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MoDOTResearch, Development and Technology DivisionMISSOURI DEPARTMENTOF TRANSPORTATIONRDT PEER EXCHANGEFinal ReportConducted at:MoDOT161 7 Missouri BoulevardJefferson City, MO 65102April13 -16, 1998

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (MoDOT)RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY (RDT) DIVISIONPEER EXCHANGEApril13-16, 1998PEER EXCHANGE REPORT TABLE OF CONTENTSEXECUTIVE SUMMARYINTRODUCTIONPage 1RDT STAFF DISCUSSIONImplementation OpportunitiesPage 2AGENCY REPORTSPage 3SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM DISCUSSIONMajor PointsPage 4TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (TRC) DISCUSSIONOpportunities for Improving TRC RoleTRC Ideal WorldPage 5UNIVERSITY DISCUSSIONOpportunitiesPage 6FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION (FHW A) DISCUSSIONDiscussion PointsPage 7BULLET POINTS FOR PEER EXCHANGE REPORTStrengths of MoDOT RDT Division/ProgramOpportunities for the DivisionObservations from MoDOT Peer ExchangeLarry Senkowski, Oklahoma DOTWe Listened to What Top Management SaidCharlie Nemmers, FHWAPagePagePagePageKEY POINTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MoDOT'SEXECUTIVE MANAGEMENTPage 11MoDOT Peer Exchange, Apri119987789Page 10

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYExcellent input was received by all participants in the MoDOT Peer Exchange for theDivision of Research, Development and Technology (RDT). Executive management showedtheir support by being available for three different sessions with the peer exchange team.The Senior Management Team provided an overview of their vision of how RDT shouldfunction. Research must cut across all areas ofMoDOT. RDT should be aggressive in searchingfor new ways to extend service life and help with asset management. Deployment andimplementation are key roles that RDT should focus on. RDT should be included and utilized inthe Strategic Planning process ofMoDOT. The goal ofMoDOT is not necessarily to be first,nationally, in research but be in the first wave.Discussions with the Technical Review Committee concentrated on improving how RDTinteracts with other divisions and district (field) personnel. The need for more technicalassistance/consulting to be provided by RDT was emphasized, including timely responses.Personnel in MoDOT should become more involved in research projects by participating in theplanning, investigation, and deployment stages. RDT needs to do a better job of marketing whatwe do.Representatives from the University of Missouri-Columbia and University ofMissouri-Rolla discussed the current contracting relationship. Both universities believed the newdirections will be much improved. The university basic agreement with task orders will be amajor step in improving the timely approval of contracts. The recent partnership betweenMoDOT and the universities that establishes the Missouri Transportation Research andEducation Center (MOTREC) is another major factor in developing strong working relationshipsbetween MoDOT and the two universities, both in research work and continued education.FHWA representatives encouraged identifying non-traditional funding opportunities forresearch as well as technology transfer processes. FHWA expressed strong support for MoDOT'sresearch and technology transfer program.The peer exchange team summarized their comments into key points for presentation toexecutive management. There are a lot of good things going for MoDOT and the RDT Division:strong support of management; good staff and facilities ; strategic plan/business plan alignment;strong FHWA support; positive relationship with Public Affairs; the staff is "open",approachable and easy to work with.The team stressed that executive management should convey their support for RDTacross all ofMoDOT. Their support is strong and will be a major element in the success of thedivision. Executive management should interact more frequently with RDT staff; assist RDT inexpanding scope of research into all areas of the department's functions (includingnon-engineering areas); work closely with RDT to effectively utilize new funds that may beavailable through NEXTEA; be supportive ofRDT in the development of staff, such as buildingMoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998

career paths for professional staff as well as technicians; and aid RDT in consolidating MoDOTresearch into the one division.The Administrative team ofRDT will review the results of the Peer Exchange anddevelop an action plan for capturing the opportunities that were identified in this process.MoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998

