Statement of Michael Kyte
National Center for Advanced Transportation Technology
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
ISTEA Reauthorization
March 22, 1997

It is my great pleasure today to talk to you about the University of Idaho's National Center for Advanced Transportation Technology, or NCATT. Your decision to hold this hearing in Idaho is important because it allows you to learn about three important issues that affect this region. The importance of using advanced technologies to solve rural transportation problems, the importance of developing regional partnerships that include the science and engineering base at our universities and our national labs, and the importance of continuing to invest in our future transportation engineers to the strengthening of the University Transportation Centers Program.

I would like to make three points to you today. There won't be an exam at the end, as is part of my normal business. First, the Congress made a key investment in the University of Idaho when it established NCATT in 1991 through that year's ISTEA legislation. We have used this investment to create a transportation center that brings together the skills of faculty and students, from engineering, human factors, geography, geology, and agriculture to develop advanced technology applications. I will show you some examples of the substantial return on this investment in just a few minutes. We are asking that NCATT be designated as a center in this year's authorization bill and that our particular expertise, advanced transportation technology, be recognized.

Second, we are part of a larger community of transportation centers and institutes. The university centers and institutes are producing a new generation of engineers that are needed to design, build, operate and maintain the transportation system for the 21st century. Each center and institute has a unique theme and mission; each continues to make an important contribution; and each needs to be supported as a part of the University Transportation Centers Program.

Third, we are also a part of a regional community. We established the Idaho Transportation Consortium in 1993 to bring together the University of Idaho, the National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, the Idaho Transportation Department, and the Federal Highway Administration to combine our talents to solve regional and national problems.

I'd now like to show you a few of the things that we have accomplished during the past five years as a result of the investment that was made in the University of Idaho as a part of ISTEA.