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Northwestern University

Featured Research

The Northwestern University Transportation Center’s (NUTC) portfolio of research projects and activities is continually evolving to anticipate, identify, characterize, and develop solutions for significant issues faced by the transportation industry, in both private and public sectors. Faculty and student researchers work together with industry and agency partners to gather information and devise methodologies to analyze these problems, formulate strategies, design solutions, and work towards implementation and evaluation.

LOwering CO2: Models to Optimize Train Infrastructure, Vehicles, and Energy Storage (LOCOMOTIVES)

This research was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of a project titled “LOwering CO2: Models to Optimize Train Infrastructure, Vehicles, and Energy Storage (LOCOMOTIVES)” under the US Department of Energy and resulted in the development of an analytical framework to aid railroads in planning the deployment of alternative locomotive energy technologies across their networks to decarbonize their operations.

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U.S. Railroads and COVID-19: Keeping Supply Chains Moving

This report shows how the U.S. freight rail industry was an essential component of pandemic resilience, demonstrating a high level of adaptability to meet consumer and business demands.

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Chicago Mobility under COVID-19

NUTC researchers are investigating traffic patterns and mapping collision data during the COVID-19 crisis in the City of Chicago. Their research is ongoing and the latest findings from data collected and analyzed by Professor Hani Mahmassani and Northwestern Engineering PhD candidate Divyakant Tahlyan are compiled in presentation slides linked below.

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Crash Data

EAA AirVenture Access Logistics

The annual EAA AirVenture Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin adopted a number of upgrades to the traffic, parking and tram operations in advance of AirVenture 2020 based on NUTC research recommendations and visitor feedback gathered by NUTC in 2019. NUTC research resulted in..

  • Easier access and departure from the AirVenture grounds
  • Reduced areas of vehicle/pedestrian conflict within the grounds
  • Improved shuttle service from public lots to the main gate


EAA AirVenture

Grain Industry Dynamics and Rail Service

NUTC researchers investigated grain industry dynamics in relation to rail service in the Upper Midwestern United States and published its findings in three reports.

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Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure

Supported by a grant from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM),  NUTC researchers undertook an exploration of the factors, needs, and opportunities facing US transportation infrastructure in the next 35 years. 

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Chicago Red Light Camera Report

NUTC researchers performed an assessment of Chicago’s red light camera (RLC) program in terms of its impact on traffic safety, leading to a set of best practices in RLC enforcement and recommendations to further improve the Chicago program. 

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