Transportation structure research focuses on the built environment including bridges, pavements, pipelines, geotechnical applications and construction. Projects include the development of optimized structural systems with innovative and durable materials such as ultra-high performance concrete, decision making tools for construction management and investigation of rapid construction techniques to reduce delays in addition to monitoring strategies for bridges, pavements and substructures to extend the service life of the aging transportation infrastructure.
Materials used in transportation infrastructure focusing on bridges, pavements and geotechnical applications are currently being investigated including asphalt-based binders and mixes, portland cement and cementitious supplementary materials, portland cement based concrete and aggregates and soils.
The systems working group focuses on the planning, design, construction, operations and management of the transportation infrastructure and systems including the highway network, railroads, airports, public transport and waterways.
Recent research has been undertaken in traffic safety and control, asset management, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), bicycle facilities, vintage trolleys and trains, automated people mover systems and rail freight transportation.
The environment working group focuses on the environmental impacts of transportation on ecological systems including vegetation, wildlife and human health as well as the impacts of carbon dioxide emissions, acidification, road de-icers, fugitive dust, smog and other environmental impacts.
Research opportunities range from directly assessing the impacts of road on wildlife to the interaction between road construction and weed ecology, construction of wildlife mortality mitigation structures and the effects of new technologies on reduction of runoff contaminants.
Societal implications of transportation include historical investigations of the development of transportation, archeological studies of transportation features, and attention to the interaction of society through economics, policy, planning and regulation.
Human factors involved in transportation related to communication, safety and social change are areas of study also being researched.
The technology transfer working group focuses on “bridging the gap between research and practice.” Technology transfer activities include reports, guides, manuals or handbooks, training workshops, webinars, conferences, e-learning and other forms of communication and outreach to the transportation industry.
This group also conducts research and develops sophisticated management tools for the transportation industry including GIS, transportation asset management and project estimation software.