Ahead of the Curve - Migration from NCHRP to AASHTO Technical Training Solutions (TTS)

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General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(536)
Former Study Number:
Lead Organization: Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Solicitation Number: 1606
Partners: AK, DC, GADOT, ID, KS, LA, MO, MS, MT, NC, NHDOT, NJ, NV, NY, PADOT, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI
Status: Cleared by FHWA
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Jun 25, 2024
Contract End Date:
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Suggested Contribution:
Total Commitments Received: $430,000.00
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Tyson Rupnow
tyson.rupnow@la.gov
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): Patricia Sergeson
Patricia.sergeson@dot.gov
Phone: 202-493-3166
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities 2024 $20,000.00 Cristina DeMattio Cristina DeMattio
District of Columbia Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Drew Pflaumer Drew Pflaumer
District of Columbia Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Drew Pflaumer Drew Pflaumer
District of Columbia Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Drew Pflaumer Drew Pflaumer
Georgia Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Sephara Raymond Brennan Roney
Georgia Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Sephara Raymond Brennan Roney
Idaho Department of Transportation 2024 $20,000.00 Ned Parrish Ned Parrish
Kansas Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Dan Wadley David Behzadpour
Kansas Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Dan Wadley David Behzadpour
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2024 $10,000.00 Tyson Rupnow Tyson Rupnow
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2025 $10,000.00 Tyson Rupnow Tyson Rupnow
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance
Missouri Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Jennifer Harper Jennifer Harper
Missouri Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Jennifer Harper Jennifer Harper
Montana Department of Transportation 2025 $20,000.00 Rebecca Ridenour Rebecca Ridenour
Nevada Department of Transportation 2024 $20,000.00 Lucy Koury Lucy Koury
New Hampshire Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Deirdre Nash Deirdre Nash
New Hampshire Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Deirdre Nash Deirdre Nash
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Amanda Gendek Giri Venkiteela
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Amanda Gendek Giri Venkiteela
New York State Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Wes Yang Gail Carpenter
New York State Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Wes Yang Gail Carpenter
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Curtis Bradley Curtis Bradley
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Curtis Bradley Curtis Bradley
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Patrick McVeigh Evan Zeiders
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Patrick McVeigh Evan Zeiders
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Terry Swygert Terry Swygert
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Terry Swygert Terry Swygert
Texas Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Kevin Pete Ned Mattila
Texas Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Kevin Pete Ned Mattila
Utah Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Kevin Nichol David Stevens
Utah Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Kevin Nichol David Stevens
Vermont Agency of Transportation 2024 $20,000.00 Emily Parkany Emily Parkany
Virginia Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Michael Fitch Bill Kelsh
Virginia Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Michael Fitch Bill Kelsh
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Evelyn Bromberg Evelyn Bromberg
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Evelyn Bromberg Evelyn Bromberg

Study Description

In 2011, raising the profile and stature of transportation research became a major theme during meetings of the TRB Technical Activities Council, the TRB standing committees on Conduct of Research and Technology Transfer, and the summer meeting of the AASHTO RAC/TRB state representatives. It quickly became established that a standardization of transportation research management was needed.  

Discussions among TRB staff and volunteers led to recommend a program that in 2012 that came to be known as “Ahead of the Curve (AOTC) Mastering the Management of Transportation Research and Innovation.”  

The mission of the initiative was ‘to develop and deliver a TRB program that enhances the knowledge, skills and abilities of managers of transportation research programs and those responsible for innovation in a coordinated manner and on a continuing basis.  An article in the January-February 2020 issue of TR News describes the evolution and benefits of this program.

The AOTC Program is comprised of four required core courses that are built upon the research cycle and twelve more subject detailed electives presented through webinar format. Below is a list of the required core courses and descriptions: 


1. Making Research Relevant – This is an overview course designed to provide basic understanding of the importance and value of research, types of research, the research life cycle, stakeholders typically involved in transportation research (i.e. state DOTS, universities). 

2. Running a Research Program – This course provides students with the nuts and bolts of how to run a transportation research program. Student will learn about establishing and facilitating oversight committees, soliciting research ideas, managing deliverables, tracking and monitoring the program, working with principal investigators, reviewing proposals, contracting, research results and dissemination.

3. Delivering the Program – This course will provide basic understanding of technology transfer and methods of delivery, assessing the return on investment (ROI) and performance measurement for research projects and programs, and how to effectively communicate the benefits of research projects and programs to different stakeholders.

