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Special Events


The 22nd International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory (ISTTT22)

The 22nd International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory (ISTTT22)

07/24/2017 - 07/26/2017

ISTTT22 covered all scientific aspects of transportation and traffic, spanning all modes of transport—public and private—including freight, air, and maritime modes.

ISTTT22 Event Co-Chairs

>> Hani Mahmassani | Northwestern University
>> Yu (Marco) Nie
| Northwestern University
>> Karen Smilowitz | Northwestern University


The ISTTT is an annual event series that provides the world’s leading transportation and traffic theorists a premier gathering platform to network and collaborate with others interested in contributing to, or improving their understanding of, transportation and traffic-related fields and research.

The field of transportation and traffic theory is continually undergoing change and renewal, driven by new technologies, novel problems thrown up by new technologies or shifts in global circumstances, and advances in associated disciplines. While well-established themes invariably elicit interesting contributions, high quality papers on new topics often stimulate fruitful research in novel directions, frequently reported in subsequent Symposia. Careful refereeing and selection of papers ensure that the Symposia provide a fertile and erudite forum for seminal contributions, occasionally from researchers previously unknown to the field. To ensure maximum impact, all sessions are plenary, which necessarily limits the number of papers that can be accepted.

The ISTTT proceedings are published directly before each Symposium and provided to each registered participant upon arrival. As the interval between each Symposium has been reduced to two years from 2005, the gap between abstract submission and paper publication is now less than two years, which compares favourably with many international journals.

The Symposium proceedings carry the status of a peer-reviewed international journal, an important consideration for junior academics. For aspiring academics and researchers at all levels, the Symposium may prove to be a career-defining moment.

ISTTT International Advisory Members

  • William HK Lam (Convenor) (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
  • Michael Bell (University of Sydney)
  • Michel Bierlaire (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
  • Avishai Ceder (University of Auckland)
  • Mike Cassidy (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Nathan Gartner (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)
  • Benjamin Heydecker (UCL (University College London))
  • Serge Hoogendoorn (Delft University of Technology)
  • Hai-jun Huang (Beihang University)
  • Hideyuki Kita (Kobe University)
  • Masao Kuwahara (Tohoku University)
  • Ludovic Leqlercq (École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’État)
  • Hani Mahmassani (Northwestern University)
  • Juan Carlos Muñoz (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Marian Tracz (Cracow University of Technology)
  • Chan Wirasinghe (University of Calgary)
  • Ning Wu (Ruhr-University Bochum)
  • Hai Yang (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)
  • Michael Zhang (University of California, Davis)

ISTTT Honorary Members

Richard Allsop
Piet Bovy
Werner Brilon
Carlos Daganzo
Ezra Hauer

Hartmut Keller
Reinhart Kühne
Jean-Baptiste Lesort
Yasuji Makigami

Dennis Robertson
Valentin Silyanov
Michael Taylor
Sam Yagar

TRB Reception & NUTC Alumni Reunion (Washington, DC)

TRB Reception & NUTC Alumni Reunion (Washington, DC)

TRB Annual Meeting:

01/08/2017 - 01/12/2017, Marriott Marquis - Washington, D.C.

TRB Reception / NUTC Alumni Reunion:

01/08/2017 [ 8 PM ], Marriott Marquis - Washington, D.C.

*The TRB Reception/NUTC Alumni Reunion was held in conjunction with the TRB Annual Meeting.


Supply Chain Dynamics Impacting North America’s Containerized Trade

Supply Chain Dynamics Impacting North America’s Containerized Trade


CMAP - ONTO2050 Big Ideas Forum: "Have We Reached Peak Driving?"

CMAP - ONTO2050 Big Ideas Forum: "Have We Reached Peak Driving?"


After a half-century of increases in car ownership, solo auto commuting, and roadway congestion across the Chicago region, the last decade has seen auto use stall or decline according to most measures. Have we truly passed “peak driving,” or did recent economic conditions merely hit the pause button? CMAP and the Northwestern University Transportation Center invite you to a panel in which transportation experts will discuss this question and its implications for planning, policy, and infrastructure decisions through 2050.

Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure

Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure


Supported by a grant from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Transportation Center undertook an exploration of the factors, needs, and opportunities facing U.S. transportation infrastructure in the next 35 years. The objective of the study was not to forecast the future, but to frame the possibilities and thus to inform the public and policy makers about future needs for transportation infrastructure. The outcome of this study is Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure.


