Transportation at Portland State University

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We inform transportation decision making through research, building the capacity of the transportation workforce, supporting the education of transportation professionals, and engaging students in research. 

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University (PSU) is an interdisciplinary center that elevates the voices and expertise of a wide range of backgrounds that provide a unique lens on transportation insight for vibrant communities. We support collaborative research and education programs for our faculty, partners, community members, and students. 

TREC is home to the U.S. DOT funded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI)PORTALBikePed Portal, and other transportation grants and programs. We produce impactful research for transportation decision makers, expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engage students and professionals through education and participation in research. Learn more about our transportation research and education programs.

Annual Report

For more details about TREC's research and education programs, see the 2022 TREC Annual Report.

Our History at Portland State University

As Oregon's only urban public global research university, Portland State University offers tremendous opportunity to nearly 28,000 students from all backgrounds. Our mission to "Let Knowledge Serve the City" reflects our dedication to finding creative, sustainable solutions to local and global problems. In 1966, Dr. Walter H. Kramer founded the first transportation studies center in the Department of Marketing. After decades of investment in PSU's transportation studies, our faculty and staff expertise earned PSU a USDOT-funded a regional university transportation center (UTC) from 2006 - 2014. We have successfully competed for more federal grants and currently lead the National Institute for Transportation and Communities program– one of seven national university transportation centers. Our center and staff have grown far beyond the initial UTC grants, and now encompass a wide variety of programs.

Our Staff

Jennifer Dill, PhD
Director
Professor, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
503-725-5173 | jdill@pdx.edu
https://jenniferdill.net/
Twitter | TREC Researcher Profile

Dr. Jennifer Dill is a professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University (PSU) and Director of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU. TREC houses the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), which she also directs. NITC is a national university transportation center funded by the US Department of Transportation focusing on improving mobility for people and goods to build stronger communities. Dr. Dill also serves on the Board of Trustees for the TransitCenter, a New York-based foundation that works to improve public transit in cities across the U.S.

Professor Dill is an internationally known scholar researching the relationships between transportation, land use, health and the environment, focusing on active transportation. Before entering academia, Professor Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner in California. That experience motivates her teaching and research, which aims to inform practice and policy. She has published extensively in peer-review journals and has served as principal investigator or co-PI on over $4.3M in research projects and over $28M in federal center funding. Her research has been covered by Wired, Governing, USA Today, the PBS NewsHour, Here and Now, Marketplace and the Atlantic. She has served on and chaired Transportation Research Board committees and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Transportation and Health, Transportation Research Record and the Journal of Transportation and Land Use.

Dr. Dill has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a BS in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis. She is also an aluma of the Eno Future Leaders program.


Becca Bornstein
Events & Office Coordinator
503-725-2896 | brebecca@pdx.edu

Rebecca is the Events & Office Coordinator for TREC, providing administrative support and managing logistics for TREC's events. She has a background in creative writing, and holds an M.F.A. from North Carolina State University. When she's not working, she likes to spend time reading and writing poetry, riding her bicycle, and snuggling with her cat. 

 


Basem Elazzabi, PhD
Senior Research Associate

elazzabi@pdx.edu

Basem is the head of programming and development for the PORTAL and BikePed Portal projects at TREC. He is responsible for maintaining and developing the database and the infrastructure of both projects. He also does various data analysis and visualization tasks. Basem received a PhD in Computer Science from Portland State University with a focus in database and data analysis. He also received his BS in Computer Science also from Portland State University. He has almost 20 years of experience in system analysis and development. His main interests are database systems, data analysis, distributed systems, and big data. His main research topics focus on how to facilitate data analysis for typical and non-technical data analysts. One of the main research topics that he works on is how to build the next generation data-analysis ecosystem in which institutions (government and private) can easily store their massive data and have easy access to data analysis tools to support and improve data-driven decision making.


Lacey Friedly
Communications Coordinator

503-725-8545 | rlacey@pdx.edu

Lacey is the communications coordinator for TREC. She connects with researchers, writes articles, and documents (through pictures, videos, and model towns) the value of the transportation research being done at TREC and through the NITC program. Before TREC, Lacey was the acquisitions editor for Dark Discoveries magazine. She also managed the editing department at Ooligan Press, Portland State University's student-run publishing house. She graduated from PSU in 2013 with a master's in book publishing. In her spare time Lacey enjoys swimming, reading, and making stop-motion animation videos. she/her/hers


Jackie Krantz
Communications Assistant
jkrantz@pdx.edu

Jackie Krantz supports TREC communications including social media, graphic design, and copywriting, as well as disseminating results of research published by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a program of TREC.

