About the Center
The Center for Transportation Computational Mechanics (CeTCoM) at TTI is one of four university-based centers established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Center is supported by research projects sponsored by federal and state transportation agencies and private industry. Due to the prohibitive costs associated with crash testing, engineers are relying more and more on sophisticated analytical models and nonlinear finite element codes to evaluate, design, and analyze safety features. Although the center’s primary focus areas are roadside safety and physical security, the activities of the center are not limited to these areas. The center also actively works on projects in other research areas such as vehicle dynamics, dynamic analysis of bridge structures, soils, and pavements, infrastructure protection, and reverse engineering.
View a map to the Center’s location.
The Center was established to foster advancements in roadside safety technology with the goal of reducing the tremendous loss of life that occurs on our nation’s highways each year as a result of run-off- road crashes. Crashes involving vehicles that run off the road account for more than half of the 33,000 annual highway-related deaths. The Center focuses on the application of nonlinear, dynamic finite element analysis to roadside safety design and other dynamic impact problems such as the design and evaluation of physical perimeter security devices.
Researchers in the Center have expertise in applying state-of-the-art analytical tools such as LS-DYNA to roadside safety and perimeter security problems. Researchers have dedicated access to an array of high-speed, multi-processor computers that enable large, detailed impact simulations to be run in a short time period. Sophisticated finite element models of vehicles, roadside safety hardware, and physical perimeter security devices are used to simulate crash tests to evaluate impact performance, assess design alternatives, and perform design optimization in a predictive manner. Use of these sophisticated analysis tools provides an enhanced understanding of crash dynamics that enables researchers to design better, more cost-effective safety hardware at a lower cost to the sponsor.
Researchers in CeTCoM partner with federal and state agencies, other universities and research institutes, and private industry on research and development projects. These agencies include the United States Department of State (DOS), FHWA, National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and other state departments of transportation. Researchers at the Center also participate in the Roadside Safety Pooled Fund Program. This program is led by Washington State DOT and has nine other member states (Alaska, California, Louisiana, Florida, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia). The members pool their limited resources to address common roadside safety research problems in a cost-effective and timely manner.
In addition, the Roadside Safety Program’s researchers have affiliations with a number of national and international organizations. These affiliations have enabled the researchers to develop strong working relationships and provides for the exchange of ideas and information with professionals throughout the world.
Confidentiality agreements are used to protect information that is considered by the sponsor to be confidential and/or propriety in nature.
A partial list of sponsors that fund research within the Center is provided below. Private industry sponsors are not listed to protect confidentiality.
- Association of American Railroads
- California Department of Transportation
- Duke Energy
- Federal Highway Administration
- Florida Department of Transportation
- Hong Kong Highway Authority
- National Cooperative Highway Research Program
- Ohio Department of Transportation
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
- Private sponsors (various)
- Roadside Safety Pooled Fund
- Sandia National Laboratory
- Texas Department of Transportation
- United States Department of State
- Washington State Department of Transportation