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The engineering of this roundabout in Bristol, England, attempts to make traffic flow free-moving

Transportation 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). It is a sub-discipline of civil engineering [1] and of industrial engineering. Transportation engineering is a major component of the civil engineering and mechanical engineering disciplines, according to specialisation of academic courses and main competences of the involved territory. The importance of transportation engineering within the civil and industrial engineering profession can be judged by the number of divisions in ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) that are directly related to transportation. There are six such divisions (Aerospace; Air Transportation; Highway; Pipeline; Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean; and Urban Transportation) representing one-third of the total 18 technical divisions within the ASCE (1987).[2]

The planning aspects of transport engineering relate to 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 (how many trips for what purpose), trip distribution (destination choice, where is the traveler going), mode choice (what mode is being taken), and route assignment (which streets or routes 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 transport 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 to civil engineers, 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, as practiced by civil engineers, primarily involves planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of transportation facilities. The facilities support air, highway, railroad, pipeline, water, and even space transportation.[1] The design aspects of transport 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 the 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 (1)population, (2)land use, (3)economic activity, (4)transportation facilities and services, (5)travel patterns and volumes, (6)laws and ordinances, (7)regional financial resources, (8)community values and expectations. These inventories help the engineer create business models to complete accurate forecasts of the future conditions of the systemReview.

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 transport engineering, particularly concerning driver-vehicle interface and user interface of road signs, signals, and markings.

Highway engineering[edit]

Main article: Highway engineering

Engineers in this specialization:

  • Handle the planning, design, construction, and operation of highways, roads, and other vehicular facilities as well as their related bicycle and pedestrian realms.
  • Estimate the transportation needs of the public and then secure the funding for the project.[3]
  • Analyze locations of high traffic volumes and high collisions for safety and capacity.
  • Use civil engineering principles to improve the transportation system.
  • Utilizes the three design controls which are the drivers, the vehicles, and the roadways themselves.

Railroad engineering[edit]

Railway engineers handle the design, construction, and operation of railroads and mass transit systems that use a fixed guideway (such as light rail or even monorails). Typical tasks would include determining horizontal and vertical alignment design, station location and design, and construction cost estimating. Railroad engineers can also move into the specialized field of train dispatching which focuses on train movement control.

Railway engineers also 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.[4]

Port and harbor engineering[edit]

Port and harbor engineers handle the design, construction, and operation of ports, harbors, canals, and other maritime facilities. This is not to be confused with marine engineering.

Airport engineering[edit]

Airport engineers design and construct airports. Airport engineers must account for the impacts and demands of aircraft in their design of airport facilities. These engineers must use the analysis of predominant wind direction to determine runway orientation, determine the size of runway border and safety areas, different wing tip to wing tip clearances for all gates and must designate the clear zones in the entire port.

Professional Societies[edit]

  • Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) [5]
  • Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) [6]
  • American Society for Highway Engineering (ASHE) [7]
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) [8]
  • American Planning Association – Transportation Planning Division (APA) [9]
  • The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)[10]
  • Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS)[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ITE – The Transportation Profession". ITE. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  2. ^ "ASCE – About Civil Engineering". ASCE. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  3. ^ "American Association for State Highway and Transportation Officials". AASHTO. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  4. ^ "Association of American Railroads". AAR. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  5. ^ Young Professionals in Transportation. yptransportation.org. Retrieved on 2012-2-13.
  6. ^ Institute of Transportation Engineers. ITE. Retrieved on 2011-10-12.
  7. ^ American Society for Highway Engineers. highwayengineers.org. Retrieved on 2012-3-4.
  8. ^ American Society of Civil Engineers. Asce.org (2010-07-19). Retrieved on 2011-10-12.
  9. ^ American Planning Association. Apa-tpd.org. Retrieved on 2011-10-12.
  10. ^ "American Association for State Highway and Transportation Officials". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  11. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_engineering — Please support Wikipedia.
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114 news items

The Straits Times

The Straits Times
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:52:30 -0700

SINGAPORE - Factory output inched up just 0.4 per cent in June over last year, dragged down by weak performance in the electronics and transport engineering clusters. Electronics production fell 4.8 per cent in June over the same month last year ...

Derby Telegraph

Derby Telegraph
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:37:42 -0700

A new organisation established to help firms seeking to grow or break into the UK's supply chain in the transport engineering sector has been announced as the flagship tenant in the Innovation Centre. Enscite, which aims to help small and medium-sized ...
Zawya (registration)
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:11:15 -0700

MUSCAT -- Global Spanish transport engineering and consultancy firm Ineco says it has been commissioned by the Omani government to master-plan an integrated, multimodal public transport system for Muscat Governorate. The Madrid-based international ...

Yahoo!7 News

Yahoo!7 News
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:44:09 -0700

UK-BRITAIN-FRAUD-ALSTOM:Britain files criminal charges against Alstom UK unit Reuters The logo of French power and transport engineering company Alstom is pictured on the roof of the company's plant in Reichshoffen near Haguenau, North Eastern ...
Business Recorder
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:26:15 -0700

... ensured while public toilets will be constructed at various places of the city. Race track would also be built in Hayatabad for youth. With the view to streamline the traffic system of the city, separate Transport Engineering and Planning Unit will ...
The West Australian
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:01:50 -0700

UK-BRITAIN-FRAUD-ALSTOM:Britain files criminal charges against UK unit of Reuters The logo of French power and transport engineering company Alstom is pictured on the roof of the company's plant in Reichshoffen near Haguenau, North Eastern France, ...

Reuters UK

Reuters UK
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:26:15 -0700

PARIS (Reuters) - French engineering group Alstom achieved record quarterly orders for rail equipment that offset a drop in sales at its power arm, most of which General Electric recently agreed to buy for 12.4 billion euros ($16.7 billion). Alstom ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 07:18:29 -0700

In the video, Andrew Long, general manager transport engineering at Telstra, said that, as the number of networked devices with different features increased so did complexity, but users expected the same features wherever they were with whatever device ...

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