INTRODUCTIONAs a condition for receipt of Federal-aid funds for research, development and technology transfer(RDT) activities, States are required to establish a management process including:A.B.C.D.E.F.An interactive process for identification and prioritization ofRDT activities.Utilization, to the maximum extent possible, of all FHWA planning and researchfunds set aside for RDT activities.Procedures for tracking program activities, schedules, accomplishments, and fiscalcommitments.Support and use of the Transportation Information System (TRIS) database forreporting RDT activities.Procedures to determine the effectiveness of the State's management process andto facilitate peer reviews of its RDT Program on a periodic basis.Procedures for documenting RDT activities through the preparation of finalreports.As part of its program management, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) RDTDivision conducted a Peer Exchange for the research program from April 13 through 16, 1998.The Peer Exchange began with an introductory reception and dinner to introduce the PeerExchange team members to MoDOT Senior Management and RDT staff members.The Peer Exchange team was composed of research staff members from other state, federal andprivate research institutes.Team Members:Charles Nemmers, P.E.Director of the Office of Engineering, Research and Development,Turner-Fairbanks FacilityFederal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.Roger Port, P .E.Technology Transfer/Research EngineerRegion VII OfficeFederal Highway Administration, Kansas City, MissouriGary Allen, Ph.D., P.E.Director of ResearchVirginia Transportation Research Council, VirginiaBob Schmiedlin, P .E.Research SupervisorWisconsin Department of TransportationLarry Senkowski, P .E.Assistant Division Engineer, Materials and Research DivisionOklahoma Department of TransportationMoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998Page I

Bill Duncan, Ph.D.Director of Strategic Marketing,Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, MissouriSam Kiger, Ph.D., P.E.Chairman of Civil Engineering DepartmentUniversity of Missouri - ColumbiaJim Murray, P.E.Division Engineer, Research, Development and Technology DivisionMissouri Department of Transportation, Jefferson City, MissouriWally McKeel, P.E. (Observer)Research ManagerVirginia Transportation Research Council, VirginiaStaff Member Participants:The following staff members participated throughout the peer exchange:Ray Purvis, Assistant Division EngineerKeith McGowan, RDT Director/Program AdministrationPatty Brake Lemongelli, RDT Director/ResearchDon Davidson, RDT Director/DevelopmentJim Radmacher, RDT Directorffechnology TransferMark Schroyer, FHWA Division Office, Technology Transfer EngineerRDT STAFF DISCUSSIONThe participating RDT Staff joined by the following additional RDT Staff participated in asession to describe the Division's Strategic Plan, Business Plan, staffing structure, budget, StatePlanning and Research (SPR) work program, current operation practices and publications and theprimary points of the peer exchange:Vince Imhoff, Sr. R & D EngineerJ.D. Wenzlick, Sr. R & D EngineerRon Middleton, Sr. Research AnalystManda Brandt, Intr. R & D AssistantJason Shafer, Intr. R & D AssistantNelson Cook, Field Testing TechnicianImplementation Opportunities from the RDT Staff Discussion: Research must sell results . the operating divisions must implement.Ivan is a champion ofprojects . he takes the time to demonstrate and sell theinnovation and technology.MoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998Page 2

Not all "good" research is implementable NOW . many reasons come into play.Requires outstanding communication skills*Know your customer*Utilize project panels with broad representationMore Advisory Committees with broader representationAdvisory Committees for customer subject c.*Cultural differences in focus of researchers and customers are potential barriers*Progress reports/time to complete*Field visits/division visitsResearch must create a pull environmentStarting to win the battle requires fulfilling the technical assistance and consultingneeds ofMoDOT first. It isn't clear that this is given priority.You can't separate marketing from implementation.AGENCY REPORTSMembers of the peer exchange team also shared operations from their respective agencies.Wisconsin DOTUses Technical Oversight CommitteesActivities governed by Council on ResearchEach Project has a Project Monitor (Principal Investigator) and a Project SponsorLeverage funds with Private Industry, Universities and Contractors InvolvementOklahoma DOTEach Project must have a Division Level SponsorProjects selected by Research Area Activity Committees (RAAC)RAAC for Operations and Preliminary EngineeringHolds Annual Research ConferenceStaff person dedicated to Implementation Tracking ofResearch ResultsInvolves Industry as a Research PartnerVirginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC)Shared Facilities between DOT and UniversityLeverage University Staff with DOT StaffInvolves IndustryAt least 25% of Time dedicated to Technical Assistance to CustomersUses Co-Investigators for Contract ResearchUses Customer Satisfaction as their primary Performance MeasureMoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998Page3

