Transportation engineering or transport engineering is the application of technology and scientific principles to the planning, functional design, operation and management of facilities for any mode of transportation in order to provide for the safe, efficient, rapid, comfortable, convenient, economical, and environmentally compatible movement of people and goods transport.
The planning aspects of transportation engineering relate to elements of urban planning, and involve technical forecasting decisions and political factors. Technical forecasting of passenger travel usually involves an urban transportation planning model, requiring the estimation of trip generation (number of purposeful trips), trip distribution (destination choice, where the traveler is going), mode choice (mode that is being taken), and route assignment (the streets or routes that are being used). More sophisticated forecasting can include other aspects of traveler decisions, including auto ownership, trip chaining (the decision to link individual trips together in a tour) and the choice of residential or business location (known as land use forecasting). Passenger trips are the focus of transportation engineering because they often represent the peak of demand on any transportation system.
A review of descriptions of the scope of various committees indicates that while facility planning and design continue to be the core of the transportation engineering field, such areas as operations planning, logistics, network analysis, financing, and policy analysis are also important, particularly to those working in highway and urban transportation. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) list online the safety protocols, geometric design requirements, and signal timing.
Transportation engineering, primarily involves planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of transportation facilities. The facilities support air, highway, railroad, pipeline, water, and even space transportation. The design aspects of transportation engineering include the sizing of transportation facilities (how many lanes or how much capacity the facility has), determining the materials and thickness used in pavement designing the geometry (vertical and horizontal alignment) of the roadway (or track).
Before any planning occurs an engineer must take what is known as an inventory of the area or, if it is appropriate, the previous system in place. This inventory or database must include information on population, land use, economic activity, transportation facilities and services, travel patterns and volumes, laws and ordinances, regional financial resources, and community values and expectations. These inventories help the engineer create business models to complete accurate forecasts of the future conditions of the system.
Operations and management involve traffic engineering, so that vehicles move smoothly on the road or track. Older techniques include signs, signals, markings, and tolling. Newer technologies involve intelligent transportation systems, including advanced traveler information systems (such as variable message signs), advanced traffic control systems (such as ramp meters), and vehicle infrastructure integration. Human factors are an aspect of transportation engineering, particularly concerning driver-vehicle interface and user interface of road signs, signals, and markings.
Railway engineers work to build a cleaner and safer transportation network by reinvesting and revitalizing the rail system to meet future demands. In the United States, railway engineers work with elected officials in Washington, D.C. on rail transportation issues to make sure that the rail system meets the country's transportation needs.
CE 571 - Introduction to Transportation EngineeringCredits: 3Key principles in transportation engineering and their relevance to practice. Consideration of both multi-modal and sustainable solutions to transportation.Note: Two 75-minute lectures per week.Requisites: Prerequisites: CE 212, MATH 221, and PHYS 213Typically Offered SpringView the Fall 2022 Course Schedule
CIVL 2030 - Introduction to Transportation EngineeringIntroduction to basic concepts in transportation engineering including planning, design, and operations. Introduces the challenges and issues in modeling transportation problems. Studies of various concepts related to the design of highway facilities, level of service, and demand for transportation services. Concepts related to signal optimization. Policy implications. Basics of transportation planning.Prerequisites/Corequisites: Prerequisite: MATH 2400.When Offered: Fall term annually.Credit Hours: 4
Understand the history of the development of transportation in the United States and how transportation modes and networks available in a community significantly influence the way the community develops.
Approach transportation problems, especially traffic congestion on highways, from a systems point of view, as an interaction between land use and transportation systems, not just as the problem related to highways. This competency is all inclusive, including public transportation, freight, and sustainability.
Understand the four steps in the traditional travel demand modeling process, the two-way relationship between land use and transportation, and how the travel demand modeling fits into the transportation-planning process.
Understand pavement structures and their characteristics and design bituminous pavements using the AASHTO method that requires knowledge of traffic engineering, pavement material characteristics, economics, and geometric design.
Understand rail transit service in a corridor with respect to station spacing and vehicle capabilities, calculate changes in transit ridership in response to changes in fare or service (elasticity), and measure and compare the performance of public transportation operations.
The transportation sector has undergone a sea change over the past few years, as more cities pilot smart city initiatives with intelligent transportation systems (ITS). With ITS technologies, cities can gather and analyze data to design safer roads, cleaner vehicles, and more efficient travel. New York City, for example, has installed cameras and sensors at over 10,000 traffic intersections to collect data and enact changes that improve safety and traffic flow.
Transportation engineering is a branch of civil engineering that involves the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems to help build smart, safe, and livable communities.
In planning projects, transportation engineers gather relevant data on the population in the surrounding area, travel patterns, socioeconomic characteristics, laws and ordinances, and financial resources. They consolidate this information and use decision-support tools to develop, design, and deliver various types of transportation projects in consideration of various performance measures (e.g., operations, safety, environmental impacts).
There are many career paths you can pursue in the field of transportation engineering, including jobs in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The most common employers of transportation engineers are transportation corporations, construction companies, state and local governments, and engineering firms.
Based on education and experience, transportation engineers may choose to further specialize as highway engineers, traffic engineers, or safety engineers. Highway engineers, for example, are responsible for researching, planning, and constructing roads, bridges, and tunnels.
Regardless of potential specializations, transportation engineers who want to take on higher-level responsibilities such as independent decision-making and project oversight should consider graduate-level education and possibly licensure (see box). Nearly half of all senior engineer job postings in the transportation sector required an advanced degree, according to Burning Glass.
To advance your career prospects and earning potential as a transportation engineer, you can seek licensure as a professional engineer (PE). With a PE license, engineers become qualified to prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans for clients. On average, transportation engineers with a PE license earn about $5,000 more per year than their counterparts without a license.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the next few years, the work of transportation engineers will primarily involve repairing and rebuilding deteriorating transportation infrastructure, such as bridges, roads, and airports. Aside from rebuilding existing infrastructure, transportation engineers will also play a key role in designing innovative, data-driven transportation systems that optimize sustainability, safety, and quality of life.
Introduces technological, economic, and social aspects of transportation. Emphasizes design and functioning of transportation systems and their components. Covers supply-demand interactions; system planning, design, and management; traffic flow, intersection control and network analysis; institutional and energy issues; and environmental impacts.
Instruction Mode: In Person S/U registration acceptable only for non-engineering students. Course fulfills technical writing requirement if enrolled in ENGRC 3610. Enrollment limited to students who are able to attend in-person classes in the Ithaca area.
Minimum course requirements for transportation engineering applicants are listed below. Applicants who do not meet these minimum course requirements can still be admitted on a provisional basis until the coursework is completed elsewhere or as part of the graduate studies at Penn State.
Hundreds of MIT faculty members work in areas related to transportation, from motor vehicles to urban infrastructure planning to aviation efficiency to adaptive technologies and their influence on personal behavior. 1e1e36bf2d