Skip to Content
My MSU

Pete Buttigieg Tour National Transportation Center

MSU IN FOCUS: Morgan’s National Transportation Center Hosts Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for Special Tour and Town Hall

by Morgan State U
April 28, 2022

Morgan Oversees One of Two HBCU-led U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers Dedicated to Advancing Leading-Edge Transportation Research, and Producing Next-Generation Transportation Professionals 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited Morgan State University to meet with students and faculty from Morgan’s National Transportation Center, home to pioneering research and technology transfer in transportation. Celebrating its 30th year, the Center played host to the Secretary, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, who observed student-led presentations on transportation-related research, and discussed transportation infrastructure, equitable change, federal funding and workforce opportunities at a widely-attended town hall.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program awards and administers grants to colleges and universities across the U.S. Since its establishment in 1987, the congressionally mandated program helps address the nation’s ever-growing need for the safe, efficient and environmentally sound movement of people and goods.

Last year, the Department of Transportation invested $1.4 million in Morgan’s Urban Mobility & Equity Center, which researches all aspects of transportation – from emergency evacuations to toll highway pricing s to transit use and routes.

University Photographer and the School of Global Journalism and Communication’s (SGJC) Digital Media Center documented Sec. Buttigieg’s visit. Visually captured below are highlights of the day’s events:

David K. Wilson greets Secretary ButtigiegMorgan State University President David K. Wilson greets Secretary Buttigieg upon his arrival to MSU’s Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS), the site of his afternoon visit to the National Transportation Center and town hall with students and faculty.

President Wilson and Secretary Buttigieg tour Morgan’s National Transportation CenterPresident David K. Wilson and Secretary Buttigieg tour Morgan’s National Transportation Center, located in the CBEIS building, a 126,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility used to conduct research for academic engineering and design programs to help address our nation’s evolving transportation needs.

bicyclist longitudinal motion modeling and simulationMorgan and Virginia Tech are partner institutions in a federally funded program that utilizes a bicyclist longitudinal motion modeling and simulation program designed to investigate sustainable modes of transportation and their impact on traffic flow dynamics. Alireza Ansariyar, a Transportation Ph.D. candidate, describes research findings on how cycling behavior and vehicle modeling can assist city planners and policymakers.

Buttigieg with driving simulatorDr. Mansoureh Jeihani, director of the National Transportation Center at Morgan, showcases one of two driving simulators located in the Safety and Behavioral Analysis Center (SABA) lab. The only driving simulator of its kind in the state, the full-size apparatus simulates authentic driving experiences for an array of data collection such as lane-changing, acceleration, braking, steering control, eye-tracking and crashes.

Secretary Buttigieg tests the driving simulatorSecretary Buttigieg tests the driving simulator at the National Transportation Center which is funded by the Department of Transportation. Last year, the Department of Transportation invested $1.4 million in Morgan State University’s Urban Mobility & Equity Center advancing transportation research and technology.

President Wilson and Secretary Buttigieg discuss Morgan’s rolePresident David K. Wilson and Secretary Buttigieg discuss Morgan’s role in the groundbreaking research being conducted by faculty and students. Morgan is one of two HBCUs leading the federally funded transportation centers, among 40 university transportation centers nationwide.

Buttigieg with autonomous wheelchairJeremiah Conway, a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering, discusses his research on developing an autonomous wheelchair. Using a police observation devise (POD) camera, the wheelchair reads QR codes to map its surroundings and chart its destination, a technology that can be used to assist mobility challenged individuals navigate congested urban areas.

Secretary Buttigieg addresses town hallSecretary Buttigieg addresses town hall attendees and answers questions from Morgan students and faculty about America’s transportation infrastructure, its impact urban environments and the implications of today’s transportation investment on future generations.

Secretary Buttigieg town hallMorgan students and faculty assembled in the atrium of the Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS) for a town hall meeting with Secretary Buttigieg to hear more about the Biden Administration’s efforts to address solutions to our nation’s growing transportation needs, equity in infrastructure funding and workforce development.

Evan Taylor at Buttigieg Town HallEvan Taylor, a Transportation Ph.D. candidate, MSU asks a poignant question about the Secretary’s greatest obstacle in implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act equitably and how current, and emerging, transportation professionals help overcome these obstacles.

Secretary Buttigieg listens to concernsSecretary Buttigieg listens to concerns from the Morgan Community during a town hall. The Secretary is now the fifth Biden Cabinet member to visit Morgan State University during the spring 2022 semester.

Jordan D. Brown interviews Secretary ButtigiegThe MSU Spokesman reporter, Jordan D. Brown interviews Secretary Buttigieg during his tour of the National Transportation Center at Morgan.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg group photoU.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pictured with University and Maryland Transportation officials. (From left to right): Dr. Don-Terry Veal, vice president, State and Federal Relations, and Chief of Staff; Dr. Mansoureh Jeihani, professor and director of the National Transportation Center at Morgan; Secretary Jim Ports, Maryland Department of Transportation; Secretary Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Department of Transportation; Dr. David K. Wilson, president of Morgan; Dr. Oscar Barton, dean of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. School of Engineering; and Dr. Hongtao Yu, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.