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Transportation Systems Research in the United States: An Overview Executive Summary Transportation systems and services (on land and water, in the air, and in space) account for some 2~25 percent of the U.S. gross national product (GNP) a striking measure of their critical importance to the nation. Transportation is such a ubiquitous feature of modern life that we tend to take it for granted. Yet the efficient and productive design, manufacture, operation, and control of transportation systems is key to the ease or difficulty of day-to-day life and our ability to respond effectively to a national emergency. Because it has a major impact on the cost of goods and their delivery, transportation is also an important key to the competitiveness of companies in the domestic economy and of U.S. industries in the world economy. Previous engineering research has made possible today's highly developed and complex transportation systems. Continuing re- search is essential to meet the ever-increasing transportation de- mands of individuals, the industrial and commercial sectors, and the military. Individuals, organizations, and nations prosper and develop in concert with progress in transportation. If the United States does not contribute substantially to that progress, it will have to defer to other nations in both the economic and defense realms for the advances they devise. 281

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282 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH The field of transportation research encompasses almost all of the disciplines and interdisciplines of engineering. It has strong hardware and software components that include vehicles, the guideways along which they travel, and the "intermodal" inter- faces or facilities connecting two or more modes of transportation. Important methodology questions of network analysis and design, communications and control, logistics, and system planning and management complement the concern with equipment and facili- ties. Important issues for future transportation systems pertain to the need to: increase productivity, increase defense effectiveness, limit undesirable congestion, improve reliability, reduce life-cycle costs, protect the environment, manage safety hazards and risks, and conserve scarce energy and material resources. From these demands derive a wide range of engineering research requirements and opportunities. The Pane] on Transportation Systems Re- search has selected a few research needs from among the many that deserve special emphasis and attention. The research needs identified here are grouped into four categories. Those needs in the first category (needs that are applicable to all modes of transporta- tion) are the most critical, and the pane! wishes to emphasize that they present the greatest opportunities for benefiting the nation. The reader is cautioned that the topics chosen are those judged to be of prime importance in meeting transportation needs relevant to the civilian sector, including those common to both the civilian and defense sectors. Therefore, many areas of critical importance to the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard that are strictly military in nature do not appear. Among those areas are the technological research subjects essential to an adequate global combat readiness the rapid and effective transportation of materiel and personnel to and within possible combat areas. 1. Engineering research needs applicable to all modes of trans- portation (i.e., cross-modal research): . systems engineering (integration of all or major segments of the entire spectrum of vehicle design, vehicle-guideway interac- tions, traffic control, intermodal interfaces, and the planning and logistics of transportation networks for moving people and goods); the mechanics of slowly deteriorating systems; energy conversion and pollution control; fluid dynamics of separated flows; and

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH . nonlinear collapse of structures. 283 2. Fundamental engineering research areas of special rele- vance to transportation systems: tribology; computational fluid and solid mechanics; and the man-machine interface. 3. Broad, fundamental research areas within the purview of other panels of the Engineering Research Board: computers and control technology; manufacturing sciences; composite and other advanced materials; and structures. 4. Specific aspects of (civilian) modes of transportation re- ~ qulrlng research: ~ aerospace gas turbine engines, laminar flow control or turbulence suppression, novel configurations and the influence of structural design on aerodynamics, interactions among compo- nents, and transatmospheric propulsion; ~ Maritimeports, terminals, and waterways; cargo han- dling systems; hazardous cargos; new ship forms; and shipbuild- ~ng; ~ Automotive/highwayurban/suburban street and highway maintenance, safety, and highway productivity; Railroads lighter-weight rolling stock, safety, signaling and communications, maintenance of track structure, evaluation and inspection; and . Pipelinesin-situ inspection and refurbishment, pneumatic transport of fluidized solids, and capsule transport. The panel found that federal support for engineering research in transportation is very uneven across the different modes. Sup- port for aerospace research is substantial; support for the automo- tive/highway and maritime modes is moderate, but inadequate in many areas; and federal research support for the rail and pipeline modes is virtually nonexistent. Many components of all transportation modes, including most of the guideways (e.g., highways and aircraft flight paths) and many of the intermodal interfaces (e.g., ports and terminals), are in the public sector; research on these components is clearly in the government's domain. Research on other components (e.g., .

