The education and training goals of the Freight Mobility Research Institute (FMRI) are to design and implement interdisciplinary programs, experiential training, and life-long learning in the field of transportation engineering and management specifically focusing on freight and supply chain issues. Along with the classroom experience, educational initiatives would provide opportunities to our students to gain practical experiences and knowledge through internships with local/national organizations and through research projects carried out at FMRI and its consortium members. These initiatives will not be limited to FMRI members but be available to all related parties and the larger community of students and scholars.
The FMRI member institutions would continue to enhance its degree-granting programs by building on our faculty’s history of success in translating research work into classroom activities, courses and department curricula. FMRI consortium members already offer, or would develop new transportation coursework encompassing a wide variety of topics to reach students in multiple disciplines.
FMRI members have or would create new partnerships with K-12 educational systems in their respective locations and beyond. FMRI aims to create an educational pipeline of transportation workers by developing programs at various stages of the learning spectrum, i.e., from K-12 students to practicing professionals. FMRI activities would be designed to increase interest in STEM and raise awareness of transportation career opportunities from middle and high school students to college graduates. FMRI members would create transportation related summer, as well as school year programs for K-12 students.
FMRI members would support and attempt to establish and support student chapters of transportation related organizations in the respective institutions including high schools. FMRI personnel would provide materials and their expertise to these student run organizations. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)-FAU Student Chapter is currently sponsored by the FMRI.
The technology transfer goal of FMRI is two-fold: 1. timely dissemination of research results, and 2: direct implementation of research projects’ outcomes. These goals would be realized through continuous activities including quarterly outcome dissemination via an FMRI research communiqué.
Research and other activity results would be disseminated via multiple sources. These sources include but are not limited to a research publication, report submissions, posting outcomes on the FMRI website, and personal communication with interested parties. Educational material development like curricula or summer programs would be shared with interested parties among consortium members as well as associated K-12 program partners. Furthermore, students associated with the program would be the brand ambassadors of FMRI technology transfer.
FMRI research results would be provided to potential users in a form that can be directly implemented, utilized and/or otherwise applied. FMRI members have an outstanding track record of success sharing expertise and research results with local, regional, national and international communities for use in real-world applications and are committed to building on these accomplishments. FMRI members would continue to partner with a variety of local, state, federal and private sector partners to maximize the potential for the adoption and implementation of innovative research developed through its programs and actively seek partners to move research into practice.
The FMRI is committed to broadening participation and expanding the workforce diversity in the transportation sector through its research, education, and workforce development activities. The FMRI is committed to enhancing diversity by broadening participation of women and minority communities in transportation research and careers. Many member institutes have existing programs which provide research, educational and internship opportunities for women and minority communities’ students in transportation. Brief details of some member institutes are included below.
The Geomatics and transportation engineering program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has a strong track record in participating and attracting underrepresented new entrants to the transportation field. More than 50% of all graduate students, who are currently enrolled in the program are minority/Hispanic students. The transportation program at FAU has also actively recruited African American, and female students with a number of existing institutional diversity and inclusion resources.
Diversity and inclusion at Portland State University is celebrated and supported by a new, central office called Global Diversity and Inclusion that includes both the Office of Equity & Compliance and the Office of Diversity Advocacy.
At the University of Memphis (UofM) more than 35 percent of students enrolled are underrepresented minorities, and approximately 32 percent of STEM majors are African-American out of a total of 22,000 students. UofM provides numerous support programs for underrepresented minority students as well as first generation college students through the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) and the STEM TRIO programs; UofM is in a position, through its collaboration with the West TN STEM Hub, GEE, and TREC, to increase confidence, interest, and awareness of the wide array of career opportunities in transportation and STEM disciplines, and is ranked 19th in the nation for graduating African-American students.
Hampton University (HU) is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and is ranked number three among HBCUs in 2015. HU is a racially diverse university with over 80% students of African-American descent; 30 to 40% of these students are enrolled in STEM related disciplines like nursing, sciences, engineering and technology, and pharmacy. HU graduates one of the largest number of African-American STEM graduates in certain fields. Several HU students in the past have been involved in a number of transportation related projects like traffic congestion, texting-while-driving, bus driver distraction, transportation infrastructure health monitoring, highway pollution, etc. These research activities were supported by state, federal and industry research funds.