 


Tammy Lee, PhD
Transportation Data Program Administrator

503-725-2884 | leetam@pdx.edu

Tammy is working on a variety of projects for TREC, including documentation, data synthesis, analysis, and visualization supporting ongoing work with PORTAL and Bike-Ped Portal. Tammy received a BS in Genetics & Plant Biology from UC Berkeley before earning a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from WSU. Prior to joining TREC she worked as a data scientist for a political digital media consulting firm. When not working she's either hiding in the forest or experimenting in the kitchen.


John MacArthur
Sustainable Transportation Program Manager

503-725-2866 | jhmacart@pdx.edu
Twitter | TREC Researcher Profile

Mr. John MacArthur is the Sustainable Transportation Program Manager at TREC at Portland State University and an instructor in civil and environmental engineering, teaching on new & emerging technologies in transportation. He is active in research related to sustainable and equitable transportation, particularly in the areas of emerging tech such as e-bikes, bike share, transit, and the relationship between transportation and public health. Mr. MacArthur is the Section Chair for Transportation Research Board’s AME00 Transportation and Society and a member of Innovative Public Transportation Services and Technologies (AP020). He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and a MS in Environmental Health Sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.


Nathan McNeil
Research Associate
503-725-8581 | nmcneil@pdx.edu

Nathan McNeil is a Research Associate at Portland State University's Center for Urban Studies. He conducts research on impacts of active transportation and transit equity, on new bicycle infrastructure and programs on travel behavior and attitudes towards cycling, on shared-use mobility programs including carsharing and bike-share, and on the connection between land-use and transportation. He was Co-Principal Investigator on recent national studies of bike share equity (Breaking Barrier to Bike Share and National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs) and of protected bike lane implementations (Lessons from the Green Lanes). Nathan received a master of urban and regional planning from Portland State University (PSU) and studied history at Columbia University as an undergraduate. Prior to PSU, Nathan worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City as a performance auditor where he evaluated capital programs and contractors.

Transportation Researchers at PSU

Portland State University embraces interdisciplinary research by exploring the unique ways in which transportation intersects with so many aspects of our daily lives. Below are the core of our transportation research faculty and staff, but you can find our comprehensive list of contributors in our Researcher Directory.  

Jason Anderson, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Jason Anderson is a research associate at Portland State University. Dr. Anderson’s current area of research include: transportation safety modeling, spatial econometrics and statistics, and big data analysis focusing on various concepts (e.g., traffic flow, travel time, freight commodity analyses, methodological approaches, etc.). Dr. Anderson’s methodological expertise offers unique opportunities to conduct research in various fields, including water resources and waste management, construction management, structural engineering, and social/behavior sciences. He is especially interested in emerging technologies and data fusion techniques as it pertains to smart vehicles, infrastructure, cities, and their impacts on safety.


Tanmoy Bhowmik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Tanmoy Bhowmik joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University as an Assistant Professor in Fall of 2023. Prior to that, he worked as a post-doctoral associate and graduate faculty scholar at University of Central Florida. Dr. Bhowmik's research primarily focused on the formulation and development of statistical and econometric models and applying them to different transportation sectors - including transportation planning, safety, and energy - to understand the underlying behavioral patterns and decision processes. His ongoing work deals with analyzing the impact of emerging technologies (electric and connected vehicles) on transportation environments, public health, and energy consumption. Dr. Bhowmik is currently a member of the editorial board of Frontiers in Future Transportation, and serves as a panel member in two NCHRP projects.


Joseph Broach, Ph.D.
Researcher Modeler, Oregon Metro
Research Associate, College of Urban & Public Affairs

Joseph Broach is a ​Research Associate with the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), an Instructor in the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, and a Senior Researcher and Modeler at Metro (MPO). H​is work primarily ​focuses ​on transportation data​, behavior,​ and modeling, and ​he ​helped design the ​Portland region's ​next-generation bicycle model in conjunction with Metro.​ 

Joe's research projects include Incorporate Emerging Travel Modes in the Regional Strategic Planning Model (RSPM) ToolTransferability & forecasting of the Pedestrian Index Environment (PIE) for modeling applications, and Travel Mode Choice Framework Incorporating Realistic Bike and Walk Routes.