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284 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH most familiar vehicles) is being addressed more or less satisfacto- rily by the private sector; nevertheless, there are important areas of fundamental research that the private sector cannot adequately pursue and that should be supported by government. In addi- tion, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other federal agencies should increase the research on which their regulation of the transportation industry and equipment/vehicle manufacturers is based, in order to ensure that such regulation meets national objectives of safety and productivity. The government is also responsible for the national defense, of which transportation systems are a highly significant element. The panel found that, in areas in which there is a clear and direct rela- tionship between defense and an element of civilian transportation (e.g., air traffic control), federal support for research is adequate. In areas in which there is a less direct relationship, inadequate research may lead to a situation in which civilian transportation systems either do not exist or could not be mobilized quickly enough to meet national defense needs. Fundamental engineer- ing research is needed to define the transportation problems that would be posed by various national emergencies and to provide the knowledge required to solve these problems. The federal government should assist the maritime and rail- road industries in moving toward substantially increasing their research activities in order to meet worldwide competition and to develop a readiness for defense mobilization. In addition, the potential for more fully exploiting pipeline systems should be care- fully examined from an engineering and economic standpoint. Re- search should provide the knowledge base for new pipeline inspec- tion and repair methods. When a component of a transportation system is in the public sector (and in the aerospace mode generally), government funding should be directed at both fundamental and applied engineering research. For all other civilian components, it should be directed primarily at fundamental research. The National Science Foun- dation (NSF) should mount a significant program of fundamental research in transportation (including its methodological aspects). In addition, the DOT should resume and expand its programs in support of fundamental research across the spectrum of trans- portation, with universities as the principal performers, so that knowledgeable graduates will be available to both industry and government.

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 285 The panel found that an adequate number of university faculty is currently involved in the methodological aspects of transporta- tion; however, this number is decreasing because of a lack of both research funding and graduate students. The hardware-oriented side of the field draws practitioners from all disciplines, but there is a shortage of qualified and interested Ph.D.s and doctoral can- didates (especially U.S.-born candidates). If universities receive the majority of the federal government's funding of fundamental engineering research, this will increase both the knowledge base for private sector development of transportation systems and the supply of appropriately educated people. Additional efforts on the part of schools, industry, and the government are needed to attract greater numbers of qualified Ph.D. candidates into transportation research. Intro duct ion SCOPE OF THE PANEL'S REPORT The Pane! on Transportation Systems Research was charged with examining issues posed for its parent body, the Engineering Research Board, relating to those areas of engineering research critical to the future of transportation systems within the interests of the United States. The panel's charge encompassed civil and military transportation systems alike, operating in every sphere- land, water, air, and space. Included within this broad scope was the identification of key areas of engineering research, as a basis for achieving a wide range of objectives: . to improve the efficiency, safety, environmental effects, cost, reliability, and durability of the components of transportation systems; . to optimize the design, management, and control of trans- portation systems, including air, ground, and maritime systems; . to enable better decisions to be made when choosing among existing modes and intermodal systems; and to develop new or greatly improved transportation systems, including interfaces among modes of transportation.

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286 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH BACKGROUND The term "transportation systems" refers to the various means by which technology and resources are applied to the movement of people and commodities from place to place in response to economic and societal needs and desires. Transportation systems and services account for some 2~25 percent of the GNP one striking measure of the critical importance of this field. In an increasingly global economy, the productivity and efficiency of transportation is a key element in the competitiveness of individual companies and U.S. industries alike. It is equally critical to the nation's defense readiness. Today's transportation systems have drawn heavily from prac- tically every area of engineering research to achieve their present level of effectiveness, safety, reliability, and economy. Tomorrow's systems including those not yet developed will continue to de- pend on the broad spectrum of engineering research for the many basic elements of knowledge they will require to meet the nation's transportation needs in a safe, reliable, and economical manner. The field of transportation is so broad that it encompasses most engineering disciplines and interdisciplines. Research results in materials, in fluid mechanics and combustion, in solid mechanics and structures, in electronic devices and controls, in computer and systems science and engineering, in manufacturing and fabrication, in construction, and in aspects of the man-machine interface have been applied to transportation in a highly integrated way. This research has enabled the transformation of primitive predecessors into the present surface vessels, submarines, trains, autos, trucks, off-road vehicles, pipeline systems, aircraft and space vehicles, and other familiar people and goods movers and the visible and invisible paths on which they move. It might be tempting to believe that so much has been ac- complished in the transportation field to date that little dramatic progress can be expected in the future. The literature of past decades and centuries is replete with assertions that "they've gone about as far as they can go." Each time, the expectations for little change have proved to be false often catastrophically so in eco- nomic and/or military terms, for those so complacent. Sometimes improvements simply continued at a steady pace. At other times new modes or new devices were developed to supersede those for