4. Quality Improvement – Students will learn about quality assurance, quality control fundamentals, strategic planning to determine what they want to achieve, how to evaluate the research program, project monitoring practices, and measuring and analyzing stakeholder feedback.

The following electives have been developed: 

1. Continuous Quality Improvement

2. Funding

3. Knowledge Management

4. Writing Effective Research Needs Statements

5. Building and Engaging Effective Research Champions

6. Building Partnerships

7. Strategic Planning for Research

8. Innovation and Risk Management

9. Intellectual Property

10. Performance Management

11. Scientific Methods

12. Program Design – Individual Project

Over the course of the next four to five years, the introductory course and four core courses were delivered in a face-to-face format and four elective courses were delivered in a virtual format.  NCHRP funding ceased at this time and the courses have sat dormant since 2019 leading to the current state where the courses exist, but no mechanism exists to have them be taught.  

A survey conducted at the AASHTO RAC meeting in 2023 indicated that more than half the states in attendance would support a pooled fund effort to move the AOTC material to TTS with the remaining attendees would probably support the effort, but need additional approval from their respective agencies first.  

AASHTO has agreed to work with the pooled fund study Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and chosen contractor to ensure quality control and acceptance of the AOTC course material into the AASHTO TTS program.  With these courses available in the AASHTO TTC program, member states research offices, and other staff as necessary, will have easy access to the entire AOTC program in an on-demand format.  

Note that since these courses were all developed over ten (10) years ago, a significant effort will be made during the course of this pooled fund effort to properly update all core and elective course materials with the most recent changes in CFR as well as incorporate the most up-to-date best practices for implementation, project management, etc. developed between 2012 and 2024.  

The major benefit of this study will be to provide a self-study version of AOTC for AASHTO RAC members / State DOT research personnel.  This is important in that these RAC members are continually changing and a self-study format will provide the best opportunity for these members to get “Ahead of the learning Curve” when taking on the unique responsibilities of being a research manager.  

A secondary benefit will be a comprehensive, up-to-date resource for new and existing research managers with state DOTs.  

Objectives

The primary objectives of this pooled fund study are as follows: 

Transfer AOTC information from NCHRP to AASHTO

Update and transfer existing information into AASHTO Technical Training Solutions (TTS) format

Make all courses 508 compliant


Scope of Work

Specific objectives are defined as follows:

1. Transfer AOTC information from NCHRP to AASHTO

2. Update existing four (4) core courses to reflect recent changes in CFR governing State DOT research programs

3. Update the elective courses to reflect the most recent changes in best practices for implementation, project management, etc. learned from 2012 to 2024.  

4. Migrate the updated courses into AASHTO Technical Training Solutions (TTS) format

5. Make all courses 508 compliant


The proposed work includes the following tasks:

1. Transfer ownership of AOTC course materials from NCHRP to AASHTO

2. Hire a contractor to update core course material

3. Update elective course material as necessary to current practices

4. Make core courses compatible / acceptable for the AASHTO TTS platform

5. Make the elective courses compatible / acceptable for the AASHTO TTS platform

6. Make all courses Section 508 Compliant and Accessible


Comments

Suggested length of the pooled fund study is 24 months with an estimated cost of $500,000.  Participation is requested to be $10,000 per year per state.  

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Document Category Document Type Privacy Document Date Download
TPF-5(536) Lead State Acceptance Memo TPF-5(536) Lead State Acceptance Memo.pdf Memorandum Other Public 2024-06-25
Documents Attached
Title File/Link Document Category Document Type Privacy Document Date Download
100% SPR Waiver Approval #1606 Approval SPR Waiver Memorandum.pdf Memorandum Other Public 2024-03-21
AOTC Pooled Fund Study Description (Updated 2/23/24) AOTC TPF Study Description.docx TPF Study Documentation Solicitation Public 2024-02-23

Ahead of the Curve - Migration from NCHRP to AASHTO Technical Training Solutions (TTS)

