Brief History of the Institute for Transportation


The Local Transportation Information Center (LTIC) begins at Iowa State University in 1983 as one of the Federal Highway Administration's 10 original Rural Technical Assistance Programs (later, the Local Technical Assistance Program, or LTAP). Under the leadership of Dr. Stanley Ring, this $100,000-a-year technology transfer program serves Iowa's local transportation agencies and rural transit departments. 


Dr. Ring retires and Dr. Tom Maze becomes the LTIC director. A second major transportation program comes to Iowa State University when a consortium led by Iowa State wins the University Transportation Center Program (UTCP) grant for the region including Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The UTCP grant funds the Midwest Transportation Center, under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Allen. 

Early 1990s

Dr. Allen leaves Iowa State, and Dr. Maze assumes the directorship of the UTCP grant in 1990. In 1992 the LTAP and UTCP activities are merged under one organizational structure, the Iowa Transportation Center (ITC), with Dr. Maze as director. A strong partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation continues to grow, and the ITC's overall research , education, and outreach programs flourish. Divisions are established in advanced transportation technologies and in information planning and information systems. 

Mid 1990s

The UTCP grant is awarded to another consortium in 1994, but by now the ITC has matured into a nationally recognized, multimillion-dollar-a-year program in its own right with divisions in outreach, advanced technologies, and planning and information systems. In 1995 the center's name is changed to the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE). 


In 1997 CTRE signs a multiyear agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation to regularize the department's financial support of CTRE's programs and to streamline contracting arrangements between the two organizations. The two partners also begin a unique "shared faculty" program, funding faculty in key transportation-related disciplines to conduct research at CTRE/Iowa State University and provide support to Iowa DOT staff.


The 1999-2000 fiscal year is a watershed. The center wins the UTCP grant for the next five years and, together with its UTCP partners, establishes the Midwest Transportation Center. 

CTRE establishes several new divisions-pavements, bridges and structures, traffic engineering and traffic safety, and policy-and moves into a 14,000-square-foot facility with a geographic information systems laboratory, a computer training laboratory, a videoconference room, and improved office and conferencing space for staff and affiliate faculty. 

Mr. Stephen Andrle succeeds Dr. Maze as CTRE's director. 

Expanding its traditional partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation to include Iowa's concrete paving industry, CTRE receives financial support and creates an important new program: the Center for Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Technology.


CTRE conducts its first National Cooperative Highway Research Program-funded project, developing a long-term research plan for highway renewal, one of four elements of the proposed future Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP-2).

CTRE undertakes oversight of the development of Iowa’s Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS) manuals.


CTRE, with the help of Iowa DOT and industry, purchases and equips two mobile research laboratories that travel the country performing research related to concrete paving materials and geotechnical materials.


The Center for Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Technology assumes a new, national identity and name—National Center for Concrete Pavement Technology. The CP Tech Center is supported in part by FHWA and the American Concrete Pavement Association.


CTRE moves into larger (23,000 sq ft) space in the ISU Research Park. Dr. Lowell Greimann, retired professor of civil engineering, becomes CTRE’s interim director when Stephen Andrle returns to the Transportation Research Board in D.C.


Dr. Shashi Nambisan becomes CTRE’s third director. By now CTRE manages 11 long-term programs. Won nationally competitive, three-year Tier-1 UTC contract, the Midwest Transportation Center.


The Center for Nanotechnology in Cementitious Systems is a new initiative under the InTrans umbrella. Specializing in the science of cementitious materials, the interdisplinary CNCS combines staff experience and research activities in concrete technology and materials science and engineering.


The organization’s status change from a university center to institute is reflected in its new name: Institute for Transportation (InTrans).

CTRE is now a center within InTrans; it was retained as an entity to represent its constituent programs and also to preserve its national brand recognition.


InTrans’s new mobile driving simulation lab goes on the road to support research, education, and outreach efforts.

Partnering with the FHWA, Forest Products Laboratory, and National Park Service, the Bridge Engineering Center at InTrans oversees a national cooperative research program, the National Center for Wood Transportation Structures.


InTrans’s geotechnical program becomes the Center for Earthworks Engineering Research (CEER) to reflect its expanded global partnerships and activities and sponsorship of a new, one-of-a-kind graduate degree program in geo-construction.

InTrans's second, three-year Tier-1 UTC contract, the Midwest Transportation Center, ended in late 2011.


Shauna Hallmark becomes InTrans Interim Director in August.

InTrans is a member of the newly awarded regional UTC grant, the Mid-American Transportation Center (MATC), led by the University of Nebraska.

In addition to its role in MATC, InTrans now oversees seven university centers and eight long-term funded programs, referred to as "units":

  • Bridge Engineeering Center
  • Center for Earthworks Engineering Research
  • Center for Nanotechnology in Cementitious Systems
  • Center for Weather Impacts on Mobility and Safety
  • Center for Transportation Research and Education including
    • Iowa Pavement Management Program
    • Iowa Traffic Safety Data Service
    • Roadway Infrastructure Management and Operations Systems
    • Sustainable Transportation Systems Program
  • National Center for Wood Transportation Structures
  • National Concrete Pavement Technology Center
  • Asphalt Materials and Pavements Program
  • Construction Management and Technology
  • Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)
  • Statewide Urban Design and Specificiations


In October, InTrans is awarded federal funding totaling $2.52 million per year over the next two years to establish and lead the Midwest Transportation Center. Partner universities include Creighton University (Nebraska); Harris-Stowe State University (Missouri); University of Missouri, Columbia; University of Missouri, St. Louis; and Wichita State University (Kansas).


Shauna Hallmark is named InTrans director in February.