AUTRI wins national CUTC 2022 Technology Transfer Leadership Award

Published: Jan 30, 2023 12:00 PM

By Gracie Barranco

The Auburn University Transportation Research Institute (AUTRI) was awarded the Council of University Transportation Center‘s (CUTC) 2022 Technology Transfer Leadership Award at the CUTC Annual Awards Banquet held Jan. 6 in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the 102nd Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Meeting. On hand to accept the award were associate civil and environmental engineering professor Jeffrey LaMondia and AUTRI Director Laurence Rilett.

The CUTC Technology Transfer Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership in designing and delivering technology transfer programs. 

“CUTC has more than 80 member centers and includes representatives from the top universities in the United States,” Rilett said. “This is a very competitive and prestigious award. It is great that AUTRI has been recognized as being a leader in this important area.”

The winning AUTRI T2 program was a true collaboration. Led by LaMondia, the team included graduate students Fernando Cordero and Corinne Arcenal, as well Sondra Parmer, Ruth Brock and Mitch Carter from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES).

Their work was done as part of a five-year, $5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The focus was on 13 Alabama counties with some of the highest obesity rates in the country. The project centered on using transportation to improve active travel in these communities and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

“We developed a multi-step program that is implemented in the communities. It takes a lot of our complex engineering tools and processes and simplifies them so that folks who work in the community can start advocating for these improvements,” LaMondia said.

The research team worked with each community individually to identify its unique transportation challenges. After the county was evaluated, the team then developed a plan which consisted of both short-term and long-term goals for transportation improvement.

The team's efforts resulted in new sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks and improved intersections throughout the 13 counties.

“We are really proud of what we have accomplished in these communities,” LaMondia said. “Many of them are small and have not been able to advocate for themselves. There is just such a need in these communities. It is improving their quality of life and their vision of what they want their community to be. And that, to me, is really powerful.”

The award-winning Technology Transfer program was a true partnership between the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and ACES, whose mission is to take cutting-edge research and put it into practice.

 “It is a really great partnership because they (ACES) are big into economic development, access to healthy foods and things like that. Our team’s expertise is really on the active transportation side of things. Being able to combine our outreach expertise was critical to the success of the project” LaMondia said.

Established in 1979, CUTC provides a forum for the leading university-based transportation agencies to interact collectively with government and industry. CUTC’s overarching mission is to promote university research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer as essential to the nation’s transportation system.
Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591
Jeff LaMondia, Sondra Parmer, Ruth Brock and Mitch Carter.

Jeff LaMondia, Sondra Parmer, Ruth Brock and Mitch Carter.

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