Jennifer Dill, Ph.D.
Director, Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)
Professor, Urban Studies and Planning
jdill@pdx.edu
Twitter | Website | Researcher Profile 

Dr. Jennifer Dill is a professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University (PSU) and Director of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU. TREC houses the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), which she also directs. NITC is a national university transportation center funded by the US Department of Transportation focusing on improving mobility for people and goods to build stronger communities. Dr. Dill also serves on the Board of Trustees for the TransitCenter, a New York-based foundation that works to improve public transit in cities across the U.S. Professor Dill is an internationally known scholar researching the relationships between transportation, land use, health and the environment, focusing on active transportation. Before entering academia, Professor Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner in California. That experience motivates her teaching and research, which aims to inform practice and policy. She has published extensively in peer-review journals and has served as principal investigator or co-PI on over $4.3M in research projects and over $28M in federal center funding. Her research has been covered by Wired, Governing, USA Today, the PBS NewsHour, Here and Now, Marketplace and the Atlantic. She has served on and chaired Transportation Research Board committees and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Transportation and Health, Transportation Research Record and the Journal of Transportation and Land Use. Professor Dill also serves on the Board of Trustees for the TransitCenter, a foundation that works to improve public transit across the U.S. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner in California. Dr. Dill has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a BS in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis. She is also an aluma of the Eno Future Leaders program.

Notable research projects include Lessons from the Green Lanes: Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S., Understanding Types of Cyclists Nationally, Pedestrian Observation and Data Collection Curriculum and more. Read a 2021 interview: Looking Back on Twenty Years of Transportation Research with Dr. Jennifer Dill.


Associate Professor, Department of Civl and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Peter Dusicka is Professor and Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State University. His primary research interests are in earthquake structural engineering, focusing on infrastructure resilience. Dr. Dusicka also manages iSTAR (infraStructure Testing and Applied Research) Laboratory, an on-campus facility for large scale experiments including real time shake table tests.


Aaron Golub, Ph.D.
Director, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
Professor, 
Urban Studies and Planning
agolub@pdx.edu
TwitterResearcher Profile

Dr. Golub is an associate professor and director of the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His work focuses on the social equity impacts of current transportation planning practices – how people participate in planning, and who wins and loses from transportation plans and investments. Dr. Golub teaches courses on urban transportation policy, planning research methods, transportation finance and public transportation.

His research explores policy, finance, environmental justice, public transportation, sustainability, bicycle transportation, social change, the Distributional Effects of Regional Transportation Plans and Projects, Applying an Equity Lens to Automated Payment Solutions for Public Transportation, and more.


Arash Khosravifar
Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Arash Khosravifar joined the Geotechnical Engineering group in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Portland State University (PSU) in December 2015. Prior to joining PSU, he worked for Fugro Consultants Inc. in California where he worked on seismic hazard studies for transportation projects (bridges) and energy developments (oil and gas, wind turbines). He obtained his Ph.D degree from University of California, Davis where he conducted research on analysis and design of piles in liquefied soils.


Sirisha Kothuri, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate, Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science

Sirisha Kothuri, Ph.D. is a senior research associate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. Dr. Kothuri’s primary research interests are in the areas of multimodal traffic operations, bicycle and pedestrian counting, and safety. Dr. Kothuri is the research co-chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Pedestrians Committee (ANF10) and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Subcommittee (ABJ 35(3)) and a member of Traffic Signal Systems committee. Dr. Kothuri received her BCE from Osmania University, India, MSCE from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge and Ph.D. from Portland State University.

Dr. Kothuri's research includes investigations into Incorporating Pedestrian Considerations into Signal TimingImproving Walkability Through Control Strategies at Signalized IntersectionsAddressing Bicycle-Vehicle Conflicts with Alternate Signal Control Strategies and Improving Bicycle Crash Prediction.


Jenny Liu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Urban Studies and Planning

Jenny Liu is an associate professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University. She is an environmental and resource economist with a focus in transportation economics. Her research interests include the economics of alternative energy sources, links between transportation choices and environmental issues, the effects of physical infrastructure networks and social networks on the adoption of transportation technologies, and technology adoption and its effects on climate change, particularly within the urban and development contexts.