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 287 which only marginal unprovements could be achieved. The les- son should be clear: Individuals, groups, and nations prosper and develop in concert with progress in transportation. If the United States does not contribute substantially to that progress, it will have to defer to other nations in both the economic and defense realms for the advancements they devise. Engineering research directed at transportation can provide the overall framework for significant advances in the future. A1- though every individual and every organization uses transporta- tion systems, and are therefore informed about (and typically critical of) their-shortcomings, few are aware of the complex and pervasive influence transportation systems have on the national welfare. Most people understand that transportation systems fa- cilitate achieving widely accepted societal goals pertaining to the quality of life, to domestic productivity, and to the nation's eco- nomic and defense position relative to the rest of the world. It is also widely recognized that limitations in transportation systems hamper achieving those goals. Less apparent, however, are the far-reaching implications that relaxing or tightening this system of limiting factors may have on seemingly unrelated events. Adjustments in the system bring about a cascade of changes that affect the growth and decline of cities and regions, the expansion or contraction of sectors of the economy, and our ability to function effectively in the world economic system and to defend successfully our national interests in the world political system. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' oil embargo of 1973 and subsequent price increases are a prime example, leading as they did to a worldwide economic readjustment and major alterations in the direction and fortunes of some of our nation's largest industries. Substantial decreases in oil prices could in the future have equally powerful impacts on the world economy and not entirely beneficial ones. DEFINITION OF THE FIEI,D A transportation system encompasses (1) guideways (or sim- ply "ways"), (2) vehicles Including containers), (3) operations and control, and (4) terminals and other nodes. Often the term ~mode" is used to refer to the vehicle (e.g., surface ship, aircraft, or spacecraft) and/or guideway (e.g., highway, railroad, or pipeline). Thus, a transportation system may be modal or intermodal (e.g.,

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288 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH truck-rail). Interfaces between modes are included in the system description. Transportation systems research encompasses not only the tangible components of these systems, but also the software and methodologies governing a system's design, operation, and man- agement to meet the ever-changing needs and desires of our society. Table 1 lists aspects of transportation that are subject to engineer- ing research. Systems engineering, which encompasses both the tangible components and methodological elements of transporta- tion systems, brings public and/or social choices and concerns into play along with the other aspects shown in Table 1. Important or Emerging Areas of Transportation Systems Research IDENTIFYING RESEARCH NEEDS IN TRANSPORTATION Despite the great importance of our transportation system to the nation, as measured by the enormous public investment mentioned earlier, there is little investment in and almost no co- ordination of the research needed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of either the overall transportation system or of the individual modes. Indeed, for our highways alone (a $1 trillion system), less than 0.15 percent of the nation's 1982 expenditures on the system went for research. The leverage for benefit from a proportionately small increase in research is very large. One reason that more research is not done, however, is that the payoffs come not to the industry that might pioneer the advance, but to the users of the system. This absence of financial return has limited industrial investments in research. As a nation, then, we are missing a great opportunity to invest wisely in transportation systems research. What are the best investments we can make in that research? Too often we do not know, because even the studies that would determine the important trade-offs have not been done. A logical starting point, however, is the projection of likely future societal needs with re- spect to transportation systems. Because these needs will derive

