Established in 2006, the Nebraska Transportation Center (NTC) is the umbrella organization for transportation research at the University of Nebraska and represents a unique partnership between university researchers, industry leaders, and government entities. NTC integrates transportation research, education, and technology transfer programs across the four NU campuses, making it one of the largest university transportation centers in the region.
More than 70 faculty researchers representing over a dozen disciplines across the NU system are affiliated with NTC, conducting millions of dollars' worth of research. In addition, NTC has provided funding for nearly 80 graduate student research assistants and almost 90 undergraduate students and interns to date. NTC takes pride in the research and educational opportunities it offers to students in higher education and the outstanding research contributions made by our students.
NTC also seeks to educate K-12 students in Nebraska about the many aspects of transportation engineering. Students are introduced to engineering through opportunities that include field trips to NTC research labs, presentations from University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, hands-on activities, and professional development opportunities for K-12 math and science teachers.
Technology transfer activities help keep the transportation workforce updated on the developments made by NTC research faculty and students. This includes workshops, webinars, and short courses on the latest transportation advances and technology. The Nebraska Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) assists in facilitating many of these endeavors.
Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School
Both the Nebraska Transportation Center and the Mid-America Transportation Center's headquarters are located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School.
The original Whittier building was completed in 1923 and was one of the first schools built intended as a junior high school and was named for the American Poet, John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892). In 1977 the junior high was closed, but was used as an alternative high school until 1980. The building was then purchased by the University of Nebraska in 1983 and mostly sat empty. In 2007 the University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved a $24 million project to renovate Whittier into a research space.
Restoration architects had access to the original plans, showing what had been covered or changed over the years. Whittier was one of the first buildings in Lincoln to be built of steel-reinforced concrete and used the specifications for older wood-beamed buildings making exceptionally well built and stable. Formerly filled-in windows restored, skylights converted to clerestory windows, and geothermal heat pump installed, the building has been resurrected and is emission free.
Whittier's original shops were converted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Children's Center which opened in August 2009 and now serves up to 150 children.
The first occupants of the research center were the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, the Nebraska Transportation Center and the new Water for Food Institute.
For more information about the building, please visit Office of Research & Economic Development website.
Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory
The Nebraska Transportation Center houses the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Laboratory. With more than 2,000 square feet, it has become one of the center's core research facilities.
The laboratory is connected to the City of Lincoln fiber optic network, which allows real-time viewing of the railway, arterial roadway, and highway “test beds” of NTC's ongoing transportation research as well as all city and Nebraska Department of Transportation traffic sensors.