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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee and the National Transportation Research Center are examining ways to improve military transport and reduce costs.

UT-Knoxville’s Transportation Center and College of Business Administration, NTRC, and Downey Information Systems of Lake Ridge, Va., are looking for new ways to move items such as food, supplies, and hazardous waste.

The project is funded by a $2 million grant from the Defense Logistics Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. The agency transports more than four million consumable, non-reusable military items such as food and used medical supplies.

UT’s specific role is to look at contractors’ relationships with the military, supply storage practices, and waste disposal procedures.

Researchers will study how computer technology, electronic communications, and cargo shipping services could lower military transport costs and improve efficiency.

“These researchers have the opportunity to significantly influence America’s ability to support military peace and combat operations for the next 30 years,” said Dr. Steve Richards, executive director of UT’s Transportation Center. “We know how to add value through improved but less costly logistics operations.”

Project researchers include Dr. Gary Dicer, UT-Knoxville professor of logistics and transportation; Dr. Glen Harrison of the NTRC; and Robert Russell, associate director of UT’s Transportation Center.

The study is the first joint effort of UT and the newly formed NTRC, a research partnership between UT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and private industry. Center headquarters will be in a 60,000-square-foot facility being built on Pellissippi Parkway.