doha to seek contracts with the Qatar National Research Fund and other local agencies to improve the nation’s transportation system.
Through a contract with the Inter-American Development Bank, TTI researchers are developing construction specifications and guidelines to improve pavement design in Paraguay. Seminars, workshops and forums will be conducted to ensure the successful implementation of longer-lasting pavements for this developing country.
As a subcontractor to Booz Allen Hamilton in a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contract, TTI recently assisted the government of Macedonia with a feasibility study for development of the Bunardzik Free Economic Zone (FEZ). The Bunardzik FEZ is one of Macedonia’s most important assets to attract foreign investments and stimulate economic development. TTI researchers analyzed the potential trade and manufacturing market demand for the Bunardzik FEZ. The analysis consisted of reviewing the required infrastructure investments, assessing its financial viability and developing a public-private partnership strategy for its implementation.
Materials and Structural Testing—Around the World
TTI has implemented 20-plus contracts with institutions in the private, educational and governmental sectors in foreign countries over the last two years, helping them improve their products, expand product lines and develop new products. These contracts include design, development and evaluation of pavement materials, techniques and equipment, as well as testing of guardrail terminals, crash cushions and breakaway sign supports. The agency has worked with organizations in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Italy, South Korea and the United Kingdom.