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Specialized Areas of Study

Transportation Engineering

Transportation Engineering

The transportation graduate program specialization places an emphasis for courses and research on transportation engineering, planning, operations and management. Our studies address local, state, national and international issues with funding from federal, state, local and private sources. We develop and investigate new methods and technologies to analyze the performance and safety of alternative transportation operations and designs. Some focuses of our transportation research include:

  • Traffic monitoring technologies and data analysis techniques
  • Traffic modeling (both regional as well as corridor simulations)
  • Transportation planning and travel demand forecasting techniques for both person and freight movements including bicycles and pedestrians
  • Traffic safety (driver, equipment and facility design issues)
  • Hazardous material transportation and risk analysis
  • Incident detection, response and traveler advisory systems
  • Travel impacts (vehicle delays, accidents, pollution, energy use)
  • Infrastructure management systems for transportation facilities
  • Travel demand management (trip reduction programs, peak-period pricing, ramp metering, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, ridesharing and incentives, transit marketing programs)
  • Transportation investment decision analysis (including sustainability and life cycle analyses (LCA) and cross-subsidization issues)

The Transportation Research Center (TRC) projects provide financial support and laboratory facilities for our students to pursue their research. Our students engage presentations and publications of their research to professional organizations. Our studies often involve partnerships with Colorado engineering firms, and many of our students work for area companies.

Graduate transportation courses in civil engineering at CU Denver 

First listed are our two basic undergraduate courses, followed by our graduate courses in the three main focus areas.

CVEN 3602 Transportation Engineering (undergraduate) Saeed Sobhi
CVEN 4602 Highway Engineering and Design (undergraduate) Jake Kononov

(1) Traffic Studies

  • CVEN 5611 Traffic and Safety Data Analysis (each fall) Bruce Janson
  • CVEN 5612 Traffic Impact Assessment (each spring) Bruce Janson
  • CVEN 5613 Traffic Flow Models and Simulation (often taken as ind. study)

(2) Traffic Engineering

  • CVEN 5621 Highway Capacity Analysis (each fall) Bruce Janson
  • CVEN 5622 Traffic Operations and Control (each spring) Scott Thomas
  • CVEN 58xx Traffic Signal Design and Technology (each fall) Scott Thomas
  • CVEN 5602 Advanced Highway Engineering and Design (each fall) Jake Kononov
  • CVEN 58xx Safety Engineering in Geometric Design (each spring) Jake Kononov

(3) Transportation Planning

  • CVEN 5631 Transportation Planning Methods (each fall), taught by Juan Robles
  • CVEN 58xx Transportation Modelling with GIS Applications (each Spring)
  • CVEN 58xx Case Studies In Sustainable Transportation Systems (each spring), taught by Wesley Marshall

The courses with 58xx numbers have yet to be formalized in the CU Denver course catalog.

CVEN 5611, CVEN 5621 and CVEN 5631 must be taken by all transportation graduate students (MS, MEng and PhD). These three first-level courses and CVEN 5612 (Traffic Impact Assessment) can also be taken by qualified seniors.

Prerequisites for these courses include college-level math, calculus, science and economics. A course similar to CVEN 3602 is strongly recommended. Other course prerequisites are:

CVEN 5622 requires CVEN 5621
Safety Engineering requires CVEN 5611
Transportation Modeling requires CVEN 5631

Students are encouraged to take courses in geographic information systems (GIS), environmental science and engineering, statistics or urban planning. Students with non-engineering backgrounds may enroll in master of engineering (MEng) degree with an emphasis in transportation.

Up-to-date course descriptions are available in the CU Denver academic catalog.