Book Release: Forecasting Urban Travel: Past, Present and Future by David E. Boyce and Huw C.W.L. Williams

Forecasting Urban Travel: Past, Present and Future by David E. Boyce and Huw C.W.L. Williams 


Forecasting Urban Travel: Past, Present and Future presents in a non-mathematical way the evolution of methods, models and theories underpinning travel forecasts and policy analysis, from the early urban transportation studies of the 1950s to current applications throughout the urbanized world. From original documents, correspondence and interviews, especially from the United States and the United Kingdom, the authors seek to capture the spirit and problems faced in different eras, as changing information requirements, computing technology and planning objectives conditioned the nature of forecasts. Learn more >>

To celebrate the publication of this important book, the Transportation Center, in conjunction with the Transportation Library hosted a special symposium and book launch event at the Northwestern University Library on October 22, 2015. Remarks were given by the authors, David Boyce and Huw Williams, as well as several special guests.

Learn more about Forecasting Urban Travel: Past, Present and Future and order a copy of the book


NUTC 60th Anniversary Celebration

The Northwestern University Transportation Center 60th Anniversary Celebration

11/13/2014 - 11/14/2014

The Northwestern University Transportation Center held its 60th Anniversary Celebration. The NUTC was established in 1954 to address the need for a multidisciplinary academic institute to study the complex challenges faced by the transportation sector. It has since provided a forum that brings together industry leaders, researchers, students, and all those interested in traffic, transportation, logistics, supply chain, and distribution systems.

The Transportation Center was founded 60 years ago by Northwestern University president J. Roscoe Miller to fill the growing need for a broad and imaginative program of transportation education and research at the university level. A joint undertaking of the Northwestern School of Commerce, the Technological Institute, and the Traffic Institute, the Transportation Center at Northwestern University—the first of its kind in the nation—was expected to offer an expanded program of research to help solve major problems in the highway, rail, air, pipeline, and water divisions of the national transportation industry. From the outset, the NUTC's goal was clear: to make substantive and enduring contributions to the movement of materials, people, energy, and information. In so doing, the Center aims to influence national and international transportation policy, management, operations, and technological developments.

In pursuit of this mission, the NUTC relies on an interdisciplinary approach to transportation and logistics education and research. The Center’s strength lies in the quality and productivity of its faculty, its focus on both scholarly and applied research, and an awareness of and responsiveness to the continual changes impacting the transportation and logistics industry. Through its comprehensive research agenda, short courses in executive education, and an array of outreach activities, the NUTC stands at the forefront of transportation and logistics research and education. In order to develop and share improved understanding of the economics and science of transportation and logistics systems, the NUTC brings together academic researchers, students, business affiliates, and others in open exploration of the ways to make transportation and supply chain operations more productive, efficient, safe, secure, environmentally friendly, and socially beneficial.


Transportation Deregulation Retrospective

Transportation Deregulation and Safety: A Retrospective and Reflection after 25 Years


In the mid 1980s there was public concern that the economic deregulation of transportation in the late 1970s had led to a degradation of safety.  In 1987, Northwestern University’s Transportation Center held a landmark conference on the subject.  Now, 25 years later it is time to reflect on:

  • were the concerns of the mid-1980s justified?
  • what public policy changes arose from the debate, and were these changes justified or effective?
  • were there other issues that did not become apparent until much later?
    to what extent are contemporary safety issues still tied up with the deregulation debate?
  • what was the effect of economic deregulation in the long-run safety trends?
Join four speakers who were part of the 1987 conference:

Thomas M. Corsi (University of Maryland)
Paul Jovanis (Pennsylvania State University)
Clinton V. Oster. Jr. (Indiana University)
Ian Savage (Northwestern University)

This symposium was jointly organized and sponsored with the NU Transportation Center Seminar Series, Sandhouse Gang, and Icarus Society, and the Chicago Chapter of the Transportation Research Forum.

2nd International Conference on Evacuation Modeling and Management

2nd International Conference on Evacuation Modeling and Management


Technology Adoption for Tractor Trailer Fuel Efficiency

Technology Commercialization Speaker Series

"Technology Adoption for Tractor Trailer Fuel Efficiency"


Michael Roeth
Executive Director
North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE)

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency ( is a non-profit dedicated to doubling the efficiency of North American goods movement. The council recently conducted a study with eight of NA’s largest trucking fleets, representing 75,000 tractors and 130,000 trailers, arguably the largest-ever, fleet fuel efficiency benchmarking study. The report found that the fleets were saving on average $4,400 per year, or $22,000 over five years, in fuel expense by employing new products and practices. It analyzed the adoption of 60 known technologies and practices available to fleets over the past eight years. Those technologies include such things as aerodynamic tractors, wide base tires, automatic transmissions and anti-idling devices. Mike will share the adoption experiences of individual technologies, compare speed and size of adoption amongst the fleets and offer ideas for the industry to improve freight efficiency. Fleets working with NACFE have increased mpg of large rigs from around 5 to as much as 9 mpg.


