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Transportation Engineering Research

The research program in transportation engineering at Penn State is active and well-funded. The total funding for research projects in the transportation area exceeds $900,000 as of September 1, 2016. The project titles, principal investigators, and other information related to these research contracts and grants are listed below.


Financial Benefits of Proposed Access Management Treatments. (co-PIs: Gayah, Guler). $45,000, South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Horizontal Sightline Offset Design Criteria, Exceptions, and Mitigation Strategies (PI:  Donnell).

Highway Safety Statistical Paper Synthesis (PI:  Donnell).  Federal Highway Administration, August 2015 – June 2017, $120,000

Crash data safety factors evaluation (PI: Donnell, Gayah), $73,563, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

NCHRP Project 17-84: Pedestrian and bicycle safety performance functions for the Highway Safety Manual, (PI: Guler, Gayah, Donnell), $500,000, National Cooperative Highway Research Program (subcontract to MRI Global, Inc.)

The Ethics of Movement. (PI: Pietrucha). August 15, 2017 to May 15, 2018. $7,000, Rock Ethics Institute Fellowship Grant.

Research Grant Council (HK) General Research Fund, 2017. Improving bi-modal traffic operations at signalized intersections and arterials with pre-signals. Jan 2018 –December 2020, $18,000.

Other transportation research projects include:

  • Congestion management research
  • Delineation and markings for older drivers
  • Geometric and operational characteristics to accommodate large trucks
  • Intersection sight distance
  • Local Transportation Assistance Program (LTAP)
  • Median design on highways
  • Traffic signal systems
  • Transit finance and performance
  • Transportation demand management
  • Highway tort liability
  • Traffic signal control equipment
  • Cost allocation of geometric and operational characteristics
  • Development of PCE's for highway cost allocation
  • Highway capacity and traffic simulation
  • Travel demand and management
  • Activity-based travel forecasting
  • Travel demand analysis using GIS and economics
  • Access Management Impact Simulation (AM/IS)
  • ITS strategic planning
  • ITS operation test evaluation
  • Optimal location of service facilities
  • Mobile source air pollution control strategies
  • Safety, risk, and tort liability
  • Traffic engineering education program
  • Low speed urban streets
  • Typography for conventional road-signs
  • Freestanding sign visibility
  • Impact of factors on conspicuity and legibility of on-premise sign fonts
  • Low-speed urban street design
  • Highway cost allocation studies
  • Development of passenger car equivalents using simulation
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The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084