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Transportation defines Portland, Oregon. Portland State University shapes the transportation professionals who, in turn, shape their city and cities across the world. 

Our students conduct cutting-edge research under the guidance of the world’s foremost transportation research faculty at PSU in the (CUPA) Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning at CUPA and the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at MCECS

We recognize the importance of learning by doing. Students work on real transportation system projects with partners in our community. These partnerships lead to internships and rewarding careers after graduation. Many of our center's programs are focused on providing students with on-the-job experience and support, including:

  • Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship (TURF) summer program,  
  • Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation scholarships, 
  • An internship annually funded by one of our key partners, Alta Planning + Design,
  • Graduate research assistant opportunities, 
  • Dissertation research fellowships and scholarships through our National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program, and 
  • Our annual transportation study abroad program in the Netherlands. 

In addition to the above programs, we provide financial support to PSU's transportation student group, Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP), to present their work at conferences like the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). We also host visiting scholars to bring international expertise to our students at Portland State.

STEP Student Group

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Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning

Studying transportation, or even just curious about it as a career? We encourage currently enrolled PSU students to join the on-campus Students in Transportation Engineering & Planning (ITE-STEP) group!

STEP engages PSU students in transportation issues through field trips, speakers, projects, and social events. The group works to build relationships and a shared understanding between transportation students from different disciplines, both within PSU and with other universities. Within STEP, students can also take on leadership roles in cultivating community and education around the transportation issues important to them. 

STEP is also home to PSU’s ITE student chapter, to help students stay connected to the local professional organization Oregon ITE (Institute of Engineers). Notably, this includes competing in the annual jeopardy-style Traffic Bowl with other Oregon students!

Join the STEP mailing list through which STEP leadership and transportation faculty send out announcements on transportation scholarships, jobs, internships, and events.

2021 - 2022 STEP Leadership Board

  • President - Cameron Bennett (MS Civil Engineering)
  • VP of Finance & Conferences - Asif Haque (MURP)
  • VP of Events - Nick Meusch (MURP)
  • VP of Communications - Christian Galiza (BS Civil Engineering)
  • Read more about the current STEP board

Equity in Transportation Book Club

Join the newest book club of PSU with a focus on mobility justice. The first book we are reading is Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance by Adonia Lugo. Open to current PSU students, staff and faculty, click here to join the book club.

This book club is co-hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) and STEP.

PSU Transportation Alumni

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Out in the world, PSU transportation alumni are changing the way we think about transportation as leading academics and practitioners. A sample of some of the organizations our alumni are currently working at:



Alta Planning + Design, SERA Architects, CH2M, Kittelson & Associates, Inc., Lancaster Engineering, Nelson\Nygaard, Oregon Public Health Institute, DKS Associates, Resource Systems Group, Inc., Fregonese Associates and ICLEI.


Our doctoral alums are working as researchers, consultants and faculty members in places such as: University of Arizona, University of British Columbia, McGill University and the University of Sydney.

Research Faculty at PSU

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Transportation problems don’t stay between the lines. As a transportation student at Portland State University, you’ll work with experts in every field that contributes to our knowledge of transportation, including engineering and planning but also fields such as environmental science, psychology, geography and computer science. Our core transportation faculty, including Jennifer Dill, Christopher Monsere, Kelly Clifton, Miguel Figliozzi, Jenny Liu, Aaron Golub, Avi Unnikrishnan and Liming Wang, are regarded as national and international experts in their fields.