Transportation education at Portland State focuses on systems, infrastructure, policy and planning. We cover all modes and the interactions of transportation systems with land use, the economy, the environment, institutions and people. Our programs are multidisciplinary and our faculty research topics including transit operations; relationships among urban form, travel behavior and health; intelligent transportation systems; safety;  finance; transportation and environmental planning; and land use planning and transportation infrastructure.

K-12 Education: 'Big & Awesome Bridges' Book

TREC supported the publication, in 2014, of the “Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland and Vancouver” book by Sharon Wood Wortman and Ed Wortman, a follow-up to 2006’s definitive volume “The Portland Bridge Book” geared toward young readers.

“Big & Awesome Bridges” has made huge strides toward advancing the knowledge of transportation engineering among area elementary school children. The book has been incorporated into the Portland Public Schools third-grade curriculum and placed in each third-grade classroom. The Vancouver Public Schools district has placed the book in each elementary school library and incorporated it into the fourth-grade curriculum.

Dozens of school and public libraries across the Northwest have bought copies of the book. Curricula in the book have been used to hold bridge-building and load-testing workshops, and the authors have held teacher trainings, activity nights and informational sessions. The book has been featured in local media outlets in Oregon, Washington and Idaho and is available at museums including the Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

Current efforts are underway to bring the curricula and activities in “Big & Awesome Bridges” to students across the United States. More information on the book is at

Student Groups



Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), forges relationships between transportation students in different disciplines at PSU and other universities. The group’s activities help develop students’ academic and professional lives.





WTS PSU Student Chapter



The Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) Portland State University student chapter was formed in 2014. The chapter is dedicated to building the future of transportation through the development and education of women.