About Us

What we do

SOLARIS represents a tri-state area which covers Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. The term "Large Area Rural/Urban" depicts the specific characteristics of this tri-state area and substantial parts of the U.S. where a sparse network connects smaller cities and towns and also connects the denser networks in large cities.

We promote intermodal transportation systems for efficient, safe, and economical movement of goods and people. Additionally, the tri-states have abundant solar and other renewable energy resources which could potentially be used as alternative energy sources for the transportation industry.

Who we are

The SOLARIS Institute consists of a consortium of five outstanding research and higher educational institutions located in the desert southwest that are uniquely qualified to address issues related to transportation safety, operations and infrastructure.

University of Nevada, Reno

Contact: Zong Tian, zongt@unr.edu,
Associate Professor and Center Director, Center for Advanced Transportation Education and Research (CATER)

As the lead university, the University of Nevada, Reno has three premier tracks in transportation programs:

  1. Transportation/traffic
  2. Pavements/materials
  3. Transportation Infrastructure

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering houses three research centers focusing on these three tracks:

  1. The Center for Advanced Transportation Education and Research (CATER)
  2. The Western Regional Superpave Center (WRSC)
  3. The Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research (CCEER)

The other members of the consortium are:

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Contact: Nader Ghafoori, nader.ghafoori@unlv.edu
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Arizona State University

Contact: Pitu B. Mirchandani, pitu@asu.edu
Professor of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems

University of New Mexico

Contact: Rafiqul A. Tarefder, tarefder@unm.edu
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Desert Research Institute

Contact: Alan Gertler, alan.gertler@dri.edu
Division of Atmospheric Sciences