General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(536)
Lead Organization: Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Solicitation Number: 1606
Partners: AK, DC, GADOT, ID, KS, LA, MO, MS, MT, NC, NHDOT, NJ, NV, NY, PADOT, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI
Status: Cleared by FHWA
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Jun 25, 2024
Contract End Date:
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Total Commitments Received: $430,000.00
100% SP&R Approval:
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Tyson Rupnow
tyson.rupnow@la.gov
FHWA Technical Liaison(s): Patricia Sergeson
Patricia.sergeson@dot.gov
Phone: 202-493-3166
Commitments by Organizations
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities 2024 $20,000.00 Cristina DeMattio Cristina DeMattio +1 9074515382 Cristina.DeMattio@alaska.gov
District of Columbia Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Drew Pflaumer Drew Pflaumer drew.pflaumer@dc.gov
District of Columbia Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Drew Pflaumer Drew Pflaumer drew.pflaumer@dc.gov
District of Columbia Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Drew Pflaumer Drew Pflaumer drew.pflaumer@dc.gov
Georgia Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Sephara Raymond Brennan Roney 404-347-0595 broney@dot.ga.gov
Georgia Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Sephara Raymond Brennan Roney 404-347-0595 broney@dot.ga.gov
Idaho Department of Transportation 2024 $20,000.00 Ned Parrish Ned Parrish 208-334-8296 ned.parrish@itd.idaho.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Dan Wadley David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Dan Wadley David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2024 $10,000.00 Tyson Rupnow Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development 2025 $10,000.00 Tyson Rupnow Tyson Rupnow tyson.rupnow@la.gov
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance RVance@mdot.ms.gov
Mississippi Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Cindy Smith Robert Vance RVance@mdot.ms.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Jennifer Harper Jennifer Harper 573-526-3636 Jennifer.Harper@modot.mo.gov
Missouri Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Jennifer Harper Jennifer Harper 573-526-3636 Jennifer.Harper@modot.mo.gov
Montana Department of Transportation 2025 $20,000.00 Rebecca Ridenour Rebecca Ridenour (406)444-7203 rridenour@mt.gov
Nevada Department of Transportation 2024 $20,000.00 Lucy Koury Lucy Koury (775) 888-7223 lkoury@dot.nv.gov
New Hampshire Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Deirdre Nash Deirdre Nash 603-271-1659 Deirdre.T.Nash@dot.nh.gov
New Hampshire Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Deirdre Nash Deirdre Nash 603-271-1659 Deirdre.T.Nash@dot.nh.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Amanda Gendek Giri Venkiteela 6099632239 Giri.Venkiteela@dot.NJ.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Amanda Gendek Giri Venkiteela 6099632239 Giri.Venkiteela@dot.NJ.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Wes Yang Gail Carpenter 518-457-8083 Gail.Carpenter@dot.ny.gov
New York State Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Wes Yang Gail Carpenter 518-457-8083 Gail.Carpenter@dot.ny.gov
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Curtis Bradley Curtis Bradley 919-707-6661 cbradley8@ncdot.gov
North Carolina Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Curtis Bradley Curtis Bradley 919-707-6661 cbradley8@ncdot.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Patrick McVeigh Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Patrick McVeigh Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Terry Swygert Terry Swygert 803-737-6691 SwygertTL@scdot.org
South Carolina Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Terry Swygert Terry Swygert 803-737-6691 SwygertTL@scdot.org
Texas Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Kevin Pete Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Kevin Pete Ned Mattila 512-416-4727 ned.mattila@txdot.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Kevin Nichol David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov
Utah Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Kevin Nichol David Stevens 801-589-8340 davidstevens@utah.gov
Vermont Agency of Transportation 2024 $20,000.00 Emily Parkany Emily Parkany (802) 272-6862 Emily.Parkany@vermont.gov
Virginia Department of Transportation 2024 $10,000.00 Michael Fitch Bill Kelsh 434-293-1934 Bill.Kelsh@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Virginia Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Michael Fitch Bill Kelsh 434-293-1934 Bill.Kelsh@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2025 $10,000.00 Evelyn Bromberg Evelyn Bromberg 608-267-7360 evelyn.bromberg@dot.wi.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2026 $10,000.00 Evelyn Bromberg Evelyn Bromberg 608-267-7360 evelyn.bromberg@dot.wi.gov

Study Description

Study Description

In 2011, raising the profile and stature of transportation research became a major theme during meetings of the TRB Technical Activities Council, the TRB standing committees on Conduct of Research and Technology Transfer, and the summer meeting of the AASHTO RAC/TRB state representatives. It quickly became established that a standardization of transportation research management was needed.  

Discussions among TRB staff and volunteers led to recommend a program that in 2012 that came to be known as “Ahead of the Curve (AOTC) Mastering the Management of Transportation Research and Innovation.”  

The mission of the initiative was ‘to develop and deliver a TRB program that enhances the knowledge, skills and abilities of managers of transportation research programs and those responsible for innovation in a coordinated manner and on a continuing basis.  An article in the January-February 2020 issue of TR News describes the evolution and benefits of this program.

