Ohio University

About

Four people posing in front of a trailer painted with the label "ORITE Mobile Infrastructure Lab"

Founded in 1987, ORITE maintains a diverse multi-million dollar portfolio of projects that are externally supported by government and industry. We operate several cutting-edge research facilities for studying highway design and construction; pavement, pipe and bridge materials; safety and human factors; and environmental effects. Through multidisciplinary applied research, the institute’s work is leading the field in creating more durable, sustainable, and safe infrastructure and transportation systems for future generations.

Mission

The goals of the ORITE are:

  1. Provide a center of expertise in transportation, environmental, and geotechnical science and engineering;
  2. Conduct basic research in transportation and environmental areas;
  3. Provide environmental and transportation related information to public agencies and the private sector;
  4. Assist local, state, and federal agencies and the private sector with research, training, technology transfer, testing, and other endeavors; and
  5. Provide training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and technology transfer to professionals.

History

A man in a reflective work vest and a woman in business attire examine a piece of equipment like a metal cabinet with protruding levers

ORITE began in 1987 as the Center for Geotechnical and Environmental Research (CGER), under the direction of Gayle F. Mitchell, as one of the first research institutes in the nation to integrate environmental and geotechnical engineering. Over the years, CGER acquired national recognition for progress in research on pavements, culverts, pipes, and landfills. In 1997, CGER became the Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment (ORITE) in recognition of the center’s unique multidisciplinary approach to understanding transportation infrastructure and environmental concerns and innovating practical solutions.

ORITE’s facilities have since grown to include the Accelerated Pavement Load Facility, 30-foot mobile Civil Infrastructure Laboratory, the Center for Pipe and Underground Structures, the Advanced Asphalt Research laboratory, and the Safety and Human Factors Laboratory. Whether developing new pavement materials or integrating wildlife protection into highway design, ORITE’s work helps improve the longevity, health, and safety of the nation’s infrastructure.