The Future State of High Speed Rail in Illinois

The Future State of High Speed Rail in Illinois


The vision of modern high-speed rail (HSR) passenger travel in the US is taking shape in selected travel markets, including Illinois. Upgrading the nation’s rail network for high speed passenger travel faces several strategic, technical and operational challenges. The Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) hosted a half-day symposium focused on overcoming these challenges as high speed passenger rail travel moves towards implementation.

At the symposium, representatives from the Federal Rail Administration and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) discussed their goals and shared vision, provide updates on current infrastructure projects and outline future priorities for HSR. Invited experts from industry and academia highlighted several critical aspects relevant to the implementation and successful operation of HSR. Topics include rolling stock technologies and associated trade-offs, scheduling challenges involving freight and passenger trains sharing the same tracks, the art and science of demand forecasting for proposed HSR services, and the role of independent review in the conduct of HSR studies intended to inform policy and investment decisions.

Featured Program Speakers:

Karen Hedlund
Chief Counsel
Federal Railroad Administration

Hedlund discussed the goals of the federal high-speed rail program and provided an update on how the program is progressing nationwide. She also reviewed the key corridors that are being emphasized in the program. 

Joseph Shacter
Director, Public & Intermodal Transportation
Illinois DOT

Shacter discussed specifics on Chicago-St.Louis high-speed rail construction, as well as Illinois' other priorities in establishing rail service to Rockford/Galena/Dubuque, the Quad Cities/Iowa City, and perhaps other communities in the future. He also discussed the CREATE project, particularly how it relates to passenger rail improvement.

Technical Speakers:

Krishna Jha
Vice President of Research & Development
Innovative Scheduling
Topic: Scheduling Freight Trains on Roads with Higher and High-Speed Passenger Trains

Jim Lindsay
Vice President & Customer Director
US and Canadian Railroads
Topic: Innovations required for deployment of Higher-Speed Passenger Rail Rolling Stock in the U.S. Environment

Kimon Proussaloglou
Cambridge Systematics
Topic: A Technical Approach to Forecasting Demand for High-Speed Rail

Frank S. Koppelman
Professor Emeritus of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Northwestern University
Topic: The Role of Peer Review Panel in High Speed Rail Studies


Pedestrian Rail Safety Symposium

Pedestrian Rail Safety Symposium


The Transportation Center at Northwestern University, in collaboration with the City of Lake Forest, Illinois, organized a symposium to deal with pedestrian safety around railroads. The symposium dealt specifically with two contemporary issues: pedestrian distraction due to portable electronic devices, and the implications of the introduction of high speed trains.

The goal of the symposium was to generate recommendations that will encurage change in pedestrian behavior and reduce the number of accidents and fatalities. The interdisciplinary symposium brought together university researchers with practitioners from railroads, police departments and local municipalities. The meeting was designed as a working session. Participants broke into three groups to discuss ideas and recommendations concerning:

  • education and communication about the risk
  • engineering and design solutions
  • enforcement issues.
The format of the symposium allowed participants to share experiences on what has worked and what has not and to brainstorm innovative ideas. The results of the Symposium deliberations are being shared widely to encourage public debate. Most of the Symposium participants are active in rail safety issues in the region, and can take the lessons learned to inform new initiatives in the years ahead.

Symposium on Transportation Network Design and Economics (Honoring Martin Beckmann)

Symposium on Transportation Network Design and Economics (Honoring Martin Beckmann)


The Symposium on Transportation Network Design and Economics took place at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. This symposium has been organized by Professors David E. Boyce and Hani S. Mahmassani to honor and celebrate the visit of Professor Martin Beckmann to Northwestern. The symposium program is now available.

Professor Beckmann is the only living author of the classic book, Studies in the Economics of Transportation, published in 1956 by Yale University Press, and co-authored with Bart McGuire and Chris Winsten. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of this classic book, in 2005, we organized several sessions at the San Francisco INFORMS meeting and both Beckmann, and McGuire (who died two months after), came to the sessions and took part in the festivities. Please click here for those talks and many photos as well as for a link to the classic book, which is now available online.

Governor's Summit: Beyond Transportation - The Economic Impact of Rail in Illinois

Governor's Summit: Beyond Transportation - The Economic Impact of Rail in Illinois


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn hosted Beyond Transportation: The Economic Impact of Rail in Illinois at the Mid America Club in Chicago in partnership with the Northwestern University Transportation Center and the Environmental Law Policy Center. Approximately 150 people attended the summit, including members of Congress, State representatives and senators, heads of planning agencies and non-governmental advocacy organizations, business owners, transportation and economic development experts, university faculty and students. The summit put forward a shared strategic vision for rail investment in the state of Illinois, and the ensuing economic development and job creation impact that such investment in the state’s mobility of people and goods would provide.

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