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Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Engineering

As a branch of civil engineering, transportation engineering has a history that is long and illustrious and a future that is full of promise. The National Academy of Engineering has identified restoring urban infrastructure and implementing smart mobility as grand challenges. We need coordinated approaches to tackle transportation issues by integrating car, rail, bus, truck, walking and bicycling to meet sustainability goals. Currently, we see how smartphones have enabled ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, while taxis and GPS-equipped cars and trucks are providing massive amounts of data that was unimaginable a few years back. Before long, it may be common to have vehicles are talking to infrastructure (V2I) and vehicles talking to each other (V2V). Traffic flow with automated vehicles is expected to be much safer and more efficient than with human drivers.

The journey to that future will be fascinating and challenging. The safe and efficient movement of people and goods relies on infrastructure. Highways, airports, railroads, waterways and pipelines need to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained. Purdue's Transportation and Infrastructure Systems Engineering faculty offer a wide range of classes, research facilities, and experiences. Their efforts will have noticeable impacts on challenges such as:

  • Asset management
  • Data acquisition and analytics
  • Emergency response
  • Energy
  • Freight Transportation and Logistics
  • Environment
  • Smart Mobility
  • Sustainability
  • Urban infrastructure

The award-winning Purdue Student Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers introduces students to the transportation profession and fosters a close association of students with practicing engineers, educators from other institutions, and local and national chapters of ITE.


January 31, 2019

105th Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo

The 105th Purdue Road School will be held March 4-7 on the Purdue University campus. This is a great Indiana tradition that brings together federal, state and local agencies, industry, consulting and academia to collaborate and reflect on diverse transportation topics. Over 3,000 attendees will have the opportunity to hear Opening Session and Luncheon keynote addresses from leaders in the transportation field, choose from nearly 200 hours of technical sessions, visit a variety of exhibitors, and network with their peers.
January 16, 2019

Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate

Idling in a long highway line of slowed or stopped traffic on a busy highway can be more than an inconvenience for drivers and highway safety officers. It is one of the most vulnerable times for "secondary accidents," which often can be worse than an original source of the slowdown, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. In fact, secondary crashes go up by a factor of almost 24 during the time that highway safety officials are assessing and documenting the crash site.
December 14, 2018

Soybean oil driving Purdue technology to improve roadways

Holiday drivers who find that roadwork is driving them crazy may find in future years that a Purdue University-affiliated startup can seal the deal for a merrier journey. Environmental Concrete Products is a startup based on a Purdue innovation, with funding for the Indiana Soybean Alliance, which uses engineering sealant technology to protect and prolong the life of new and existing concrete to make a smoother ride for travelers and save costs for road upkeep and repairs.
October 23, 2018

E-scooters at Purdue are sweet as jelly

In the coming weeks, 40 scooters will be distributed across Purdue's campus to begin a four-week research project on best practices for using e-scooters. The research project, called Jelly, is being led by Darcy Bullock, Purdue's Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Joint Transportation Research Program, which is operated out of Purdue's Discovery Park.
October 19, 2018

Purdue Civil Engineering study influences Indiana infrastructure funding

A study completed in 2017 by the Lyles School of Civil Engineering was used by the Indiana General Assembly to realign the highway taxation structure that addressed the growing transportation-funding needs. The study concluded that the existing (at that time) fuel tax was inadequate to ensure that the state's roadways were maintained properly. According to the report, federal and most state fuel tax rates have not changed for many years. That and the increased fuel efficiency of modern cars has created a serious funding gap that is rapidly growing.
October 18, 2018

Roads that charge electric cars

Electric cars that charge while driving? Purdue civil engineers want to make that leap. Konstantina "Nadia" Gkritza, Associate Professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, studies the practicality of a roadway where electric-powered vehicles are recharged as they drive along it.
August 17, 2018

Professors Jon Fricker, Samuel Labi receive D. Grant Mickle Award

Congratulations to Professors Jon Fricker and Samuel Labi for receiving the 2018 D. Grant Mickle Award from the Transportation Research Board. The award was given for their paper titled, "Bundling Bridge and Other Highway Projects: Patterns and Policies."
July 25, 2018

New data collection technology may help small airports improve operations counts, increase FAA funding

A Purdue University-developed product called Blueavion f1, launched Monday (July 23) by Bluemac Analytics Inc. is shown to help airports more accurately log airport operations. The technology, developed by Darcy Bullock, the Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Joint Transportation Research Program, and John Mott, associate professor in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, features a transponder data collection system that provides a more accurate method to determine the number of operations an airport has in a given time.
July 10, 2018

Discovery Park to lead new Innovation Hub for Connected and Autonomous Transportation Technologies

Purdue University’s Discovery Park will lead a nationwide partnership focusing on the expanding research field of connected and autonomous vehicles. Darcy Bullock, the Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Joint Transportation Research Program, will lead the partnership through Discovery Park, Purdue University’s complex for major interdisciplinary research activities.
June 27, 2018

Tariq U. Saeed awarded 2018 Jack E. Leisch Fellowship, Seyed Ali Ghahari runner-up

Tariq U. Saeed, Hugh W. and Edna M. Donnan Doctoral Candidate of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems Engineering at Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering, is the 2018 winner of the Jack E. Leisch Fellowship Award. With a strong showing as runner-up for this year's fellowship is CE doctoral student Seyed Ali Ghahari.
May 4, 2018

Sikai Chen receives 2018 Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship Award

Sikai Chen, a doctoral student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, has been awarded the 2018 Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship Award by the Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs (OIGP). The Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship is a highly competitive award recognizing outstanding Ph.D. candidates for their superior interdisciplinary academic abilities and scholarly achievements. The title of Sikai's dissertation is "Crash Factors and Roadway Design Implications: New Evidence in the Traditional Environment and Insights into Emerging Operating Environments."
April 25, 2018

Purdue ITE Team wins Great Lakes District Traffic Bowl

Congratulations to the Purdue Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Traffic Bowl Team on winning the Great Lakes District competition! This annual competition among ITE student chapter teams uses transportation planning and engineering topics for the clues, questions and answers.
March 28, 2018

Dong Yoon Song wins ITS Michigan Scholar Award for best student poster

Dong Yoon Song, a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering, received the 2018 ITS Michigan Scholar Award from the Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan for the best student poster at the 2018 Global Symposium on Connected and Automated Transportation and Infrastructure, held in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
March 22, 2018

104th Purdue Road School breaks attendance record

The 104th Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo was the largest Road School on record at 3,010 attendees. This year's event included 191 technical sessions involving 375 speakers and moderators. The program had 175 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) available, including 4 hours of Indiana Statutes and Ethics for Professional Engineers.
December 22, 2017

Seyed Ali Ghahari selected to represent Purdue at 2017 World Bank Youth Summit

CE doctoral student Seyed Ali Ghahari was recently selected by the World Bank to represent Purdue, as a student volunteer and participant, in the 2017 Annual Youth Summit at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. Ali was one of nearly 400 participants and volunteers at the 2017 Youth Summit, and chosen from a high-caliber pool of approximately 2,900 applicants from around the world representing 70+ countries and members of the public, private and academic sectors.
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