In the fall of 1998 the University of Wisconsin-Superior took a forward-looking and risky step by launching the Transportation and Logistics Management Major. The Research Center, an extension of the academic program, began the next year.

From the very inception of the Transportation and Logistics Management major and T&L Research Center, former Congressman David R. Obey of the 7th district of Wisconsin was a constant and enthusiastic supporter. He and his staff provided insight, expertise, advice and critical financial grant opportunities. Without his wholehearted support this program would not be the success that it is.In 2001, with the growing success of the T&L Management program and research center, Dr. Greg Trudeau, Dr. Stewart, Vice Chancellor Charles Schelin and Chancellor Erlenbach submitted a proposal to UW System for permanent funding. In 2001, the Wisconsin State Legislature approved an increase in UW-Superior's bi-annual budget to support the major and the research center with four faculty and a staff member.

Kathy Derick became the full time administrative assistant for the T&L major and research center in 2005. With the dedication of this team of professionals the program has excelled. In 2005 the research center joined with the University of Minnesota Duluth to form the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI) that now works with eleven affiliate universities in research on Great Lakes maritime subjects. Rep. Obey and the late Rep. Jim Oberstar, 8th congressional district of Minnesota, working together were key to the formation of GLMRI. They provided continuous essential guidance and support.

In 2007, Stacey Carlson, a 2004 graduate of the T&L major program, joined the team to support GLMRI. The next year, in 2008, Dr. Mei Cao was hired to teach courses and conduct research.

Since its opening in 1999, the center has received more than $5 million in grants and endowments. A list of research activities can be found in the Research and Grants section of these pages.