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Flooding at the intersection of Princess Anne and Hampton Blvd. in Norfolk, Va., on Thursday, July 29, 2010 after a severe storm hit the area. (Preston Gannaway/The Virginian-Pilot)

University of Maryland Leads New National Center for Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments, and Decisions

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland was selected in a national competition to lead a two-year, $11.3 million new National Center for Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments and Decisions. The University of Maryland consortium includes Arizona State University (ASU), Louisiana State University (LSU), Morgan State University (MSU), North Carolina State University (NCSU), Old Dominion University (ODU), and the University of New Orleans (UNO).

The University of Maryland National Center for Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments and Decisions (NCSTPID) is one of only five National Centers that were selected in this nationwide competition and the only one with a focus on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) strategic goal of "Economic Competitiveness."

The theme of the TPID Center will be "Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments and Decisions for Economic Competitiveness." The Center will conduct research and provide education and technology transfer related to this theme, and will directly support the U.S. DOT's strategic goal of economic competitiveness with consideration for other relevant strategic goals, such as safety and environmental sustainability.

"With the growing volume of traffic, an aging infrastructure and a need for smarter, more seamless movement of freight, this new UMD-led center will offer informed guidance on how best to invest precious transportation dollars," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "I am very proud that our engineering expertise and leadership has been recognized in this tangible way."

The expected total funding level for the first two years for this center will be around $11.3 million, of which about $5.65 million are federal and the rest is matching funds. The University of Maryland Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Transportation Program has a distinguished history in transportation research and education, and the NCSTPID award is a recognition of the contributions of the program's faculty to the state-of-the-art in transportation research and education.

"With these initial resources and support from our college and university, we can further develop our transportation program into a dominant force in this topic area," says the Director of the NCSTPID, Professor Lei Zhang. "I congratulate the University of Maryland on being selected to lead a new National Center for Strategic Transportation Policies, Investments and Decisions," stated Congressman Steny Hoyer. "Research and investment in infrastructure is critical to our nation's economic competitiveness, and given their excellent civil and environmental engineering transportation program, I'm confident the University is strongly positioned to lead the consortium and help solve some of our most pressing transportation challenges."

The NCSTPID is concerned with the integrated operations and planning of all modes serving the nation's passenger and freight transportation system, including the institutional issues associated with their management and investments. In particular, the TPID will focus on research, education, and technology transfer activities that can lead to: 1) freight efficiency for domestic shipping and for our international land, air, and sea ports; 2) highway congestion mitigation with multi-modal strategies; and 3) smart investments in intercity passenger travel facilities, such as high speed rail.

Cyber Risk to Transportation Industrial Control Systems

Cyber Risk to Transportation Industrial Control Systems was recently accepted for publication by the Journal Cyber Security and Information Systems. The paper will be published in full October 2013.


This paper is a result of a cyber risk assessment with a goal of increasing awareness to operators of infrastructure, managers, and political leadership. The meaning to cyber is a word that in our opinion has been aggregated to a bumper sticker label so generic, it means very little of anything to anyone trying to understand cyber risk. Senior executives and political leaders have a very limited understanding industrial control systems (ICS) and the crucial role ICS provide to public/private infrastructure, industry, and military systems. Therefore, to accomplish our purpose, we conducted a cyber-risk study focusing on a bridge tunnel ICS - a scenario of concern for senior transportation officials. In this paper we present the analytic approach, discuss our model, simulation, and analyze the results. As a result of this study we were able to discuss the importance of controls systems with State-level cabinet officials. We were able to demystify what we mean by "cyber" showing that it is possible through simulation to inject the effects of cyber scenarios of concern into simulations to assess impact. There was also an unintended benefit: During a system audit, ICS operators with decades of engineering experiences began to realize that the ICS is vulnerable to willful intrusion. More of these studies are needed to raise awareness.

R. Michael Robinson, Ph.D., Barry Ezell , Ph.D., Peter Foytik, M.S., Craig Jordan, P.E., and Joseph Weiss, P.E.


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