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH TABLE 1 Aspects of Transportation Systems Subject to Engineering Research System Topic 289 Vehicles G uideways Intermodal interfaces Communication Network analysis System planning and management Propulsion Container Communications Controls Safety equipment Pollution controls Navigational equipment Structures G eometrics Maintenance equipment Safety equipment Navigational equipment Conveyors Parking facilities Freight handling equipment Terminals (e.g., harbors) Vehicle to vehicle Vehicle to guideway Guideway to vehicle intermode Equilibrium Logistics Congestion reduction Location Safety Capacity Environmental impacts Flow relationships Mode choices Man-machine interface Control

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290 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH primarily from public (including military) expectations and con- cerns regarding transportation, the pane! undertook initially to identify those expectations and concerns shared jointly by the civilian and defense sectors. GROWING ISSUES IN TRANSPORTATION Issues that the pane! expects to be of major concern in the context of the overall U.S. transportation system in the next 20 years are general pressure for more elective transportation (better and more transportation for less money); increasing traffic congestion (both ground and air); heightened expectations for improved reliability and dura- bility; pressure for lower life-cycle costs; demands for less negative impacts on the physical environ- ment (air, water, noise, solid-waste, and aesthetic pollu- tion); the need for greater public understanding of safety and/or risk management; and the reemergence of energy and material resources as a con- straint. IMPACTS ON RESEARCH Viewed another way, these issues highlight public expectations of (1) increased safety and convenience for the available modes of transportation, (2) commercial and industrial needs for lower costs and more reliable and timely delivery of goods, arid (3) enormous rn~litary logistics needs in times of national emergency. These expectations and needs will not be met satisfactorily in the increasingly crowded future solely on the basis of present knowledge. Substantial innovations in transportation systems in the form of both major improvements and new developmentswill be re- quired to meet these expectations and concerns electively. The often-noted unpredictability of major innovations argues strongly for broadly supporting engineering research to provide the store- house of knowledge on which such breakthroughs can be based. Yet some engineering research areas deserve special emphasis because

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 291 they are certain to provide part of the background information essential for future transportation systems. STRATEGY FOR SELECTION OF CRITICAL RESEARCH AREAS In order to identify a number of important present or emerging areas of research that have a high potential for meeting these needs, the panel examined much of the range of transportation engineering research. In the process, it identified and considered more than 50 specific promising areas of research. To reduce that group to those with the greatest potential impact, the panel applied certain selection criteria. A broad criterion was that the research be relevant to the civilian sector (i.e., including military-related research with direct civilian applicability). In addition, the pane! weighed the can- didate areas on the basis of: (1) their perceived importance to the nation, using the list of needs and concerns expressed previ- ously; and (2) the perceived potential for payoff, especially in the medium- to long-term time frame (or at least 10 years away). Applying these criteria, the panel developed four lists. The first list consists of five cross-modal engineering research areas with transportation-wide applicability. The pane] considers these five research areas as being the most critical ones and as having the greatest potential for benefiting the nation. The second list consists of three broad, fundamental research areas of special rel- evance to transportation but with applications to other fields as well. The third list consists of mode-specific research topics with the potential to provide a breakthrough in various modes of trans- portation. The fourth list simply notes, by title, research areas of great importance to transportation but that are the primary concern of other panels of the Engineering Research Board. Beyond the criteria mentioned previously, the panel focused on research needs that are novel, or that represent the possibility of a major, nonmarginal advance. There was a deliberate intent not to include those research opportunities that are obvious exten- sions of current knowledge, but that are simply not being funded despite their evident potential for near-term payoff. To that end, the panel endorses wholeheartedly the recommendations for near- term research put forth by organizations such as the Transporta- tion Research Board, with respect to highway systems, and the Association of American Railroads, with respect to rail systems.

