Center News /
March 30, 2021

NSF Grant Awarded to the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence


Advanced technologies, technician shortages, lack of teaching resources, and expensive/complicated pieces of equipment. What do they all have in common? A big challenge for both education and industry. What’s the solution? A collaborative approach.

The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence (TCOE), industry partners, and technical college programs in Minnesota are ready to take on this challenge. The TCOE is going to start by taking a sector based strategy approach by including all truck technician, equipment technician, and equipment operator technical college programs in a new and innovative equipment and curriculum cooperative program.

There are many advanced technologies on vehicles and equipment today. Perhaps the most challenging are the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and the Advanced Operator Assistance Systems (AOAS). The TCOE will work with industry and national center partners to develop curriculum, perform professional development, and purchase specialized equipment in the quest of developing a strong and well prepared workforce in Minnesota.

The equipment will be rotated so that each technical college program in Minnesota has the chance to use it for teaching and learning. Open Educational Resources (curriculum) will be developed to accompany the advanced technologies, and professional development sessions will be delivered so that teachers are prepared to fully utilize the new technology. Industry partners will be involved in all aspects of the project, from equipment purchasing to curriculum to professional development.

Partnerships are what makes projects like this successful. The TCOE is looking forward to working with partners in industry and education, both in Minnesota and beyond, to fulfilling the objectives of this project, and in the future expanding to other sectors of transportation.

For more information, please view the ISA-TOPE grant abstract

To contact the TCOE or the Principle Investigators (PI) on this project, please call or e-mail:

Carl Borleis
Director of Program Excellence, TCOE
[email protected]

Chris Hadfield, Ed.M.
Executive Director, TCOE 
Co-PI, National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT)
[email protected]

Shannon Mohn
Automotive Instructor, M-State
MTTIA Training Coordinator
[email protected]