Senator Collins Announces UMaine will Receive More than $2.5 Million to Establish Highly-Competitive Transportation Research Center

UMaine Bests MIT for the Award for the First Time – Breaking MIT’s Decades Long Streak

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is awarding a total of $ 2,570,600 in grant funding to the University of Maine to lead the creation of a highly-competitive University Transportation Center (UTC). The UTC agreement will provide up to $14.2 million over five years for the UMaine-led coalition of six New England universities. Senator Collins is the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao called her this afternoon to inform her of this announcement.


“I was delighted to hear from Secretary Chao that UMaine will have the distinguished honor of leading our region’s transportation research center,” said Senator Collins.  “Building on an impressive legacy of accomplishment, UMaine is well-positioned to lead this research to address the major challenges facing the future of our nation’s transportation systems.”


"This is the first time that Maine becomes the regional hub for transportation infrastructure related research, along with our partners from all New England States,” said Dr. Habib Dagher, the founding Director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “We look forward to leading research that will extend the life of existing bridges, construct longer-lasting assets, and reduce costs for the DOT and the public."


Since 1987, the UTC program has advanced transportation research and technology at colleges and universities across the country. Every 5 years, academic institutions nationwide compete to form their region’s UTC. Since 1992, MIT has been chosen in every single round.  


Last August, UMaine submitted its UTC proposal titled, “Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center (TIDC): Extending the Life of Our Transportation Assets.”  In September, Senators Collins and Jack Reed (D-RI) sent a letter to the Department of Transportation in support of the proposal submitted by UMaine.