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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Agreement has been reached between the University of Tennessee, U.S. Department of Energy, and Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp. (LMER) to form the Joint Transportation Research and Development Center.

A memorandum of understanding was signed Monday by Dr. Alvin W. Trivelpiece, LMER president; James C. Hall, DOE’s manager of Oak Ridge Operations; and Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, UT president.

“The center will take advantage of the significant strengths of both UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a wide range of transportation and development activities,” said Trivelpiece, who is also director of ORNL, a DOE multiprogram national laboratory.

Trivelpiece said center activities will include materials science, propulsion, microelectronics, computational mathematics and transportation logistics, vehicular management and traffic control systems.

The signing ceremony — witnessed by congressional representatives John J. Duncan Jr., Zach Wamp and William L. Jenkins — was held in conjunction with the opening of a new exhibit area at WATTec, an annual technology conference in Tennessee.

Johnson said the new transportation center will start with a strong foundation.

“UT and ORNL already are cooperating in several million dollars of transportation-related research and development,” Johnson said. “The potential for future growth is enhanced by the presence of the automotive and associated industries in Tennessee and nearby states.”

Hall said UT and ORNL share a tradition of scientific and technological cooperation.

“Their combined capabilities afford the region and the nation opportunities and capabilities that otherwise would not have been possible,” Hall said.

Hall also said he appreciated Knox County and the Development Corp. of Knox County for their commitment to cooperate with the new center by providing land for a facility on the Pellissippi Parkway, helping with site preparation and assisting in the selection of a developer.

Other research and development partnerships between UT and ORNL include the Science Alliance Center of Excellence, the joint institutes for energy and environment, computational sciences, and heavy ion research.

Planning for the new transportation center has been led by Dr. Bob Honea, program director of ORNL’s transportation center, and by Dr. Steve Richards, director of UT-Knoxville’s Transportation Research Center.

Contact: Homer Fisher (423-974-3211)