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310 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH governmental research at the federal [eve! on railroad issues not immediately related to safety. Guided moderate- to high-speed rail passenger transportation has been given only sporadic attention in the United States.* The rail passenger vehicles that move commuters, whether on heavy or light rail services or as a part of conventional railroad lines using their right~of-way, are not different in essential detail from those used decades ago. There ~ very little commitment to research on the part of either private operators or the federal government. Air Transportation. The history of research on air trans- portation has been rather different. Aircraft technology is based, to a significant extent, on federally financed research carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aero- nautics), the Air Force, the Navy, and to a lesser extent, the Army. Armed with this publicly financed work on aerodynamics, propulsion systems, navigation and communication systems, and related technical processes, the airlines recognize that they do not need to support major basic research programs of their own. All they must do is define, from their commercial perspective, what their technical requirements are. The airframe and engine manufacturers, who derive substan- tial income from military procurement programs along with their associated direct research and independent R&D, are readily able to adapt technology from defense and NASA programs to com- mercial applications. A threat comes, however, from consortia abroad, when direct governmental funding of research and technic logical development makes Japanese and European manufacturers more competitive than American aerospace companies trying to satisfy a commercial market. Furthermore, the sheer cost of bring- ing new designs to market has risen to the point that an aircraft manufacturer or engine manufacturer essentially "bets the com- pany" on its ability to command a large enough market share to earn back its applied R&D costs in translating the underlying technology into a competitive airframe or engine. Competitive *High-speed ground transportation systems in Japan and Europe con- tinue to attract attention, although none are able to operate without sub- stantial government subsidies. Various U.S. operators are considering the feasibility of adopting these approaches, but they are generally even less eco- nomically attractive in the special circumstances of distances and population densities in the United States.

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 311 forces have now narrowed the base of commercial suppliers in the United States almost to the vanishing point. Nevertheless, the U.S. aerospace industry is satisfied with the existing arrangement, there appears to be no change in view for government policy on research relevant to commercial needs. The nation's airways and associated control systems are sup- ported by the federal government, partly for national defense pur- poses. Major research programs in progress are already looking at next-generation air traffic control systems designed to increase flight density without impairing safety. Pipelines. Pipelines are a very special form of transportation- and a very successful one. They carry a large percentage of the liquid fuels that are transported, and account for 18 percent of all ton-miles of intercity domestic freight. Pipelines are not receiv- ing significant amounts of research funding. Accordingly, the full range of opportunities for pipelines to compete with other modes of transportation has not been explored (see the section on "~den- tifying Research Needs in Transportations. The use of clifferent transport media, slurries, and capsules for transport of bulk prod- ucts warrants considerable study to determine whether the rote of pipelines in transportation can be expanded. Serious doubt has been cast on the economic viability of pipelines in some applications, as a result of the high costs of the Alaskan pipeline. Research is needed on materials, construction, and inspection technology to ensure that pipelines can play their proper role in the economy of the future. NEED FOR A RETHINKING OF POLICIES In summary, it is clear that the government does not allocate equal funding to fundamental or applied research and the develop- ment of technology across the various modes of transportation. If a field is obviously and closely related to ongoing, large-scale mil- itary procurement neecis (e.g., aircraft and spacecraft), it derives great benefits from the associated government-sponsored research and development. If the procurement is sporadic, as it is for naval surface vessels, then governmen~sponsored research activity Is modest, as is any carryover to commercial shipping. If the connec- tion to defense is clear, but critical only under wartime conditions or an imminent threat of war as it is for the highway, railroad, maritime, and pipeline transportation systems then research is

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312 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH left pr~rnarily to the private sector. Yet the private sector cannot abort to conduct research that addresses defense needs. As a consequence, the rate of technological advancement dif- fers significantly from one transportation mode to the next, and the United States as a whole does not have the benefit of optimum tech- nology deriving from both private and public investment decisions. Numerous attempts have been made to address the question of a national transportation policy. However, none of these stud- ies has been able to clarify how local governments, states, the federal government, and the private sector can coordinate or com- bine their research efforts in pursuit of what should be common transportation goals. The United States surface freight transportation system (truck, rail, and ship) is extremely elective but expensive be- cause of the substantial duplication of services. That duplication must be reexamined in the face of much more aggressive interna- tional econorn~c competition on the one hand and our emergency national defense needs on the other. During a national emergency, the nation's transportation sys- tem must be ready to function efficiently in an entirely different way. The tranportation problems that would be posed by such an emergency require research, first to define them, and then to pro- vide the necessary knowledge base for their solution. The delays and inadequacies of previous responses provide ample warning of the need. With regard to the movement of people, the United States has unparalleled mobility, but at great expense too great, in the eyes of some. It is not clear, given the growth and redistribution of the population and the increasing cost of energy over time, that the current balance between the private and public transportation of people represents the optimum national investment. Research aimed at exploring options is not adequately supported. Accord- ingly, present and future Sections will have an ad hoc quality. These decisions will not be systems oriented, as they must be if efficient and rational choices in the use of resources are to be proposed and then acted on by the public and private sectors.

