Des Moines Freeway

From its inception, the Iowa Department of Transportation has been a leader in significant transportation research. Beginning with the Iowa Highway Research Board program in 1950, the Iowa DOT has stayed on the leading edge of innovations in materials, processes, and technologies that have brought improvement and longevity to transportation systems across the world.

The Iowa DOT’s transportation research achievements are a result of numerous collaborations between Iowa DOT research staff, university researchers, technical experts, local system engineers, and industry partners.

Our Mission

  • Driving a quality research program that delivers targeted solutions for Iowa’s transportation future.


Our Core Values

  • Innovation - Searching beyond the status quo
  • Collaboration - Working together to create value
  • Integrity - Doing the right things for the right reasons
  • Simplicity - Bringing order to complexity


Our Areas of Focus

  • Safety - Reducing transportation fatalities and serious injuries through system-wide, multimodal, data-driven, and proactive strategies.
  • Mobility - Improving the accessibility, reliability, time and costs associated with the movement of people and goods.
  • Sustainability - Considering how transportation supports economic, social, and environmental progress with a long-term perspective.
  • Technology - Evaluating current and potential technologies and incorporating them effectively into existing agency functions.

The Iowa DOT has entered into a formal Transportation Research Collaboration Agreement with the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and the Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE) at Iowa State. The purpose of the collaboration is to facilitate transportation research to benefit the State of Iowa.

Semiannual collaboration meetings are held to discuss proposed research projects, bring new ideas to the table, review research needs, and explore the expertise and facilities available for research projects. The collaboration partners also look for new ways to serve the state through regional and national research collaboration. Meeting sites rotate among member agencies, enabling parties to get to know each other’s staff and capabilities.

Focus group meetings are held to generate ideas and recommend priorities for a wide range of research areas. A list of the focus groups and meeting schedules can be viewed by clicking the link below. Focus groups may include representatives of the Iowa DOT, universities, industry, consultants and other transportation professionals. The results are reviewed and discussed by the collaboration partners.

Collaboration documents