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Board 53: Transportation Engineering Education in the 21st Century: A Review of Current Practices

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Meg E. West Ohio State University Orcid 16x16

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Meg E. West is a civil engineering graduate student at The Ohio State University with a focus in transportation engineering. She is an graduate teaching associate for the Department of Engineering Education.

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The transportation systems currently in place in the United States affect every citizen on a daily basis. For these major critical infrastructure systems we expect the individuals responsible for creating, building, and maintaining these systems to be well qualified to do so. The question must then be asked; for tasks and responsibilities so immense, will there be enough qualified transportation engineers to continue to maintain the current infrastructure and be prepared to handle the challenges of tomorrow? This paper explores the current state of the transportation engineering workforce and the current practices within transportation engineering education in civil engineering undergraduate programs.

An analysis of the current trends in population and urbanization shows an increased need for infrastructure expansion and renewal. This in turn will increase the demand for competent transportation engineers. In order to meet this prospected demand, undergraduate programs need to not only inspire more students to pursue transportation engineering, but also ensure they gain the required body of knowledge to assess and address the transportation problems of the future. A review of various engineering education journal articles and conference papers sheds light on the current efforts to increase undergraduate interest in transportation engineering and better prepare them for the workforce.

Transportation engineering education varies based on the approach which civil engineering undergraduate programs use to educate their students. Various structures of introductory, intermediate, and capstone courses exist at most educational institutions. However, they tend to cover the same essential concepts and materials. The findings of this paper will aid in future transportation engineering curriculum changes aimed to better prepare students for the workforce and potentially increase student retention rates.

West, M. E. (2018, June), Board 53: Transportation Engineering Education in the 21st Century: A Review of Current Practices Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30055

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