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH Trues Affecting the Health of Transportation Systems Research . FUNDING 313 For an activity that accounts for between 20 and 25 percent of the national economy, and that is critical for national defense, transportation systems have remarkably little research backup out- side of the aerospace field. Some years ago, a systematic study of the allocation of federal resources to research revealed that about 10 percent of the budget of the national security program was devoted to research. Agencies participating in the national se- curity program include the Department of Defense, that part of the Department of Energy related to nuclear systems, and NASA. The remaining federal government agencies allocated an average of about 1 percent of their budgets to research. Of civilian mission agencies involved in transportation, however, less than 0.5 percent of budgeted funding is for research. According to NSF data, only 2 percent of federal support of engineering research comes from the DOTabout $80 million (or less than half the outlay of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for engineering research). Elements of transportation that are predominantly civilian in times of peace have generally been Delved as a private sector con- cern. As a result' much of the transportation field does not have a healthy research base. The private sector as a whole allocates only about 0.1 percent of its combined budget to research. However, there is a broad range here. Some parts of the private sector al- locate 10 percent or more of gross revenues to research, whereas others allocate less than 0.01 percent. This creates disproportion- ate technical capabilities in various parts of the economy. The same uneveness is reflected ~ the transportation. Airborne sys- tems, for example, are supported by significant levels of research both industry- and government-sponsoredon military systems, communications, and other applicable areas. Thus, technology transfer is feasible and can be pursued aggressively by organiza- tions committed to commercial applications. In the very broadest sense, then, research in the aviation and space fields can be consid- ered healthy on the basis of the number of parallel activities being

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314 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH pursued although, as mentioned earlier, the cost of development is high. By contrast, there is virtually no federal commitment to guided ground passenger transportation. At the same time, the industry is allocating less than the "standard" 0.1 percent of its total budget to research. Therefore, although there is not a total absence of new ideas in this field, there is insufficient research to permit a fully informed choice among alternative propulsion systems, guidance and control systems, information management and decision-making systems, vehicles, materials, materials fabri- cations, materials inspection systems, and so on. Indeed, there is too little research funding available to permit either the substan- tial improvement of existing systems or the development of new ones. For highway transportation, apart from vehicles, the fraction of dollars allocated to research and development is relatively small. As a consequence, issues of design and construction, fabrication technology, maintenance technology, inspection technology, and control technology are poorly understood. In addition, the tech- nologies are applied by a multitude of government organizations and their contractors. Because of these factors, the practitioners of these arts are not sufficiently exposed to opportunities arising from research to take full advantage even of what is already in place. This argument applies with equal force to water-borne com- mercial transportation as distinguished from naval vessels. In maritime transportation there are very few options available to a designer or an operator because of the lack of exploration and aggressive consideration of new ideas and new concepts. The aca- demic community has few opportunities to pursue research in these fields. Thus, the applied R&D community ~ presented with~few ideas for new options. Operators are not able to look at totally different ways of providing necessary services because there are so few applicable research findings. This situation does not necessarily justify a large increase in federal funding for transportation R&D. The federal government has not shown itself to bee effective in dealing with the interface between RED in relationship to specific needle of the economy. There have been failures in both the transit car and bus arenas, in which federal funding for development actually impeded rather than facilitated the delivery of better services by the private sector.

