Robert Honea has been named the first director of Kansas University's Transportation Research Institute.
The institute studies a variety of transportation-related issues, ranging from bridge construction to alternative-fuel vehicles.
From 1973 to 2002, Honea worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he served eight years as director of the National Transportation Research Center.
Since 2002, he has been a private consultant. And for the past year, he has worked as a research associate at the University of Tennessee's Center for Homeland Security and Counter-Proliferation.
In 2005, Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Jerry Moran obtained $14.5 million in federal funding to establish the KU institute. Stuart Bell, dean of the School of Engineering, also played a key role in seeking that appropriation.
The institute will encompass the existing KU Transportation Center, which oversees the Kansas Local Technical Assistance Program and Kansas Rural Transportation Assistance Program.