Transportation Engineering - scope for Civil Engineering students
Published on 17 Sep 2014. Written by Swadesh Padhi
Civil engineering is all about finding solutions to help shape a perfect world around us. The word civil
itself originates from Latin word ‘civis’ meaning citizen. Civil engineering is not restricted to building
structures that inspire awe. In addition to structural engineering, civil engineering spreads out to diverse
domains like surveying, environmental engineering, earthquake engineering, geotechnical engineering,
and transportation engineering, among others. Take for example the recently completed Commonwealth
games at Glasgow. At the games, civil engineers were responsible for construction, enabling works,
transportation, water, waste and energy works.
At Civil Simplified, the objective is to nurture budding civil engineers by providing them with practical
training workshops in diverse fields of Civil engineering. Transportation engineering is one such crucial
field and Civil Simplified is proud to announce the launch of the workshop in Transportation Engineering.
This is a great opportunity for engineering students to explore into a unique and rewarding career option,
which is transportation engineering.
But, what exactly is transportation engineering? - Transportation engineering is essentially the use of
science and technology for organizing, functioning, and managing transportation systems. The major
motive of any transportation system is to make sure that the passage of people and commodities is
secure, structured, swift, pleasant, suitable, inexpensive, and eco-friendly. That’s a lot to take in. But,
you may argue, ‘Is a transportation problem so tough that an engineer is needed to solve it? Can’t we just
add a signal or something?’ To answer that, take the instance of a situation when needless or an excess
of traffic controls are installed. The result of such situations, usually don’t end well – with some cases
being hazardous. So, the moral of the story is that transportation systems need to function with proper
engineering plans. And that is where comes the need for transportation engineers.
It is evident that transportation is the key component of a nation’s progress. In India infrastructure
is growing at a rapid pace. Transportation systems need to cope with this progress. The role of
a transportation engineer is to develop efficient transportation systems that fulfill these needs.
Transportation engineers also:
Apart from these technicalities, transportation engineers also need to study the mindset and mannerisms
of transportation system users, to come up with appropriate solutions.
- Could review the effect of urban development on traffic systems
- Simulate traffic in an intersection to make sure that traffic movement is smooth
- Consider developing systems to enable pedestrian movement
- Redesign existing transportation systems to accommodate more traffic
Astoundingly, the road network in India is the third largest in the world. But what boggles the mind is that
in India, traffic is increasing with an annual rate of 10%. Currently, India loses more than 60,000 crores a
year due to traffic congestion. To reduce these losses road networks are going through a major upgrade.
30,000 kilometers of new highway roads and 800,000 of rural paved tracks are being added. Engineers
with practical skills in transportation engineering are and will be in demand to help develop the nation’s
More about the Transportation Engineering workshop
The Transportation Engineering workshop includes all elements of engineering a transportation system.
The workshop will start with an introduction to various transportation systems and their working. Students
will then learn all concepts of geometric design of roads, railways and airports. Geometric design
essentially involves the physical layout and features of transportation systems. It includes topography i.e.
the land features, and the elevation of the road systems. Students will understand how to find the most
feasible way to work with several constraints associated with the design of a transportation system.
After clearly understanding the geometric requirements of a road system, students will learn the concepts
of pavement design of the roads. Pavement design involves construction of the actual surface of the
roads. Pavements are classified into rigid and flexible types. Students will be able to grasp the various
criteria and procedures to design both these types of pavements. They will be taught to design the
pavement as per requirements of the transportation needs. The objective is to make roads strong to
withstand harsh conditions. Also, importantly, students get to know about the use cost-effective materials
for road construction. Furthermore, students will manually calculate and solve geometric design &
pavement design problems, to get a stronghold on all these concepts.
Next, students will be familiarized with the concepts of traffic engineering. Students will get to
comprehend signal design, phase design and interval design of traffic systems. It is to be noted that
design of a road intersection depends on the traffic densities. As a matter of fact, an integral part of
a transportation engineer’s job is to reduce the time spent on waiting for the green signal. To fathom
this problem, students will get to work on various problem scenarios from real-world. The workshop
includes practical sessions in analysis of traffic flow situations using latest CAD based software simulation
technology – where students simulate traffic flow situations in signalized, non-signalized roads and
flyovers. By simulating traffic flow, students will be able to calculate the required green timeline and red
timeline of traffic signaling systems.
In the workshop, the simulations aren’t limited to virtual traffic situations. Students can simulate traffic flow
situation of a real intersection! This will be done by extracting the Google map data of the intersection
and downloading it onto the simulation software. Students will then try to find the solution to overcome
associated traffic problems. The solution maybe the need of a new flyover or, maybe widening of the
roads needs to be done. Students can check all possible alternatives and find the perfect solution to ease
traffic. Towards the end of the workshop, students will be provided with a challenge to solve the traffic
flow problem from a real-life location. By working on this challenge, students will be able to comprehend
the problems faced by transportation engineering professionals, and thereby realize what the correct
Overall, the workshop will serve as an ideal platform for engineering students to kick start a career in the
dynamic field of transportation engineering which combines multi-disciplinary specialties. Especially if you
are interested in the combination of knowledge and technology that benefits all, this workshop is for you.
For further details about the course in ‘Transportation Engineering’ visit here