Transportation engineering involves the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of large scale transportation facilities such as highways, airports, railroads, harbors, pipelines, and public transit systems. The civil engineer designs, builds and manages the infrastructure that provides for movement of both people and freight.
At the University of Virginia, undergraduate courses in transportation engineering focus on geometric design, pavement design, road user and vehicle characteristics, traffic studies and urban transportation planning. Computer methods are introduced and applied in many transportation applications. Complementary courses include probability and statistics and systems engineering courses. This transportation curriculum provides an excellent introduction to the methodology of transportation systems analysis and design.
The field of transportation engineering is comprised of two main streams of development: technology and planning. Technology is critical to the understanding of the function of the system, in predicting its performance and its costs, and in identifying alternatives in the form of fixed plant investments as well as operational changes. Planning methods are critical to long range plans and short term system management problems, such as energy shortages and air pollution.
The opportunities in transportation engineering appear to be excellent in the future. Graduates may be employed by governmental agencies, private companies, railroads, shippers or transportation consultants. The transportation program at the University of Virginia is a flexible one that will prepare the student for a wide choice of careers.
Transportation Courses for Undergraduates
There are a select number of undergraduate courses available through the Center in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Course CE 344 is required for Civil Engineering majors during their sixth semester. The remaining courses can fulfill the required electives for civil engineering students. Descriptions of the following undergraduate CE courses can be found here.
CE 344 Transportation Engineering I
CE 445 Transportation Engineering II
CE 446 Transportation Engineering III
CE 455 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
CE 3400: Transportation Infrastructure Design Spring 2013
Byungkyu “Brian” Park
CE 4400 / 6400: Traffic Operations Fall 2013
Byungkyu “Brian” Park
CE 4410 / CE 6410: Transportation Planning I
PLAN 5740 Transportation Planning and Policy