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 315 A principal option that should be explored is for changes in tax policy, antitrust controls, and regulatory policies so as to facilitate and encourage private sector investment. Another major option would be to expand the federal role in supporting fundamental research on which the private sector could build its applied R&D programs. In the 1970s, the DOT had two university research programs, one in the office of the secretary (later in Research and Special Programs Adrn~nistration) and one in the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Both programs have since been dismantled. Nevertheless, the DOT is one of the two agencies (along with the NSF) best suited to support fundamental research in transportation, especially at universities. Changes in tax and other policies should be explored continu- ously to facilitate and encourage private sector investment in the universities for support of research applicable to transportation systems. Among federal agency program heads, as well as in Congress, there has been little understanding of the distinctions and interre- lations among fundamental engineering research, applied research, development, and the performance and productivity of transporta- tion systems. There has been little attention to medium- and long- range research, and almost no focus on the intermodal questions that have become more crucial as energy costs have risen and for- eign competitiveness has intensified. These are precisely the kinds of research that industry is least likely to fund without specific incentives for doing so. When a component of a transportation system is in the pub- tic BectoT {as it is generally for the aerospace mode), government funding of engineering research should be directed at both funda- mental and applied research. For all other components, it should be directed primarily at fundamental research. The NSF should ini- tiate a significant and broad program of fundamental engineering research in transportation.* The DOT should resume and expand its programs in support offundamental research across the spectrum of transportation, with universities as the principal performers of this research. *There is already movement within the NSF toward establishing such a program. See, for example, the summary of an NSF Conference on Transportation Research State of the Art and Research Opportunities; Special Issue, Transportation Research l9A (5/6), 1985, D. E. Boyce, editor.

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316 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING RESEARCH The total national R&D effort in 1984 for all fields is esti- mated at $98 billion. Industry, the federal government, universi- ties, and others are estimated to contribute by performance 75, 11, 8, and 6 percent, respectively, to this total. Universities (repre- senting 8 percent of the total R&D effort) are unique in that their primary emphasis is on fundamental research and their primary output, apart from research results, is educated students. (Uni- versities perform about 25 percent of all research and nearly 50 percent of all basic research.*)University research is also generally characterizedin part because of its close coupling with graduate education- as being long term, with an emphasis on originality; it is also relatively inexpensive. In addition, the diverse nature and openness of the university allows a greater cross-fertilization of fundamental research ideas than normally occurs in either in- dustry or government laboratories. These factors make the universities indispensable in providing much of the basis for advancements in the hardware, software, and methodology of technology-based fields. University research can be uniquely helpful when complex systems such as the trans- portation network, with its intermodal problems and linkages to other industries, are at issue. However, it is not sufficient to speak only of research. Research results wit! not lead to improvements in the transportation system unless those results are effectively transmitted to the relevant user organizations. At present, the coupling between universities and operating agencies- whether in the public or private sector is generally inadequate. There must be accommodations on both sides, in attitudes as well as in prac- tices, if the linkage is to be improved. TRAINING AND EDUCATION An important indicator of the health of research in any engi- neering field is the production of highly qualified researchers and practicing engineersspecifically, Ph.D. output. The pane] at- tempted to assess Ph.D. output in the transportation field, using published dissertations as a measure. However, definitional incon- sistencies in the labeling of degrees and the description of thesis *Science Indicators, 1982. National Science Foundation, 1983.

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 317 topics made this an impossible task. The difficulty was more pronounced for hardware-oriented Ph.D.s than it was for those concerned with methodological aspects of transportation research. A complicating factor is that almost anyone with a doctoral degree who works in transportation has a degree with another label (e.g., aeronautical, chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineer- ing; computer science; mechanics; or operations research). On an empirical basis, pane} members in industry (e.g., in the automotive industry) report that the demand for recent Ph.D. graduates in every aspect of transportation technology exceeds the supply. Transportation faculty members at universities around the country report that doctoral-degree enrollment in transporta- tion programs particularly of U.S.-born students is declining steadily. It appears likely that there wit! be a shortfall of suit- ably trained cloctoral researchers and practitioners relative to future demand by universities, government, and industry. Declining research support is certainly a major factor here. Current research projects being funded by the federal government (Federal Highway Administration) and by the National Coopera- tive Highway Research Program are usually so large and require such elaborate proposals that many universities cannot compete successfully for this research. Another important factor is the rel- atively greater attractiveness to students of other fields at present. The key problem, again, Is that for most transportation doctoral students, transportation is an area of specialization in a larger field. These students are presently less inclined to consider trans- portation as an area ~ which to specialize. As a result, some ~marketing" of the field to graduate students may be needed. However, with inadequate funding for research, there is lit- tIe to market except enthusiasm. More than 20 universities have transportation research centers and currently offer graduate de- grees (including master's degrees) in transportation.* This is a strong infrastructure for teaching. Yet as enrollment drops, the falling student/faculty ratio is beginning to necessitate a shift of faculty to other areas of engineering. This is not a healthy trend, except to the extent that it demonstrates the flexibility of researchers in this field. *From data provided by the Council of University Transportation Centers.

