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Transporation Engineering Information

Transportation engineering is a discipline found under civil engineering. It encompasses a lot of tasks and is linked with other subdisciplines. Know more about this and all other aspects of this engineering field.

Transportation Engineering: Several Aspects of the Engineering Field

Transportation engineering can be best understood by saying that it is a collection of technologies used in the more efficient facilitation of transport systems. Technically though, it also involves scientific principles relevant to the operation, functional design, management and planning of transport facilities. As an end result, this field opened up doors for safer, quicker, more convenient, comfortable and economical movement of people and commodities.

Transportation engineering is one important subdiscipline under the field of civil engineering. Its importance in one of the oldest disciplines in the engineering field can be seen in the many divisions forming part of the American Society of Civil Engineers or ASCE that involve transportation. Naming such divisions, we will find Air Transportation, Highway, Pipeline, Aerospace, Urban Transportation and Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean.

Aspects of transportation engineering

Everything starts with planning. In transportation parlance, planning includes urban planning. This involves technical forecasting decisions and sometimes, political factors. An example of technical forecasting is one wherein passenger travel is detected using the so-called urban transportation planning model that will estimate trip generation, trip distribution and route assignment. More sophisticated forecasting tools may also consider traveler decisions, land use forecasting and trip chaining.

This field, when practiced by civil engineers, involves planning, construction, design maintenance and operation of transportation facilities. These facilities are used to support air, railroad, space, water, pipeline and highway transportation. The design process, on the other hand, include sizing of these facilities including researching on the capacity of the facility.

Fields related to transportation engineering

Transportation engineers have the option to choose fields related to this discipline. If he wants to concentrate on highway engineering, he is expected to specialize in processes related to operations of roads and highways. He should also estimate what the public needs in terms of transport. Add to that, he is tasked to analyze traffic volumes to ensure public safety and protection.

Those who choose to specialize in the field of railroad engineering will handle all aspects pertinent to operation of mass transit systems and railroads. Tasks will include researching on alignment designs, station location and cost estimation. Railroad engineers also have the choice to train in highly specialized fields that involve train movement control.

There are also other port and harbor engineering specializations. Engineers in this field will have to deal with all components of port, canal, harbor and maritime facility operation. For this reason, it is often used interchangeably with marine engineering.

Lastly, there is airport engineering. Airport engineers basically take charge of designing and constructing airports. They also account for demands and impacts of aircraft when creating airport facility designs. They also have to analyze predominant direction of the wind to see if runway orientation may be affected.

Transportation engineering is a broad subdiscipline under the field of civil engineering. Transportation engineers are then expected to carry a series of tasks that will safely and efficiently move commodities and people. They take charge of highways and streets, airfields, railroads, mass transit systems as well as ports and harbors. Using their technological, political, economic and social knowledge, transportation engineers can successfully carry on a project.

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