The AOTC Program is comprised of four required core courses that are built upon the research cycle and twelve more subject detailed electives presented through webinar format. Below is a list of the required core courses and descriptions: 


1. Making Research Relevant – This is an overview course designed to provide basic understanding of the importance and value of research, types of research, the research life cycle, stakeholders typically involved in transportation research (i.e. state DOTS, universities). 

2. Running a Research Program – This course provides students with the nuts and bolts of how to run a transportation research program. Student will learn about establishing and facilitating oversight committees, soliciting research ideas, managing deliverables, tracking and monitoring the program, working with principal investigators, reviewing proposals, contracting, research results and dissemination.

3. Delivering the Program – This course will provide basic understanding of technology transfer and methods of delivery, assessing the return on investment (ROI) and performance measurement for research projects and programs, and how to effectively communicate the benefits of research projects and programs to different stakeholders.

4. Quality Improvement – Students will learn about quality assurance, quality control fundamentals, strategic planning to determine what they want to achieve, how to evaluate the research program, project monitoring practices, and measuring and analyzing stakeholder feedback.

The following electives have been developed: 

1. Continuous Quality Improvement

2. Funding

3. Knowledge Management

4. Writing Effective Research Needs Statements

5. Building and Engaging Effective Research Champions

6. Building Partnerships

7. Strategic Planning for Research

8. Innovation and Risk Management

9. Intellectual Property

10. Performance Management

11. Scientific Methods

12. Program Design – Individual Project

Over the course of the next four to five years, the introductory course and four core courses were delivered in a face-to-face format and four elective courses were delivered in a virtual format.  NCHRP funding ceased at this time and the courses have sat dormant since 2019 leading to the current state where the courses exist, but no mechanism exists to have them be taught.  

A survey conducted at the AASHTO RAC meeting in 2023 indicated that more than half the states in attendance would support a pooled fund effort to move the AOTC material to TTS with the remaining attendees would probably support the effort, but need additional approval from their respective agencies first.  

AASHTO has agreed to work with the pooled fund study Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and chosen contractor to ensure quality control and acceptance of the AOTC course material into the AASHTO TTS program.  With these courses available in the AASHTO TTC program, member states research offices, and other staff as necessary, will have easy access to the entire AOTC program in an on-demand format.  

Note that since these courses were all developed over ten (10) years ago, a significant effort will be made during the course of this pooled fund effort to properly update all core and elective course materials with the most recent changes in CFR as well as incorporate the most up-to-date best practices for implementation, project management, etc. developed between 2012 and 2024.  

The major benefit of this study will be to provide a self-study version of AOTC for AASHTO RAC members / State DOT research personnel.  This is important in that these RAC members are continually changing and a self-study format will provide the best opportunity for these members to get “Ahead of the learning Curve” when taking on the unique responsibilities of being a research manager.  

A secondary benefit will be a comprehensive, up-to-date resource for new and existing research managers with state DOTs.  

Objectives

The primary objectives of this pooled fund study are as follows: 

Transfer AOTC information from NCHRP to AASHTO

Update and transfer existing information into AASHTO Technical Training Solutions (TTS) format

Make all courses 508 compliant


Scope of Work

Specific objectives are defined as follows:

1. Transfer AOTC information from NCHRP to AASHTO

2. Update existing four (4) core courses to reflect recent changes in CFR governing State DOT research programs

3. Update the elective courses to reflect the most recent changes in best practices for implementation, project management, etc. learned from 2012 to 2024.  

4. Migrate the updated courses into AASHTO Technical Training Solutions (TTS) format

5. Make all courses 508 compliant


The proposed work includes the following tasks:

1. Transfer ownership of AOTC course materials from NCHRP to AASHTO

2. Hire a contractor to update core course material

3. Update elective course material as necessary to current practices

4. Make core courses compatible / acceptable for the AASHTO TTS platform

5. Make the elective courses compatible / acceptable for the AASHTO TTS platform

6. Make all courses Section 508 Compliant and Accessible


Comments

Suggested length of the pooled fund study is 24 months with an estimated cost of $500,000.  Participation is requested to be $10,000 per year per state.  

Title File/Link Type Private
TPF-5(536) Lead State Acceptance Memo TPF-5(536) Lead State Acceptance Memo.pdf Memorandum Public
Title File/Link Type Private
100% SPR Waiver Approval #1606 Approval SPR Waiver Memorandum.pdf Memorandum Public
AOTC Pooled Fund Study Description (Updated 2/23/24) AOTC TPF Study Description.docx TPF Study Documentation Public

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