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U of M Will Host National Transportation Center Conference

For release: June 10, 2013
For press information, contact Sean Ellis, 901-678-2837

The Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute (IFTI) at the University of Memphis will host the national Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) meeting June 11-12. More than 130 transportation-related academicians from the major universities in the United States will attend the two-day conference.  Participants will include individuals from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the University of California-Berkeley and many other schools, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation and state transportation organizations. 

In addition to being one of America’s most comprehensive transportation and logistics hubs featuring key highways, intermodal rail corridors, inland navigation and the global hub of FedEx Corp., Memphis serves as a perfect place for University Transportation Center members to gather and discuss transportation and transportation research. 

“We are excited and honored to be hosting the CUTC meeting,” said Dr. Martin Lipinski, director emeritus of IFTI and professor of civil engineering at the U of M. “By hosting these types of events, we have an opportunity to share our cutting-edge freight transportation research and explore University partnerships that may lead to collaborative projects that ultimately improve the efficient movement of goods in our country.” 

Dan Pallme, IFTI director, explained, “The University of Memphis motto is ‘Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers.’ I believe this fits perfectly with the UTC mission of research, education and outreach. Our researchers are free to dream of how to do things better, faster and more efficiently; our students are shown how to think, as they will be our future engineers and planners; and we share our knowledge and best practices with the doers of our community, which leads to a more successful transportation network.”

While in Memphis, the group will discuss policy, procedures and ways to strengthen private-public partnerships. Participants will meet during the day at the FedEx Institute of Technology and enjoy “Memphis Musts” in the evening, including dinner and tour at Graceland on Tuesday night and a variety of activities downtown on Wednesday. About 60 participants will attend the FedEx Night Sort tour.

IFTI addresses critical issues affecting the planning, design and operation of the nation’s intermodal freight transportation systems. The extensive transportation infrastructure in the Memphis region provides the perfect working laboratory for IFTI to solve critical problems facing the freight industry and generate educational opportunities to develop tomorrow’s leaders. IFTI leads the Southern Hub of the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education University Transportation Center (CFIRE). CFIRE is a Tier 1 UTC that encompasses a geographical area that serves the majority of freight traffic in the United States. CFIRE is composed of 10 universities with the University of Wisconsin-Madison leading the Northern Hub. The IFTI vision is to be a nationally recognized leader in linking people to solutions in freight and logistics through research, education and technology transfer activities.

More information about IFTI is available online at

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