RAC Region Conference Call September by jolinmilioncherie


									AASHTO-Research Advisory Committee, Region 3
Meeting Minutes – DRAFT – 9/8/2009

Date                     September 8, 2009        Time                        1:00 pm (Central)
Facilitator              Mara Campbell            Scribe                      Daniel Yeh
Subject                  RAC Region 3 Conference Call
Attendees                Illinois – Amy Schutzbach (AS)
                         Indiana – Tommy Nantung (TN)
                         Iowa – Sandra Larson (SL)
                         Kansas – Rod Montney (RM)
                         Michigan –
                         Minnesota – Linda Taylor (LT)
                         Missouri – Mara Campbell (MC)
                         Ohio – Monique Evans (ME)
                         Wisconsin – Daniel Yeh (DY)

                         Initials will be used in the notes below.

Key Points Discussed
No.   Topic                              Highlights
1.    Review of agenda
      Roll call

2.    Review of July 21-23 minutes       AS moved to approve, TN seconded. Motion carried. No
                                         changes to the minutes.

3.    RAC leadership update              SL reported on RAC activities. MC will be leading a RAC
                                         leadership conference call this week.

                                         A working group of SCOR and RAC members is working
                                         with AASHTO and TRB on review of authorization
                                         proposals in Congress (see below).

                                         Barney Jones is leading the peer exchange task force to
                                         examine FHWA guidelines on peer exchanges. One
                                         possible change is to allow for combined events that
                                         multiple states could use to satisfy their peer exchange
                                         requirements. Changes could be completed by the January
                                         RAC meeting.

                                         The education/training and administration task forces will be
                                         combined into a single administration task force.

4.    SCOR update                        SL reported that SCOR is updating the strategic plan for
                                         final approval at the November meeting.

5.    SCOR / RAC authorization           ME expanded on the activities of the authorization working
      working group                      group. The group has reviewed HR 2955 and will continue
                                         to monitor both House and Senate proposals.

                                         Among other changes, HR 2955 may look to mandate
                                         performance measures in the research program, promote
                                         research on climate change, better coordinate UTC
                                              activities with US DOT, implement a three-year strategic
                                              research plan, have RITA develop an assessment process
                                              for UTC, create a RITA-coordinated internship program at
                                              UTC, and set up a visiting committee concept to review
                                              activities at US DOT.

                                              The bill may look at certifying some UTCs with a focus on
                                              environmental initiatives.

                                              The committee will submit issues and concerns to AASHTO
                                              for further consideration.

                                              MC asked if a venue has been set up for feedback from
                                              RAC members. ME noted no formal process is in place, but
                                              the group will communicate to RAC via the list-serv.

6.     Confirm task force                     MC reviewed existing the task force assignments and
       appointments                           confirmed the following:

                                              A. Administration – RM & AS
                                              B. Value of research – DY & MC
                                              C. Education – merged with Administration
                                              D. Funding – RM & DY
                                              E. Collaboration – CR & LT
                                              F. Program management – ME & TN
                                              G. Future needs – ME
                                              H. Peer exchange – TN & AS

7.     RAC task force updates                 AS noted that the Administration task force met at the
                                              annual meeting but has not met since then. The task force
                                              is editing the on-line new member handbook.

                                              MC stated that the draft brochure from the Value of
                                              Research task force has been finalized and sent to task
                                              force members for approval. It will be distributed at the
                                              AASHTO annual meeting in October in California.

                                              There were no updates on the funding, collaboration or
                                              future needs task forces.

                                              TN reported that the program management task force has
                                              two active subtask groups. One is the implementation of
                                              NCHRP peer exchange, led by PennDOT. The other
                                              subtask group is a pooled fund study led by Ivy Harris that
                                              is soliciting inputs for the TPF manual.

                                              TN confirmed the information that SL had shared earlier on
                                              the peer exchange task force, noting that the group has
                                              approved several new ideas.

8.     2010 summer RAC meeting                MC noted that the meeting team held its first conference call
                                              in August with another scheduled in September. ME shared
                                              the working theme as “National coordination: from long-term
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May 12, 2009
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                                              research to implementation of research results.” Michael
                                              Trentacoste of FHWA suggested the theme in recognition of
                                              key issues on a national scale.
                                              MC noted that the qualifier “long-term” might not be
                                              appropriate and perhaps the theme could be shortened.
                                              She also reminded the RAC3 members that the conference
                                              is slated for July 26-30, 2010 in Kansas City, MO. She may
                                              be sending out information on social / dinner opportunities
                                              for the RAC3 members to review and comment on.

                                              SL noted that the event will include a joint meeting with
                                              TRB. MC will be communicating with Mark Norman on
                                              planning the overall event.

9      State updates                          AS – Illinois has hired an intern with experience in
                                              communications who has helped to identify ways to improve
                                              outreach for the research program. Illinois is also
                                              conducting a process review with FHWA. On an employee
                                              level, the state is imposing furloughs for non-union workers
                                              and adjusting vacation carryover provisions.

                                              TN – The new commissioner at INDOT seems to support
                                              research and the program is able to fill two positions.
                                              However, the budget may be hit from the typical $5 million
                                              annually down to as little as $1.5 million this year.

                                              SL – Iowa DOT held a successful research peer exchange
                                              and Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium.
                                              Some videos will be available on the Web. Iowa will host a
                                              human factors focus group meeting on November 5 and a
                                              workshop on intelligent compaction on March 1-2.

                                              RM – Kansas DOT is looking at options for KSU to fund
                                              research interns for the department.

                                              LT – Minnesota will host the TRB value of research
                                              workshop on November 2 to be held in conjunction with a
                                              research peer exchange from November 2-4. The TRB
                                              trainers will likely stay for the peer exchange. MnDOT is
                                              sending out academic RFPs.

                                              MC – Missouri is also releasing its RFPs to both academic
                                              and private interests. Consulting engineers seem more
                                              interested in research, possibly as other projects become
                                              scarcer. Missouri DOT is also wrapping up its annual
                                              research report for submittal to FHWA.

                                              ME – Ohio just recently released its latest newsletter. Ohio
                                              DOT has a new intern who will become involved in
                                              implementation and performance measure activities. ME
                                              has been challenged to “recreate” the program to looking at
                                              transformative research (as defined by NSF).

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                                              DY – Wisconsin is wrapping a video to highlight the results
                                              of six recent subgrade research projects. WisDOT is also
                                              working with the FHWA Wisconsin Division on creating a
                                              stewardship agreement to define roles and responsibilities
                                              for research activities.

10.    Other business                         LT asked whether other RAC3 members would be asked to
                                              perform tasks related to the 2010 meeting. ME and DY
                                              (program co-chairs) will conference first and then determine
                                              needed roles from other RAC3 members.

                                              MC clarified the upcoming conference call and meeting
                                              schedule. The next call is slated for November 10. Due to
                                              certain conflicts, the call will be moved to November 17 at
                                              1:00 central time. The RAC annual meeting conference call
                                              will move to 2:00 central time.

                                              MC also noted that the July 19 meeting noted on the
                                              agenda for this meeting should instead be aligned with the
                                              July 26-30 RAC annual meeting in Kansas City.

Action Items
No.                       Action Item                                    Owner            Target Date
9.     RAC3 members are asked to share their FHWA                 All                   November 10
       stewardship agreements or similar documents with
       the other members of the region.

AASHTO-RAC Region 3 Conference Call Minutes
May 12, 2009
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