Dr. Liu's research has looked into Understanding the economic impacts of urban greenway infrastructureMeasuring the Impacts of Social Media on Advancing Public Transit, and the Economic and Business Impacts of Street Improvements for Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility.


John MacArthur
Sustainable Transportation Program Manager, Transportation Research & Education Center (TREC)
macarthur@pdx.edu

Mr. John MacArthur is the Sustainable Transportation Program Manager at TREC at Portland State University and an instructor in civil and environmental engineering, teaching on new & emerging technologies in transportation. He is active in research related to sustainable and equitable transportation, particularly in the areas of emerging tech such as e-bikes, bike share, transit, and the relationship between transportation and public health. Mr. MacArthur is the Section Chair for Transportation Research Board’s AME00 Transportation and Society and a member of Innovative Public Transportation Services and Technologies (AP020). He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and a MS in Environmental Health Sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.

MacArthur is the Principal Investigator for TREC's electric bicycle research initiatives. His research also includes low-/no-emission vehicle infrastructure in Portland metro, as well as a climate change impact assessment for surface transportation in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Before joining the TREC staff, John was the Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions Program Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program.


Nathan McNeil
Research Associate, Transportation Research & Education Center (TREC)

Nathan McNeil is a Research Associate at Portland State University's Center for Urban Studies. He conducts research on impacts of active transportation and transit equity, on new bicycle infrastructure and programs on travel behavior and attitudes towards cycling, on shared-use mobility programs including carsharing and bike-share, and on the connection between land-use and transportation. He was Co-Principal Investigator on recent national studies of bike share equity (Breaking Barrier to Bike Share and National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs) and of protected bike lane implementations (Lessons from the Green Lanes). Nathan received a master of urban and regional planning from Portland State University (PSU) and studied history at Columbia University as an undergraduate. Prior to PSU, Nathan worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City as a performance auditor where he evaluated capital programs and contractors.

Nathan's research has looked into Evaluating Efforts to Improve the Equity of Bike Share SystemsContextual Guidance at Intersections for Protected Bicycle Lanes and Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Monitoring Data Quality, among others. He also worked on the FTA Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit, published in 2017.


Christopher Monsere, Ph.D.  
Department Chair & Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Christopher M. Monsere is Professor and Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science at Portland State University. Dr. Monsere's primary research interests are in design and operation of multimodal transportation facilities including user behavior, comprehension, preferences, and the overall safety effectiveness of transportation improvements. Dr Monsere is a member of ANF20, the Bicycle Transportation Committee, the past co-chair of the Transportation Research Board's Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation committee (ANB20) and a past member of the TRB Task Force to develop the Highway Safety Manual (ANB25T). Monsere received his BCE from the University of Detroit Mercy; his MSCE and Ph.D.with an emphasis in transportation from Iowa State University. Dr. Monsere is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Oregon.

Dr. Monsere's research efforts include Improving Walkability Through Control Strategies at Signalized IntersectionsImproving Adaptive Response Signal Control Performance, and Effective Design Treatments for Right-Turns at Intersections with Bicycle Traffic .


Assistant Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering

Diane Moug is an Assistant Professor in the Civil & Environmental Engineering department at Portland State University. She joined the department in 2017 after earning her PhD from the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on how to improve in-situ testing for characterization of geotechnical soil properties and engineering behavior. Her research has a particular focus on improving geotechnical engineering methods with the cone penetration test for characterizing earthquake behavior of soils, and characterizing non-standard soil types. Her work has included studies of diatomaceous soils in Oregon, soils treated with microbially induced desaturation, and intermediate soils.


Thomas Schumacher
Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Schumacher’s research is on non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and management of civil infrastructure with a focus on concrete structures. He is interested in stress wave and vibration-based techniques such as acoustic emission and ultrasonic monitoring and impulse response testing, respectively. Additionally, he has been collaborating with faculty at the University of Delaware to develop a novel distributed carbon nanotube (CNT)-based sensor that can be integrated with structural composites to form a self-sensing reinforcement to repair and rehabilitate concrete and steel structures. Finally, he is interested in video-based techniques to monitor structural motion. His additional research interests include the behavior and durability of concrete structures, bridges subject to wave forces, imaging and data fusion, data analysis and signal processing, and civil infrastructure asset management. Dr. Schumacher is the chair of ACI Committee 444 - Structural Health Monitoring and Instrumentation and a registered professional engineer (PE) in Delaware. He offers courses on structural analysis, vibrations and structural dynamics, matrix structural analysis, prestressed concrete, and sensing and monitoring for structures.


