The Transportation Engineering group within CEE at Illinois offers unequalled expertise in railroad, pavement and transportation systems engineering. This large, comprehensive program boasts world-class faculty, a dynamic research program, and strong ties to industry and government agencies.
- B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering)
- M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering)
- Ph.D. Degree in Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering)
- Professional M.S. (1-yr program)
- M.S. Degree Online
Learn More About the Transportation Engineering Program
Four 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.
Two of the centers are rail related. The Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at Illinois is the largest and oldest in North America, providing leadership in research and curriculum development. The National University Rail (NURail) Center is a rail-focused seven-university consortium led by RailTEC and is a Tier-1 University Transportation Center under the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology program working to improve and expand rail education, research, workforce development and technology transfer.
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.
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
Construction engineers manage and direct construction operations. They analyze the labor, materials, and equipment for each job to determine the proper quantity of each and ensure availability at the appropriate time and place.
Civil engineers are often responsible for specifying, designing and manufacturing the materials with which they build their structures. Studies in construction materials are intended to make structural, transportation and foundation engineers aware of the fundamental properties of the materials they use.
The program in Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability (EWES) is a cross-cutting program focused on providing and supporting sustainable solutions for the exploration, production, delivery and use of energy, and their intersection with water and the natural and built environment. The program focuses on integrating scientific principles, engineered processes, and systems analyses to address diverse challenges related to society's growing energy needs and their nexus with water and the environment.
Environmental engineers help solve problems of air, land and water contamination. They design, construct and operate systems that purify water for drinking, industrial use and recreation. They develop and implement air-purification devices and protocols for solid and hazardous waste management.
The Societal Risk Management (SRHM) program is a cross-disciplinary program that focuses on the development of a secure and safe society. The program concentrates on risk determination, risk evaluation and risk management for natural and human-made hazards, and disaster response and recovery.
Structural engineers design economical structures that resist forces induced by wind, earthquakes, blasts and heavy traffic. The tools of the structural engineer include physical testing, mathematical modeling and computer simulation.
The interdisciplinary program Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems (SRIS) addresses emerging approaches to infrastructure systems focusing on resiliency and sustainability of inter-connected infrastructure, for example, structural, geotechnical, and water interactions in urban environments. The program aims to prepare new generations of civil engineers who are ready to address pressing societal issues while developing needed infrastructure.
Transportation engineers design, build, operate and maintain all types of facilities for railroads, automobiles, airplanes and ships. They deal with such problems as moving millions of people in and out of cities at rush hour and moving carloads of wheat from the fields of Kansas to the port of New Orleans.
Water resource engineers help solve complex water challenges, including providing society with safe and reliable water supplies, managing impacts of floods and drought, and enhancing environmental quality. They plan, design, manage and operate surface water and groundwater systems that are sustainable and adaptable to changing climate and human activity.