May 10, 2013


Transportation Intersections Between Science, Policy and Politics


1:40 - 3:00pm


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


Transportation is the backbone of our society and our economy and we face significant challenges including highway fatalities and injuries, an aging infrastructure, climate change, peak oil, the financial crisis, congestion, air quality, and livability concerns. Under Secretary Ray LaHood’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has focused on key priorities of safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, sustainability and livable communities. Within the U.S. DOT the hub for transportation research and education is the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), which includes key programs such as the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, University Transportation Centers and others. RITA aims to support and leverage the nation’s transportation research and education enterprise in partnership with many stakeholders within and outside of DOT. How do the threads of science, policy and politics intersect? What are the opportunities and constraints provided by the federal transportation research enterprise? How can you shape your research so your results can better influence policy? What are the future transportation sector workforce needs? How can you make a difference in the transportation field, whether in the public/government, private or academic/research sectors? Join Prof. Robert Bertini from Portland State University for this seminar providing an inside view from his experience serving in the Obama Administration as RITA’s deputy administrator. During his 25-year career in transportation Bertini has worked for local/federal government, private consulting/auto industry, as well as academia.

Biographical Sketch

Robert Bertini has been professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University since 2000. From 2009-2011, he served as Deputy Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and from 2011-2012 he was a visiting professor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

A registered professional engineer in Oregon and California, Bertini’s experience includes work with local government, several national transportation consulting firms and the auto industry. He has taught Introduction to Civil & Environmental Engineering, Introduction to Transportation Engineering, Urban Transportation Systems, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Public Transportation, Transportation Operations, and a summer study abroad course on multimodal transport infrastructure. Bertini has published many journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters and technical reports.  He chairs the Transportation Research Board Committee on Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics, and received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2002. A French horn player and former city planning commissioner, Bertini earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; an M.S. in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

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