ASPIRE: One Year Later


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The Nation’s First Engineering Research Center for Electrified Transportation is Thriving

Oct. 7, 2021 — In August of 2020, Utah State University launched the NSF-funded ASPIRE Engineering Research Center dedicated to advancing sustainable, electrified transportation. Under the direction of Professor Regan Zane, this multi-institution center is surging forward with new funding, new industry and innovation partnerships, new opportunities for students, and new tech that will forever change how we get from point A to point B.

“ASPIRE will bring transformations in the automotive, transportation and electric grid industries in positive ways that will impact everyone in the nation,” said center executive director Tallis Blalack. “These changes will come through improved air quality, reduced transportation costs, job creation, and more.”

ASPIRE is dedicated to advancing sustainable transportation while creating an inclusive learning environment where students and researchers can thrive.

ASPIRE Updates (since Aug. 2020)

  • $30 million in commitments for pilot projects
  • 26 Industry Partners and 24 Innovation Partners to date
  • 30 active engineering projects involving 60 faculty and 150 students
  • New 26-member Student Leadership Council

A New ASPIRE Headquarters

ASPIRE’s Electric Vehicle and Roadway research facility and test track is a key piece of the center’s research objective. The quarter-mile, electrified track is a test-bed for evaluating in-motion charging, grid communication and autonomous vehicle research. USU and the state of Utah will commit $10 million to upgrade the facility to support heavy-duty vehicles, additional lanes around the track and megawatt-level systems testing. The upgraded facility will include new labs, student collaboration spaces, offices and a reception area. Construction is expected to begin in 2022.