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Master of Transportation Sciences


Study programme

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STUDY PROGRAMME

The described study programme and course details may be subject to changes.  

Course overview

  COURSES ECTS
SEMESTER 1 Behavioural Interventions 4
FALL 2019 Transport Infrastructure 4
  Transportation Modelling 4
  Sustainable Transportation Policy 4
  Intelligent Sollutions in Transportation 4
  Integrated Transportation Case 10
     
SEMESTER 2 Research Design 6
SPRING 2020 Research Portfolio 6
  Specialisation Traffic Safety:   
  - Road Safety Audit 6
  - Road Safety in the South 6
  - In Depth Crash Investigation 6
 OR Specialisation Transport Policy & Planning:  
  - Strategic Transportation Planning 12
  - Transport Organisation 6
     
SEMESTER 3 Option to go abroad this semester  
FALL 2020 Internship  18
  Master thesis  12
     
SEMESTER 4 Strategic Project Analysis 6
SPRING 2021 International Topics 6
  Elective Course 6
  Master thesis  12

Course details


 

Behavioural Interventions – 4 ECTS

Why do we continue to cause traffic jams? How do we promote the use of active means of transport? Behavior is a complex concept, trying to influence behavior is even more complex. Still, governments use campaigns to steer people's behavior in the 'right' direction. Suppose the government gives you the assignment to draw up an intervention for a traffic- or mobility-related problem, how do you tackle this?
Intervention Mapping provides a framework for the development of intervention programs. This framework consists of several steps, of which 3 will be dealt with in the current semester, starting with a thorough problem analysis. In doing so, existing literature and suitable theories are used. The idea is that developing the intervention program through every step is based on scientific evidence, starting from a problem-oriented approach. 

Transport Infrastructure – 4 ECTS

The aim of this course is to introduce the student to important theories and concepts of safe road infrastructure design for motorized and non-motorized road users. The following subjects will be covered:

  • Functional classification of roads
  • Relationship between road function, design and usage
  • The road infrastructure design process
  • Human observation and error
  • Road user needs and requirements
  • Basic road design elements (alignment, cross-section, intersection, …)

Transport Modelling – 4 ECTS

In this course students will learn how basic mathematical models can be used to determine the consequences of policies and new infrastructure projects. To this end the classical 4-step transport model paradigm is selected. The four steps that will be covered during class are: 1) Trip generation which determines the frequency of origins and destinations of trips in each traffic analysis zone as a function of land uses and household demographics, and other socio-economic factors; 2) Trip distribution which matches trip origins with destinations using a gravity model function; 3) Mode choice which computes the proportion of trips between each origin and destination that use a particular transportation mode; and 4) Route assignment which allocates trips between origins and destinations by a particular mode to routes on a given network. During the practical sessions, students will have to work with a customized 4-step model where several parts of this model will have to be implemented. To this end Python will be used as the primary software platform in order to develop a basic 4-step transport model.
An overarching goal of the course is to make students able to work independently, think analytically and write Python source code at a basic level. Students are expected to acquire the theory and to use these models in practice throughout the course by working and solving a sequence of exercises. The examination will consist of a theoretical part as well as a practical part.

Sustainable Transportation Policy – 4 ECTS

In this course it will be explained how a sustainable transportation system can be implemented. To this end, it will be studied which strategies and tactics governments use to gradually change the existing transportation system into a more sustainable one and which problems they have to overcome during this process. To illustrate this process, several cases will be presented of cities across the world. It will be explained on which aspects they differ and on which aspects they are similar. In addition, it will be highlighted how the implementation of the adopted strategies can be improved such that the potential of transformative change can be maximized.

Intelligent Solutions in Transportation – 4 ECTS

This course enables transportation sciences students from various backgrounds to intelligent and smart transportation solutions that influence technological advancements. Traditional methods such as advanced traveler information and dynamic message signs are now part of a broader landscape that features deployments of connected, automated, and autonomous vehicle technologies with infinite possibilities. The effective utilization of current emerging technologies requires an interdisciplinary approach with focus on the benefits, operating characteristics, deployment considerations, and potential shortcomings of the deployed solutions in various transport scenarios. Some of the key topics will focus on hands-on case studies that encourage critical thinking to assess opportunities for the continuous improvement of deployed and new solutions, tailored to the local context.

Integrated Transportation Case – 10 ECTS

In a case-study of an international city such as Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Dar Es Salaam etc. students integrate knowlegde and skills from 5 courses: Behavioural Interventions, Transport Infrastructure, Intelligent Solutions in Transportation, Sustainable Transport Policy and Transport Modelling. The case-study is developed in co-operation with an expert with expertise in the local transportation and traffic safety situation.

Research Design – 6 ECTS

Students get acquainted with various common research techniques within transportation sciences. More specifically, the following aspects are addressed: scientific literature review, survey, interview, focus group, observation, experiment, discrete choice models and geographical information systems. Students learn the theoretical background so that they can correctly set up and execute these techniques and interpret the resulting data. In addition, they can select the most suitable technique in a given situation and justify this choice. Students must also develop a scientific plan of approach for their master's thesis topic.

