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We're updating our website in celebration of our 50th Anniversary (2013).
Please excuse any hiccups as we move to our new location:


About the Center

CTR is a nationally recognized research institution focusing on transportation research, education, and public service. We invite you to review our programs, facility, and professional research staff.

About the ramshorn

The ram's horn is part of the COE logo.CTR's logo incorporates the "ramshorn," an elaborate checkmark used by the UT Cockrell School of Engineering's first faculty member and dean.

The Center for Transportation Research is a nationally recognized research institution focusing on transportation research, education, and public service. Established in 1963 as the Center for Highway Research, its current and ongoing projects address virtually all aspects of transportation, including economics, multimodal systems, traffic congestion relief, transportation policy, materials, structures, transit, environmental impacts, driver behavior, land use, geometric design, accessibility, and pavements. We invite you to read our CTR Annual Report.


Its ongoing mission remains:

In a given year, CTR administers more than 100 research projects and interagency contracts with combined budgets exceeding $13 million.  Approximately 80 faculty and 20 professional researchers perform research studies at CTR. Approximately 60 graduate and undergraduate students (full-time equivalency) participate in the university transportation program.

Currently there are eight transportation research faculty: C. Michael Walton, Randy B. Machemehl, Zhanmin Zhang,  Chandra Bhat, Kara M. Kockelman, Jorge A. Prozzi, Amit Bhasin, and Stephen Boyles.

CTR researchers work in collaboration with TxDOT, which remains CTR’s major research partner. In addition to TxDOT, CTR works with other sponsors including the US-DOT, National Science Foundation (NSF), North Central Texas  Council of Governments (NTCCOG), Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the City of Austin.

CTR’s strength is in the synergy that is created by students, faculty, and professional researchers. Much of the success of the program is due to the efforts of its outstanding graduate students. Guided by full-time faculty members, these University of Texas students, seeking masters or doctoral degrees, perform much of the hands-on research.

In addition to its own staff researchers, the center taps an extraordinary reservoir of expertise in multiple disciplines by collaborating with affiliated research centers, including Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory, the International Center for Aggregates Research, the Center for Electromechanics, the Construction Industry Institute, the Construction Materials Research Group, and the Center for Research in Water Resources.

About this site

CTR is in compliance with UT accessibility and privacy policies. Visit the UT privacy policy and the web accessibility policy.

Collaboration with Texas A&M University and other University of Texas component institutions is also an important part of the CTR program. Faculty, graduate students, and professional researchers also work with other researchers from a variety of educational institutions that participate in the cooperative research program.
 These positive, cooperative relationships benefit the state and beyond, providing quality transportation for Texas travelers and, through technology transfer, to transportation users throughout the world.

Faculty-Contributed Effort

CTR research is generally led by faculty whose academic salaries cover nine of each twelve months.  Although, by job description, faculty often spend approximately half of their nine-month academic appointment supervising research, they cannot charge this time to research contracts.  This means that faculty researchers typically contribute approximately half-time each nine-month academic year to the research program. If they spend three summer months conducting sponsored research, they actually devote about 62% of their annual effort to research.  The contributed time is a significant benefit to research sponsors and is documented through a University Effort Certification System.

Research Strengths

In a word, CTR is about innovation. For 48 years, we have provided innovative and pragmatic solutions to our state's transportation challenges. Here are some of our research strengths.




High Tech




In 1963, Dr. Clyde Lee established the Center for Highway Research, which merged with the Council for Advanced Transportation Studies to become the Center for Transportation Research. He held the position of Director for 17 years. Under Dr. Lee’s guidance the Center quickly established its position in the world as one of the top university-based transportation research centers.

Dr. B. Frank McCullough, Adnan Abou-Ayyash Centennial Professor Emeritus in Transportation Engineering, continued the Center's mission for 19 years (1980-1999). Dr. McCullough has specialized in the design and behavior of continuously reinforced concrete pavement. Prior to 1969, he worked with the Texas Highway Department in the Materials, Research, and Development division.

Dr. Randy B. Machemehl, Nasser I. Al-Rashid Centennial Professor in Transportation Engineering, became the Director of the Center for Transportation Research in 1999, serving the center until September 2012. He continues toserve as Associate Director of the Southwest Region University Transportation Center headquartered at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Chandra Bhat, Adnan Abou-Ayyash Centennial Professor in Transportation Engineering, became the current Director of the Center for Transportation Research in September 2012.

The University of Texas at Austin  •  UT's Cockrell School of Engineering