Office of the Dean
Phone: (208) 885-6470
Fax: (208) 885-6645
Janssen Engineering (JEB)
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1011
Moscow, ID 83844-1011
Contact Denise Engebrecht
Phone: (208) 364-6123
Fax: (208) 364-3160
Idaho Water Center
322 E. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702
Contact Debbie Caudle
Phone: (208) 282-7983
Fax: (208) 282-7929
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 306
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402
NIATT Announces New Director
The University of Idaho has a new leader in the drive to develop, teach and distribute advanced technologies for sustainable transportation.
The National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology (NIATT) recently named Karen Den Braven, professor of mechanical engineering, as its new director. The Idaho institute is one of 10 “Tier I” centers selected by the Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers (UTC) program through a competitive national application process.
“Professor Den Braven has worked hard to create an engineering environment for our students so they can put into practice what they learn about transportation engineering,” said Donald M. Blackketter, dean of the College of Engineering. “She is the right person to continue leading NIATT in preparing the transportation workforce for the twenty-first century while helping to solve transportation problems through research and professional training.”
Over the past decade, Den Braven has led the University of Idaho’s clean snowmobile team to three national championships. She plans to use that experience to enhance existing NIATT programs and expand the institute’s already wide scope of interdisciplinary research.
NIATT has four objectives: develop traffic management tools, improve the fuel economy and safety of motorized vehicles, increase the number of faculty and students for the transportation workforce, and disseminate research findings to the roads and national marketplace.
There are 60 UTC programs across the country categorized into five different levels of funding, and each has its own specialty. Idaho’s is advanced technology for sustainable transportation, including improved traffic management, biofuels, and general fuel economy.
In addition to research, NIATT is constantly improving transportation across Idaho and the region. For example, it tests signal patterns to improve traffic congestion, and its award-winning education program recently helped speed up traffic flow through several areas in Boise.
“Experts estimate that 20 percent of the gas consumed in this country is wasted at red lights,” said Den Braven. “It doesn’t cost any more money to design roads and lights in an efficient manner. NIATT helps accomplish this goal every step along the way from initial concept to implementation on the roads and highways.”