Transportation Engineering Research

Transportation Engineering

Driving the Advancement of Transportation Infrastructure and Mobility

Researchers in Transportation Engineering use state-of-the-art technology such as AI and machine-learning to make innovative advancements in the planning, design, operations, maintenance, and assessment of transportation systems.

Our exceptional faculty who specialize in Transportation Engineering conduct cutting-edge research in transportation system design and modeling.

Research Areas

Transportation System Design & Modeling
Vehical Electrification & Automation
Computational Analytics

Research Spotlight

Innovating Transportation Engineering Research

Using programming, computational analysis, and urban informatics, Dr. Liu is investigating the effects of shared mobility on urban transportation networks, including economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Her research has been awarded multiple large-scale grants, including a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant for developing a methodology which allows social-technical spatial scientists to compare against and study human mobility in aggregate and at scale.

Dr. Zhu Secures Competitive Grant for his Proposal to Enhance Railroad Safety

The Association of American Railroads' call for proposals received nearly 40 submissions vying for limited funding slots. Titled “Improvements on Machine Learning – Rail Neutral Temperature Predictive Tool,” Dr. Zhu’s innovative approach to addressing critical issues within the railway industry ultimately secured the funding to move forward with his project.

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~$600,000 Awarded to Launch Innovative Transportation Electrification Certificate Program

The program will address critical challenges in the transition to a clean and sustainable electric power sector, particularly focusing on the integration of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy sources into the existing power grid. The move comes as the nation grapples with the need for sustainable solutions to combat climate change and, importantly to Utah, improve air quality.

Dr. Cathy Liu at the UofU (program director) and Dr. Regan Zane (program co-director) at USU will be leading the effort.

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Research Spotlight

Data-Driven Approaches to Transportation Engineering

Specializing in the application of data analytics and machine-learning to transportation problems, Dr. Markovic's work aims to enhance the efficiency and safety of transportation systems. Specifically, his work applies operations research and data science to analyze and improve transportation systems. He also has a keen interest in looking scrupulously at the the value of information in network models.

Student-Led Research

Students of our program conduct research in the various areas of the transportation system design and modeling.

Current Ph.D. student Yirong Zhou’s research focuses on data-driven transportation engineering, including operation research, optimization, machine learning, and spatio-temporal analysis and simulation. He was recently awarded a competitive scholarship from the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

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Enhancing Data to Improve Utah's Transportation Planning

Dr. Medina currently leads the Crash Data Initiative, a long-term effort to operate a management system that hosts, maintains, and provide online services and analytics related to Utah’s crash data. His research helps to identify and develop alternative methods for roadway safety analysis using surrogate measures, and quantifying the effects of events in transportation facilities (e.g. crashes) by integrating high-resolution traffic data from crashes, traffic sensors, and video feeds.

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Our Impact

Our environmental research has a far-reaching impact, from influencing policy decisions to driving innovation in industry. We collaborate with governmental agencies, non-profits, and private sector partners to ensure that our research findings translate into real-world applications. By bridging the gap between academia and practice, we are making a tangible difference in the world.

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