The Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center, known as MarTREC and based at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, has received $923,700 from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The funding is an additional grant — the center has received a total of $3,740,000 since 2013 — to support research and programs through September 2018.
MarTREC is a consortium of researchers at UA, Jackson State University, Louisiana State University and the University of New Orleans and is focused on maritime and multimodal transportation research.
“MarTREC researchers will continue to work on vital projects that will improve and sustain navigable waterways and help build the communities that serve and rely on these waterways,” Heather Nachtmann, professor of industrial engineering and the center’s director, said in a news release. “We are grateful that the transportation department entrusts our researchers with the national, strategic goal of economic competitiveness through efficient, resilient and sustainable transportation systems on U.S. navigable waterways.”
Nachtmann, who is also associate dean of research for the College of Engineering, is the principal investigator on the grant.
MarTREC researchers are nationally recognized experts in maritime and multimodal logistics, which integrates trucking, rail and barge carriers. They focus on developing resilient and sustainable infrastructure and effective emergency management systems for coastal and river valley communities.
UA researchers are developing a rapid and non-destructive method to assess the condition of levees and their resistance to liquefaction, the breakdown of soil caused by earthquakes or other geologic stresses. The team coordinates with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify levees that are unacceptable or minimally acceptable based on current structural criteria.
Another UA research team is working on a multimodal supply-chain system to support secure and resilient inland waterways. The objective of this project is to provide timely information on cargoes that should receive high priority rating for off-loading and alternative infrastructure if there is a disruption to normal waterway routes due to a natural disaster or an attack.