The Center’s Education Goal is: To develop a multidisciplinary program of course work
and experiential learning that develops a future work force to support intermodal
The center’s education program will include include three major components:
- CIFTS education program will expand and enhance the existing transportation education
offerings at the University of Memphis and Vanderbilt University. In addition, CIFTS
will work to create joint programs in areas of interdisciplinary synergy within and
between the two institutions and other key regional partners, covering engineering,
business, law, and public policy.
- The education program will also include a workforce development component, with the
goal of increasing the number of trained, skilled workers and educated professionals
in transportation and logistics. There is an industry-wide need for people at all
levels - entry, skilled worker, management, etc. The competencies required may be
linked to an educational/career pathway that includes certificates, associate degrees
and baccalaureate degrees.
- An additional aspect of workforce development lies in promoting transportation careers
to K-12 students. The University of Memphis has a distinguished track record of offering
summer engineering programming to middle and high school students. CIFTS will build
on this foundation to explore opportunities for transportation career-specific programs
for enhancing transportation content coverage as a component of existing programs.
The first education program underway is Intermodal Freight Curriculum Development. This project, spearheaded by faculty at Vanderbilt University is described below.
The research will consist of developing a curriculum in which graduate students interested
in freight management, freight professionals, and stakeholders working with freight
professionals can be exposed to the policies, concepts and methods utilized in managing
intermodal transportation systems.
This introductory course will be oriented around subjects that are timely and critical,
- Fundamentals of transportation systems analysis
- Freight transportation systems
- Railroad operations
- Truck operations
- Maritime operations
- Inland waterway operations
- Airport operations
- Pipeline operations
- Intermodal terminals
- Hazardous materials transportation
- Defense logistics
- Freight transportation modeling
Each stage of course development and refinement will be a joint activity involving
the Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis. It will be initially offered
as a graduate course at the both institutions (using distance-based learning technologies,
In a later phase (not covered by this task), it is anticipated that the course will
debut as a professional, executive management offering. It is also anticipated that
the freight management fundamentals embedded in this curriculum will be assembled
into a primer or handbook for widespread dissemination to interested parties.
The following deliverables are associated with performing this task:
- Literature review of existing courses & textbooks
- Draft course syllabus
- Review of potential educational delivery mechanisms
- Completed course modules
- Initial offering of introductory course to graduate students
The Center is establishing linkages with on-going programs in the region that focus
on developing a skilled transportation workforce. One such program is the WIRED program
at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Arkansas. The director of this program,
Dr. Sunny Morris, is chair of the Center’s Education Committee.
Promoting Transportation Careers
An initial proposal has been submitted to the State of Tennessee to create a Governor’s
School at the University of Memphis in Transportation and Logistics. The Governor’s
School program in Tennessee creates special opportunities for high ability high school
students to study a subject in depth in an intensive summer program. Students earn
six hours of college credit by taking introductory courses. The program also includes
guest lectures by professional in the field and site visits to industry.
Five graduate students are associated with the Center, supported by a combination
of UTC funding, University support, and financial aid from other sources.