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Research Center

Who We Are


The FDOT Research Center manages a vibrant and diverse transportation research program. The Research Center was established in 1989, but FDOT has been involved in transportation research for almost a century. The Research Center works with most of Florida's state universities and other agencies, research institutions, and private contractors to perform research in all office functional areas of FDOT.

Florida is a major tourist destination and the site of 15 deepwater seaports. An effective intermodal transportation system is critical to the state's economy. The Research Center manages contract research addressing everything from improving the lifespan of pavements and bridge structures to keeping the state competitive in facilitating national and international freight movement.

What We Do


The mission of the Research Center is to improve and protect Florida's transportation system through the ethical scientific conduct of research that increases global knowledge of products, processes, and practices; to transfer information; and to encourage the implementation of research results. This mission is achieved through a contract research program that emphasizes applied research, implementation, performance monitoring, and technology transfer. At any given time, FDOT typically has over 125 active projects in addition to the pooled fund studies in which it participates.

How We Are Funded


Primarily, research funding is a combination of state and State Planning and Research (SPR Part II) federal funding. Additional funding through programs such as Highways for Life and the Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment program also are  leveraged to promote research and innovation.

Functional Areas


The Research Center works closely with offices within FDOT, peer agencies, and other stakeholders to conduct and implement research. Research is typically conducted in the following office functional areas: 


    Construction
    Environmental Management
    Geotechnical
    Maintenance
    Materials
    Planning
    Public Transportation
    Roadway Design
    Safety
    Structures
    Traffic Engineering and Operations/ITS

In October of each year, the Research Center solicits high priority research needs from FDOT's offices and districts. Prospective researchers with promising research ideas may contact the appropriate research coordinator. The Research Center reviews and develops the needs into a proposed research program, which upper management and the Federal Highway Administration review and approve. Most research undertaken is applied, i.e., designed to address existing needs in the near-term. However, policy studies to improve decision making and exploratory studies that may identify opportunities to address emerging or anticipated needs also may be conducted.

The Research Center has developed a Research Program Manual [PDF - 874 KB] that provides details about the solicitation process, developing and submitting a research proposal, research partners, funding, contract requirements, and other information.

Staff


The Research Center is comprised of a program manager and business systems, research development, research performance, and technology transfer coordinators. However, offices within FDOT requesting research provide the technical project managers for the research projects. These 50+ employees from throughout FDOT complement the Research Center and provide technical oversight for the research projects.

Facilities


The Research Center is located on the third floor of the Haydon Burns Building in Tallahassee, conveniently located to work closely with most project managers.

Among the key functional area partners are the State Materials Office, located in Gainesville, and the Marcus H. Ansley Structures Research Center and the Traffic Engineering Research Laboratory, located in Tallahassee. These facilities  carry out many FDOT research projects.

 

For more information please email or call the Research Center, 850-414-4615.