Midwest Research Institute (MRI)Uses an On-Going Customer Survey FormContractor for numerous previous and current NCHRP StudiesManages the Department of Energy Laboratory in Golden, ColoradoFHWA Turner-Fairbanks FacilityTransportation Industry Research on the National LevelSENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM DISCUSSIONThe following members of the Senior Management Team were interviewed to discuss topicsincluding management's expectation of the RDT Division, budgeting of special projects as wellas the primary points for the peer exchange:Joe Mickes, Chief Engineer and Chief Administrative OfficerJ.T. Yarnell, Deputy ChiefEngineerMike Golden, Chief Operating OfficeBob Sfreddo, Assistant ChiefEngineer, DesignDave Snider, Assistant Chief Engineer, OperationsAI Laffoon, Division Engineer, BridgeSue Muck, Division Director, Public AffairsThe following representatives also participated in this session from the FHWA Division Office:Allen Masuda, Division AdministratorKarla Snyder-Petty, Assistant Division AdministratorMajor points from the Senior Management Discussion: Emphasize implementation, practicalityResearch must cut across all areasAlign research with MoDOT Cost Centers/Business Plan/Strategic PlanTransfer/implementation from National/International ProgramsRDT must "push" TRCDevelop/maintain strong relation with districts/divisionsPay your way and link costs/benefitsFocus on Asset ManagementKeep us informed about improvements we can use (Technology Scanning)Involve more MoDOT employees from all areas of the department in the researchprogramMust be able to show the public the benefits ofRDT (need a marketing plan)Need a public outreach program so districts will care about research and create anownership of research resultsMoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998Page4

Be aggressive in looking for projects to extend service life and help with assetmanagementMaintain contact with Bob Sfreddo, who should pass information to executivelevelContinue memo/research summary memos to top managementFocus on practical, usable, implementable resultsNeed timely new product evaluations for specific application (TechnicalAssistance)Concentrate on deployment within the department, Jess inventive researchResearch should look for the new solutions, better or best practicesRDT should be included and utilized in the Strategic PlanningFocus on projects with high potential for savingsOptimize research opportunities through other agenciesRDT should support a 5 year horizonMoDOT is not going to do ITS researchMoDOT will not be first in research but we will be in the first waveTECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (TRC) DISCUSSIONThe following TRC representatives discussed the current TRC structure and purpose and theirrole relative to the primary points of the peer exchange:Larry Brenner, Construction DivisionTom Johnson, Operations, District 1Tom Keith, Materials DivisionKent Van Landuyt, Planning and Policy Work GroupJerry Shipman, Multimodal Operations DivisionOpportunities for Improving TRC Role Hard to get feedback--we have to ask itRDT must sell themselvesDistricts don't know what is happening in ResearchFeeling is that most of what RDT does is far in the futureThe process takes too long for short term needsTRC Ideal World Devoting person to maintenance research has been great (Ivan)Need research staff with field knowledge and who will champion new ideasFor planning, we are interested into economic, quality of life, socio-economicarea--expand thisGet area engineers involvedMoDOT Peer Exchange, April 1998PageS

Construction area needs immediate, timely consulting/technical assistance fromRDT99% of people in districts don't know about RDTNo process of accountability for implementation of recommendationRDT must have vision and push TRC into new areas and SELL IT (co-sponsor)T2 is very important for multimodalTracking and feedback to customersUNIVERSITY DISCUSSIONRepresentatives from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri-Rolladiscussed current contracting relationships between the Universities and MoDOT, a previousuniversity cooperative meeting, current basic agreement and work orders for future contracting,solicitation ofNCHRP contracts and the newly formed Missouri Transportation Research andEduc