Centre for Transport Development

Transportation is a cross-sectoral enterprise that requires skills across a broad range of disciplines, including planning, engineering, economics, management, and social sciences. The Centre for Transport Development (CTD) provides a platform for nurturing and coordinating linkages across these various disciplines at UP, to the benefit of both our students and industry partners. As a collaborative research entity, the CTD draws mainly on researchers and academics from the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. We work together with specialists from other UP departments including the Department of Town and Regional Planning and the Department of Computer Science.


The Centre for Transport Development pursues research and continuing education opportunities across four main focus areas:

  • Railway engineering (see Transnet FreightRail Chair in Railway Engineering);
  • Pavement engineering;
  • Transport Planning and Operations; and
  • Optimisation.

Recent projects have included the tracking and analysis of the movement of commuters and freight vehicles using GPS data and crowdsourcing; measurement of accessibility benefits of transport and land use investments using GIS mapping; and measurement of the impacts of road deterioration on logistics costs and freight damage using micro-sensors. One outcome has been the development and enhancement of simulation models suitable for local conditions, used both for analysing the properties of pavement materials and design methods, and for modelling traffic patterns on road networks (including private commuters, minibus taxis and freight vehicles). Recent clients have included the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg, the South African Roads Agency Ltd. (SANRAL), National Treasury, the Department of Public Service and Administration, and the California Department of Transportation.


The CTD supports students working on funded research projects during their postgraduate studies. Scholarship opportunities are available for 2020. The application form can be downloaded here. Deadline for submissions: 31 October 2019.

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