Lester Hoel

Notice: Undefined variable: ID in /web.pri/cts.virginia.edu/doc/wp-content/themes/cts/page-templates/bio_template.php on line 46
Lester A. Hoel
L.A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering Emeritus

1378 Sylvaner Avenue

St. Helena, CA 94574
Home (707) 260-4539
Mobile (434) 825-5596

Lester A. Hoel, D. Eng, is the L.A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering Emeritus at the University of Virginia. Dr. Hoel served as the Director of Center for Transportation Studies from 2002-2009 where he oversaw UVA’s participation in the multi-university ITS Implementation Center in Virginia and the Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Center (UTC).

He held the Hamilton Professorship in Civil Engineering from 1974-99. From 1974-89 he was Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering. Previously he was Professor of Civil Engineering and Associate Director, Transportation Research Institute at Carnegie Mellon University from 1966-1974. He has been a registered professional engineer in California, Pennsylvania and Virginia. His degrees are: BCE from the City College of New York (CCNY) MCE from the Polytechnic Institute of New York (now NYU) and the Doctorate in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Hoel has had a long and distinguished career as an educator and researcher. His area of expertise is the management, planning and design of surface transportation infrastructure with emphasis on highway and transit systems. He co-authored the popular textbook (with N.J. Garber) titled Traffic and Highway Engineering that is used in undergraduate courses in transportation engineering at universities throughout the United States and co-author (with N.J. Garber and A.W. Sadek) of the textbook, Transportation Infrastructure Engineering: A Multi-Modal Integration. He also was co-editor (with G.E. Gray) of the noted text titled Public Transportation.

His undergraduate and graduate courses in transportation engineering have spanned a wide spectrum of topics including, engineering economics, financing transportation infrastructure, highway engineering, history of surface transportation, surveying, traffic engineering, transportation industry: policy and regulations, transportation planning. transportation systems design, traffic operations, and transit technology. His research contributions have dealt with infrastructure issues such as travel demand, advanced transit technology applications, design of public transportation terminals, transit security, transit maintenance facilities, scenic byways, toll facilities, airport access, safety and access management, smart growth and land use, trip generation, campus transportation systems, intermodal planning and interstate truck facilities.

Dr. Hoel is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. NAE membership honors those who have “made important contributions to the literature of engineering theory and practice” or those who have demonstrated “unusual accomplishment in new and developing fields of technology.” Dr Hoel was cited for “outstanding contributions and leadership to urban public transportation research and education.”

Dr. Hoel is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and was elected as a member of the Norwegian Academy of Technical Sciences. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board from 1981-1989 and from 1995-2004 and served as its Chairman in 1986. He was an ex-officio member of the National Research Council (NRC) Governing Board of the National Academies and the Transportation Research Board Division Chairman for NRC Oversight from 1995-2004. In that capacity he was responsible for oversight of the NRC review process for all TRB Policy Studies produced during that period. He served as the Chairman of two congressionally mandated policy studies. The first dealt with a national crisis created by a shortage in transportation professional engineers and the second dealt with infrastructure impacts created by heavy trucks. He has also served on TRB technical committees and NCHRP/TCRP Panels. He has provided professional expertise to engineering consulting firms, federal and state government, the United Nations, and other universities. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Norwegian Technical University and the University of California at Irvine and as a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley.


Dr. Hoel has received numerous recognitions for his contributions to education and research. These are:

Wilbur S. Smith Distinguished Transportation Educator Award for outstanding contributions to the transportation profession research and service to professional societies, Institute of Transportation Engineers
Distinguished Faculty Award from the Council of Transportation Centers (CUTC) for contributions to university transportation education and research
City College of New York Alumni Award in Civil Engineering
Fellow, Urban Land Institute
Who’s Who in America
The ASCE Huber Research Prize for his research in urban transportation.
The Pyke Johnson Award for the best paper presented at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
The Stanley Gustavson Award from the Highway Users Federation for contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of highway transportation.
The ASCE Frank Masters Award for outstanding contributions and leadership to urban and highway transportation research and education.
S. S. Steinberg Outstanding Educator Award, from the American Road and Transportation Builders for outstanding contributions to transportation education,
The W.N. Carey, Jr Distinguished Service Award from the Transportation Research Board in recognition of outstanding administrative leadership and support of research activities.
The Virginia Society of Professional Engineer’s Service Award for outstanding contributions to teaching and public service in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The ASCE James Laurie Prize for his sustained and outstanding contributions to the advancement of transportation engineering through his teaching, research and service to professional societies.
Jack H. Dillard Award from the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research for the best research paper.
The ASCE Harland Bartholomew Awardfor significant contributions to the enhancement of civil engineering in urban planning and development through research, publications and education in urban and regional transportation planning.

Research Interests

  • Management, planning and design of surface transportation infrastructure with emphasis on highway and transit systems.


Research and Publications

Hoel, L.A., and Short, A.J., “The Engineering of the Interstate Highway System” TR News, Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, May-June 2006, pp22-22-26

Yao,T., Teng, H. and Hoel, L.A. “Analysis of Maintenance Policies for Inductive Loop Detection Systems” ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems, September 2007 pp. 215-224

Kendall P. Drummond, Lester A. Hoel and John S. Miller, “Using Simulation to Predict Safety and Operational Impacts of Increasing Traffic Signal Density” Journal of the Transportation Research Board 1784, 2002, pp 100-107

John S. Miller and Lester A. Hoel “The Smart Growth Debate: Best Practices for Urban Transportation Planning” Journal of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Volume 36, Number 1, 2002

John S. Miller. Lester A. Hoel. Sanjun Kim and Kendall P. Drummond “Transferability of Models that Estimate Crashes as a Function of Access Management” Journal of the Transportation Research Board 1746 2001, pp 14-21

Vidunas, J. E. and Hoel, L. A., “Exclusive Lanes for Trucks and Cars on Interstate Highways,” Transportation Research Record 1576, 1997, pp. 114-122

Hoel, L. A., “Historical Overview of U.S. Passenger Transportation,” Transportation Research Circular 461, August 1996, pp. 7-11.

Notice: Theme without comments.php is deprecated since version 3.0.0 with no alternative available. Please include a comments.php template in your theme. in /web.pri/cts.virginia.edu/doc/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4486

Comments are closed.