Two high-profile research centers enhance the curriculum of the Transportation Engineering program and offer students the opportunity to participate in research with significant impact on society. The Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT), a research center operated in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, is headquartered within CEE at Illinois. Also headquartered in the department is the Center of Excellence for Airport Technology, funded by the O’Hare Modernization Program and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The department maintains a 47-acre research facility for large-scale experimentation and testing, the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL), located 20 minutes from campus in Rantoul, Ill. In addition to 60,000 square feet of laboratories, ATREL’s state-of-the-art equipment includes the world’s largest pavement and rail assembly testing device. The Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at Illinois is the largest and oldest in North America, providing leadership in research and curriculum development.

Research interests of the Transportation Engineering faculty include:

  • Pavements and transportation materials
  • Mechanical testing and characterization of asphalt binders and mixtures
  • Pavement mechanics, modeling, assessment and performance prediction
  • Pavement instrumentation
  • Full-scale accelerated testing
  • Nondestructive testing
  • Traffic flow modeling and simulation
  • Transportation system analysis
  • Traffic control
  • Highway safety
  • Traffic operation
  • Accident studies
  • Finite element analysis
  • Railroad applications of machine vision
  • Railroad infrastructure maintenance and management planning
  • Transportation and supply network operations
  • Logistics systems
  • Insfrastructure system management
  • Ultra-thin whitetopping
  • Fiber-reinforced concrete
  • Fatigue and fracture of concrete
  • Flexible pavement analysis and design
  • Testing and modeling of aggregates and soils