Liming Wang, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Urban Studies and Planning

Liming Wang is an assistant professor in PSU's Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning. He teaches courses in Travel Demand Modeling, Transportation and Land Use, and Data Analysis Methods. His research takes a data-driven approach to address challenging issues in planning, in particular those intersecting land use and transportation. His recent research projects include data integration techniques for transportation and land use modeling, development and evaluation of comprehensive performance measures for transportation and land use systems, and regional strategic planning tools.

Dr. Wang has conducted research on Continuous Data Integration for Land Use and Transportation Planning and ModelingEvaluating and Enhancing Public Transit Systems for Operational Efficiency, Service Quality and Access Equity, and the development of a data science course, Introduction to Scientific Computing for Planners, Engineers, and Scientists.


David Yang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. David Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. He joined the department in Fall 2020, after working as a postdoctoral researcher at Lehigh University. His research strives to advance effective and efficient management for structures and infrastructure systems, primarily through the integration of structural engineering and probabilistic machine learning methods. He has extensive experience in structural reliability analysis and calibration, risk management for transportation infrastructure networks, and probabilistic life-cycle management for deteriorating structures. His ongoing work deals with (a) robust climate adaptation strategies for vulnerable structures and infrastructure systems and (b) probabilistic machine learning for infrastructure metamodeling and optimum management. Additional research areas include sustainability and resilience of structures, decision-making under uncertainty, and climate change impact on infrastructure and communities. He serves in the ASCE/SEI Task Group 1 on Life-cycle Performance of Structural Systems.

Our Student Research Assistants

Meet our current 2023 - 2024 Portland State University students working as research assistants for TREC staff and researchers. Meet past graduate research assistants (GRAs) here, as well as our PSU transportation scholars and fellows.
 
Brady Hilgenberg
Advisors: John MacArthur and Nathan McNeil
LinkedIn

Brady is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning student at Portland State University with a focus on transportation equity and sustainability. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the University of Oregon. He is currently supporting John MacArthur's work on the Downtown Portland Zero-Emissions Delivery Zone project.
 
 
 
Evan Howington
Advisors: John MacArthur and Nathan McNeil
LinkedIn

Evan is a first year Masters student in Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University. Prior to working with TREC, Evan worked at Trillium Transit and Optibus supporting transit agencies nationwide with disseminating passenger information and making it easier to take transit! When not thinking about transportation, Evan enjoys growing chili peppers and making his own hot sauce.
 
 

Kyu Ri Kim
Advisors: Jennifer Dill and Nathan McNeil
LinkedIn

Kyu Ri is a Ph.D. student in urban planning at the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. She is currently supporting Jennifer Dill on various research projects. In the recent past, she supported Dr. Dill and Hau Hagedorn in transportation data analysis and visualization (including BikePed Portal and OHSU Census data), Dr. Dill and Nathan McNeil on the Research Roadmap for the AASHTO Council on Active Transportation, and other transportation research.
 
Allison Kirkpatrick
Advisor: 

Allison is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. At TREC, she is assisting Nathan McNeil and John MacArthur on the Zero-Emission Delivery Zone project. As a longtime TriMet rider, she is passionate about public transit and cares deeply about promoting accessible, safe, and sustainable forms of transportation.

Julay Leatherman-Brooks
Advisor: Tammy Lee
LinkedIn

Julay Leatherman-Brooks is a masters student in computer science, with a focus on security. Julay is currently working with Tammy Lee and Basem Elazzabi on TREC’s transportation data programs, PORTAL and BikePed Portal.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jiahui Ma
Advisors: Jennifer Dill and Nathan McNeil
LinkedIn

Jiahui is a Ph.D. student in urban planning at the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. She is currently supporting Jennifer Dill and Nathan McNeil on the Evaluation of Road User Comprehension and Compliance with Red Colored Transit Priority Lanes as well analyzing data from the Breaking Barriers to Bike Share project

Contact Us

Contact us at asktrec@pdx.edu or call the front desk at 503-725-2896.

Our office is in the Fourth Avenue Building at PSU 1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 175. Need to send mail? Send to:
TREC
P.O. Box 751
Portland, OR 97207