In 2006, 2011, and 2016, the Mid-America Transportation Center won the U. S. Department of Transportation’s competition for the Region VII University Transportation Center—the region that includes Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. The consortium partners consist of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Iowa, the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Lincoln University, Nebraska Indian Community College, and the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves as the lead institution of the consortium and MATC has its headquarters on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
The theme of the Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC) is improving safety and minimizing risk associated with increasing multi-modal freight movements on the U.S. surface transportation system.
The states that comprise Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) have many commonalities and, not surprisingly, the states' respective transportation agencies face many similar issues in providing a safe, efficient, and effective transportation system. The majority of the region's roadway networks are primarily rural, although there are a number of major cities interspersed throughout the area that face traditional urban transportation problems. The four states experience a considerable amount of freight traffic on the region's roadways, railways, and waterways - all of which are located at the crossroads of the nation's transportation system. In Region VII, interstates I-70 and I-80 are vital east-west corridors and interstates I-35 and I-29 are major north-south corridors. Given the region's diverse economy and growing trade with China, Mexico, and Canada, freight traffic is increasing every year and is having a profound effect on the region's infrastructure. Congestion on the roadways, railways, and waterways caused by this additional freight traffic will have an increasingly detrimental effect on the safety of the region's citizens, the traveling public, the transportation infrastructure, and the region's economy.
The interdisciplinary areas of expertise required to successfully meet the research, education, and technology transfer objectives associated with our theme include risk and reliability analysis, structural analysis, materials engineering, transportation system operations, and alternative transportation infrastructure financing. MATC will work with the leading faculty members from multiple academic departments of the consortium universities. These faculty members will partner with staff from the state transportation agencies and members of the commercial freight industry. Engineers from the partner organizations will add comprehensive knowledge to minimize the risk to the critical infrastructure systems of the region and, by extension, of the nation. This collaboration is established to foster an intellectual climate and physical environment capable of supporting the increasing need to improve safety and reduce risk on the multi-modal transportation system.