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318 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH The pane! believes that under the current circumstances there is cause for concern about the future of the researcher pool in transportation. An improved outlook for sustained research sum port could do much to reverse these trends. Thus, research funding by the government should be apackaged" in sizes suitable for uni- versities with Ph.D. programs in transportation. Additional NSF funding for fundamental research, recommended earlier, would permit universities to attract larger numbers of highly qualified U.S.-born graduate students. Bibliography America's Highways: Acocicrating the Search for Innovation. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC: National Research Council, 1984. Harris, W. J., Jr. Progress in Railroad Research: The Program of the Research and Scat Department, 1982-1988. Washington, DC: Association of American Railroads, 1985. Kiss, R. K. The SNAME Technical and Research Program of 1984. Transac- tion of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Vol. 92, 1984; pp. 151-184. Mahoney, J. Intennodal Freight 1Pan~portahon. Westport, CT: Eno Foundation for Transportation, Inc., 1985. National Airspace System Plan. Engineering and Dcvelopmerd. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. Washington, DC, April 1984. OSTP. National Aeronautical ROD Goals: Technology for America's Future. Exec- utive Office of the President, Oflice of Science and Technology Policy. Washington, DC, March 1985. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. An Aseceamcnt of Maritime Made and Technology (OTA-0-220~. Washington, DC: OTA, 1983. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. A Technology Aeecsemcnt of Coal Slurry Pipclinca. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, March, 1978. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983. Zandi, I. Freight pipeline. Journal of Pipelines 2~2~:77-93, 1982.

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TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH Appendix A Responses to the Engineering Research Board's Request for Assistance from Universities, Professional Societies, and Federal Agencies and Laboratories 319 Requests for assistance were sent by the Engineering Research Board to a number of universities, recipients of Presidential Young Investigator Awards, professional societies, and federal agencies and laboratories in order to obtain a broader view of engineering research opportunities, research policy needs, and the health of the research community. Some of the responses included comments on engineering research aspects of transportation systems research; these were reviewed by this pane! to aid in its decision-making process. The pane! found the responses to be most helpful and wishes that it were possible to individually thank all those who took the time to make their views known. Because that is not practical, we hope nevertheless that this small acknowledgment might convey our gratitude. Responses on aspects of transportation systems research were received from individuals representing 36 different organizations, listed in Table A-1: 17 universities (including 2 represented by recipients of NSF Presidential Young Investigator Awards), 9 pro- fessional organizations, and 10 federal agencies or laboratories. Some comments covered specific aspects of the panel's scope of activities, whereas others provided input on a variety of subjects. Although most of the responses addressed priority research needs, several respondents did reflect on policy issues. Many of the research needs and issues of policy and health addressed by the respondents were similar to those noted by panel members. The broadened perspective provided by the responses to the survey was most beneficial in the Panel's deliberations.

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320 DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING RESEARCH TABLE A-1 Organizations Responding to Information Requests Relevant to Transportation Systems Research UNIVERSITIES Carnegie-Mellon University Clarkson University Georgia Institute of Technology Northwestern University Old Dominion University Oregon State University Princeton University Purdue University State University of New York, Buffalo University of Hawaii University of IllinoisUrbana/Champaign University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Oklahoma University of Pennsylvania University of Utah Washington University at St. Louis PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics American Institute of Chemical Engineers American Society of Civil Engineers American Society of Mechanical Engineers Association of American Railroads Industrial Research Institute Institute of Industrial Engineers Society of Engineering Science, Inc. Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers AG ENCIES AND LAB ORATORIES Air Force Institute of Technology Air Force Office of Scientific Research Brookhaven National Laboratory NASA Ames Research Center NASA Langley Research Center NASA Lewis Research Center National Center for Atmospheric Research Oak Ridge National Laboratory Sandia National Laboratory )