It is the engineering in charge of transportation, planning, design, execution and project administration in order to improve roads in a region. She seeks that both the movement of people and the means used to transport them be safe, reliable, fluid, economical and friendly to the planet.
Transportation Engineering covers areas such as air, sea, land, port, and rail transport.
The main role of Transportation Engineering is to allow the mobilization of any type of transport, be it from cars to boats, through a street, highway, canal, track, among others.
The traffic flow of continuous roads and their respective intersections is also studied.
Transportation Engineering with other areas of engineering
Transportation Engineering with other areas of engineering, such as:
- aeronautical engineering
- port engineering
- Logistics and distribution engineering
- railway engineering
- International Trade and Supply Chain Management are also included.
- To master Transportation Engineering it is necessary to acquire knowledge about:
- Transportation Economics
- transportation planning
- Road safety
- Transport in active modes, this refers to bicycles and pedestrians
- Modernization of transport, since without this we would not be as comfortable as today
- traffic engineering
- Contract and concession management
- Transportation systems operation
- public and mass transportation
- track design
- Management of air, sea, and land transport both nationally and internationally
- International sourcing and purchasing
- fleet management
- Warehouse and distribution center management
History of Transportation Engineering
To understand the history of Transportation Engineering, we must first understand what transportation is, this is a means that is used to carry “something” (person or object) from a point of origin to a point of arrival, and its purpose may or may not be economic. . It is simple what is sought is to mobilize.
Transportation is made up of three very important elements, such as the vehicle, the road and the operation plan.
The “vehicle” can be a real one or a container that transports objects, goods or people; the vehicle will always be anything that has some kind of motive power.
The path will be the route that the “vehicle” travels from a point of origin to a point of arrival. Sometimes it can be a connection of routes that together form a network with intersections, this is also called a route.
Finally we have the operation plan, this is the set of procedures where traffic and vehicles move along the road, but with schedules, dates, crew and control systems.
Once this little preamble is done, we will begin to talk about the history of Transportation Engineering dating back to primitive times, through the use of rafts and the domestication of wild animals, in this way human beings could move to other villages, get there faster, travel longer distances and carry more weight. It is said that the first prototypes of the wheel were made at this time, being carved in stone.
In the feudal era, the Roman civilization stands out with the construction of carriages pulled by horses to move and the design of roads for them; and maritime transport the Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish made maps that contained maritime routes, ships with large sails, useful for exploring territories and finding new routes in the seas.
In industrial times, three very important inventions arose, such as the railway, the hot air balloon and other aerial devices in order to imitate the flight of birds.
The railway was inspired by the steam engine, the steam locomotive being built for the 17th century, and new roads were built in a straight line since the railways could not be mobilized on the streets; Its use was very useful both for the transport of people and merchandise.
With respect to air transport, they began to flirt seriously with the flight, prior to the bad streak of Icarus, only that unfortunately fatal results were obtained; The hot air balloon is one of the most outstanding inventions.
In modern times the automobile was created, due to its utility it was mass produced and buses and trucks were invented. To this is added the discovery of oil, many derivatives such as gasoline were extracted from it. These two aspects were combined and until today they do not live without the other, because other technologies are being invented, the gasoline car has not yet been replaced.
All these advances in transportation contributed to the formation of new disciplines such as:
- civil engineering
- mechanical engineering
- electrical engineering
- traffic engineering
- systems engineering
- Research in probability and statistics
- The economy
Civil engineering is used to create infrastructures (bridges, buildings, roads) and has the necessary elements to achieve it. Mechanical engineering in combination with electrical engineering makes equipment and modes of transport evolve one step further every day. Traffic engineering solves the circulation problems of the automobile fleet, studying, analyzing, designing and executing projects in order to improve the roads.
System engineering makes the development of techniques for the planning, elaboration and execution of transport systems more automated, quick and easy, making them both efficient and effective.
What does a transportation engineer do?
Who studies roads and highways and the habits of the people who use them. It uses this information to design transportation systems that best serve the most people in the most cost-effective way. Analyzing traffic patterns and how they might evolve is an important part of his job.
To effectively analyze traffic patterns and make sound recommendations, it often takes a traffic engineer to collect information from multiple sources.
He usually studies crash statistics and confers with police and traffic control personnel on the most dangerous streets and intersections. Options such as speed bumps, directional signs and traffic signal adjustments are often discussed as alternatives to reducing traffic and pedestrian accidents.
He may also meet with traffic sign makers and other engineers to review advances in technology to improve traffic flow. Spot lights in specific areas or at certain times of day can often significantly improve traffic patterns and prevent cumbersome backups during peak hours.
Accident rates can also be reduced through traffic light adjustments.
The physical condition of roads and streets are also concerns addressed by a traffic engineer.
He regularly examines existing roads to assess their durability and applies his findings when planning future roads. If materials or workmanship are found to be substandard, the traffic engineer is usually required to find possible alternatives. He is expected to present his ideas and solutions to public works and transport specialists for review.
The focal point of a traffic engineer‘s job is largely determined by the type of district in which she works. If he works for a state or regional agency, his main concerns are usually the major roads that experience the most frequent and heavy traffic.