In 1939, a materials research lab at the University of Kentucky (UK) published a paper in ASTM on the selection of aggregates for concrete pavement. Two years later, the Kentucky Highway Department took an interest in the group and established a Division of Research with the mission of investigating materials for pavement mixtures. Over the ensuing 40 years, the group expanded from its humble beginnings as a materials research lab, broadening its research focus to include various transportation-related topics. The group was officially designated as the Kentucky Transportation Research Program in 1981, when the Kentucky Department of Transportation abolished the Division of Research and directed UK to continue the research function.
For more than 35 years, KTC has continued to function as the research arm of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, while also providing services to a number of federal, state, local, and private clients.
In 1995, KTC and UK’s Department of Civil Engineering moved into the Oliver H. Raymond building (dedicated in 1998). Today, KTC continues to grow, benefitting from the resources it shares with the Department of Civil Engineering. Joe Crabtree, KTC’s current director, follows in the footsteps of the Center’s previous directors: Robert Deen, Calvin Grayson, and Paul Toussaint. KTC’s leadership, along with its staff, researchers, faculty, and students, have built a legacy of research excellence. The Center continues to address transportation issues, deliver exemplary technology transfer, and provide outstanding customer service.
Important Dates for KTC
1941 – The Kentucky Highway Department established a Division of Research which was located on University of Kentucky’s campus. The initial focus was primarily on materials research.
1979 – UK’s Board of Trustees created the Kentucky Transportation Center at UK.
1980 – The Kentucky Department of Transportation abolished the Division of Research and directed UK to assume the Department’s research functions.
1988 – The research and technology transfer functions were brought together within KTC.
1994 – The Kentucky Transportation Center and the Department of Civil Engineering moved into a new building, which was later dedicated to Oliver H. Raymond, UK College of Engineering graduate and benefactor.