Research Portfolio – 6 ECTS

The academic master program in Transportation Sciences aims to increase the student’s level of knowledge and understanding that is typical of scientific work in the field of transportation sciences, and also aims to increase the student’s ability to autonomously carry out research in transportation sciences whilst keeping to the deontological codes of research. Hence, this course unit aims to familiarize the student with principles and methods of scientific research by active participation of students in different types of research tasks under the supervision of a staff member.

Active participation can take different forms:

• As a participant in an ongoing scientific experiment (e.g. as a participant in a driving simulator study, or taking part in a focus group)
• As a team member in the design of a research experiment (e.g. setting up the experimental design protocol, creating and implementing an online questionnaire as part of a public survey)
• As a team member in the execution of a research project (e.g. instructing driving simulator participants, carrying out literature review, carrying out interviews and surveys, statistical analysis or reporting)
• As participant to a scientific symposium or conference (as a listener or presenter).

Road Safety Audit (Traffic Safety) – 6 ECTS

The aim of the course is to familiarize the student with the basics of road safety and human factors, as well as the content and procedure of road safety audits. Students will also carry out a small road safety audit on a concrete infrastructure project.
The course will contain the following main components:

  • Road safety theory, including road safety data sources, road safety risk factors, road safety interventions and road safety paradigms
  • Theory about the purpose, need and procedures of road safety management and the different types of road safety audits
  • Practical road safety audit case study

Road Safety in the South (Traffic Safety) – 6 ECTS

The course Road Safety in the South applies global road safety knowledge to specific cases in the South. To this end, the course involves the cooperation of several international guest lectures from the South. The latter handle road safety theory and apply this to cases in their specific region. Moreover, student work on a group assignment where they will choose a specific region (e.g., city, country) in the South in order to write a road safety plan, revolving around the region of choice.

In-Depth Crash Investigation (Traffic Safety) – 6 ECTS

This course focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of techniques applied for the in-depth analysis of crashes, in order to explain the events leading or preceding a crash, to describe the point of impact and to gain insights in the broader aspects and consequences of crashes. More specifically, the following topics are discussed: introduction to crash analysis, precautionary measures for working on location, vehicle inspection, analyzing the crash site, collecting information from witnesses, applying basic mathematics and physics concepts in in-depth crash analysis, introduction to the principles of crash reconstruction, the definition of a crash and crash-relevant event.
This course is taught during an intensive course of one week consisting of lectures and practical sessions. Outside the classroom, students are expected to work independently on pre-prepared study materials and assignments.

Strategic Transportation Planning (Transport Policy & Planning) – 12 ECTS

In this course the multidisciplinary transportation planning process is tackled at different geographic levels. Concepts and techniques applicable to statewide, metropolitan, corridor, local and even site transportation planning level will be discussed. At the level of travel demand generation, the link with land use and urban design, travel demand modeling, and travel demand management is established. At the travel supply level, transport planning challenges such as road capacity planning, transit network planning and operations, planning for pedestrian, bicyclist, and parking facilities are investigated. As transportation planning is embedded in a broader societal perspective, additional topics that will be highlighted are transportation funding and finance, operations, safety, and public participation and engagement.

Transport Organisation (Transport Policy & Planning) – 6 ECTS

The (spatial) organization of transport and mobility is approached in this course from different angles. Among other things, the relationship between mobility and the spatial structure, the different modes of transport, urban transport, the link with the economy/society, the link with energy/environment and challenges in the field of transport will be examined in more detail. We also discusses mobility trends in developing countries, informal transport, and scenarios and management of public transport in developing countries.

Strategic Project Analysis – 6 ECTS

The focus in this course is on soft systems thinking. Systems thinking can be applied to a wide range of diverse complex problems in order to clearly structure the problem, consider various responses to the problem and propose a solution taking into account the consequences for all actors.
Starting from a complex context, various steps need to be taken and applied on a (transport) case.

Internship – 18 ECTS

During the internship students become acquainted with the transportation sciences domain in real-life situations. The student performs an internship during 10 weeks, in total 40 working days, during which the knowledge and skills gained in the transportation sciences programme are applied to concrete road safety or mobility problems which are taken from real-life. He/she will also get acquainted with new methods and techniques, used in the field.

To do this, there is a close cooperation, on location, with an organization which is active in the field of transportation sciences, or an organization which can formulate a clear problem in the field of mobility or road safety. Sectors of previous internships are: governmental bodies (federal, regional, municipal), consultancies, police districts, research institutes, (public transport) companies, interest groups, etc. Students are strongly encouraged to search for their own internship organisation (and topic). It is also possible to do an international internship. There are some scholarship possibilities for students who meet certain conditions.

The internship is carried out individually. Students elaborate an internship proposal at the start of the internship, keeps a logbook during the whole internship period and finally, write an internship report at the end. Moreover, there is an oral defense by means of a poster.

Master Thesis  – 24 ECTS

The master of Transportation Sciences is concluded with a master thesis. The subject of the master thesis is related to the specialization of Traffic Safety or Transport Policy and Management.