Director's Vision

The MIOH UTC serves the needs of the nation and region by completing specific educational, research, outreach and technology transfer projects that do just that, serve the needs of both the region and the nation. MIOH identifies and selects such projects through processes that directly involve leaders from the US DOT, MDOT, ODOT, regional agencies and a variety of leaders from industry and academia.

MIOH is much more than a consortium of five universities. Rather, it is a full partnership of industry, government and academia. In fact, no "advisory committee" exists because industry and government leaders will be participants in the MIOH Operating Committee) and its three "Interest Groups" that focus on alternative energy, transportation system efficiency and supply chains. This partnership began through three intense "focused forums" that involved over 75 leaders from industry, government and academia. These forums yielded the initial "cut" of broad themes and over thirty (30) recommended projects for MIOH. Separate meetings with MDOT, ODOT, FHWA, and many other organizations have also created great potential for collaboration on their top priorities.

As a result of all of these activities, MIOH has honed its focal areas. This, together with the processes and criteria for project selection, assures that the projects are not only of the highest quality, but also well focused to meet a variety of objectives, including national impact, regional economic development, professional education, attraction of a larger and more diverse cohort of transportation professionals and direct impact on the congestion, the environment, energy efficiency, the competitive position and overall transportation system efficiencies in our region.

One additional aspect of MIOH that may be different than many other UTC's is the real, substantive outreach into the K-12 educational system to directly impact pre-college student's awareness, interest and preparation for careers as professionals in transportation. This program involves a partnership between faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy, high school teachers, the Ford Motor Company and the Educational Development Corporation. This partnership will yield content, courseware and methods that will be disseminated to over 80 high schools nationally.

While the specific projects in the areas of research and education will change from year to year, the themes are clearly established.

By the end of this four year grant period, the MIOH UTC will be:

  • a partnership of academia, government and industry marked by uniquely open and active dialogues on challenges and opportunities leading to substantive collaborations in response to them;
  • a widely recognized source of knowledge and expertise in the three MIOH focal areas;
  • a pipeline providing a large, diverse supply of transportation professionals who, by studying at the five MIOH universities (or in joint programs provided by multiple universities) possess exceptional competencies related to transportation systems, supply chains and alternative fuels;
  • highly regarded source of continuing education for working professionals; and
  • a catalyst for the generation of new products, services and systems that improve the economies of the MIOH region and its companies to partner and compete in the global marketplace.

When this vision is achieved the MIOH University Transportation Center will be sustainable through continued government and foundation grants, corporate investment, tuition and fee income, and sale of intellectual property.

I am personally excited and immensely pleased at the development of this enterprise and its promise to achieve the objectives of the Department of Transportation and our many partners in Michigan and Ohio. Together we can and will create new knowledge and impact the efficiencies and effectiveness of our transportation system thereby creating a positive economic impact…we can and will attract and educate a cadre of transportation professionals who are more able to address the opportunities of our region and then nation that their predecessors…and in doing so, we can and will support the sustained and increased strength of our region and our nation.

Dr. Leo E. Hanifin
Director - MIOH University Transportation Center