The Transportation program at McGill University is unique in different ways. It is first highly interdisciplinary in light of the diversity of expertise brought by our professors and the large number of faculty on campus conducting transportation-related research. The program also benefits from strong collaborations with other universities and government agencies. Finally, the city of Montreal with its world class transportation facilities serves as a research laboratory.
The research expertise covered by the transportation nucleus in the Department revolves around three main pillars of transportation research and an overarching theme which connects them: 1) Transportation planning and travel demand modelling, 2) Transit demand and supply, and 3) Traffic engineering; intersecting with 4) Environment, safety, and sustainability. Beyond the Department of Civil Engineering, a large number of faculty members at McGill are currently involved in transportation-related research in the Departments of Urban Planning, Geography, and Schools of Environment, Medicine, and Management. Collaborations with these groups are ongoing and we believe that the proposed program will help formalize some of these ties and promote student exchange within such an interdisciplinary atmosphere. For more details on individual professor expertise read on.
Research activities in transportation engineering range from studies in traffic safety and travel behavior modeling to studies in sustainable transportation. Research interests in traffic safety include the development of crash prediction models, methodologies for detecting hazardous locations in road networks, before-after studies for evaluating the impact of highway safety countermeasures, non-motorized transportation safety, etc. In travel behavior and transport demand modeling, we have a particular interest in the modeling of spatio-temporal patterns of mobility and its relationship with ICT and urban form, the understanding of long-term changes in travel behaviour, and new survey and data collection methods. In the current context of climate change and oil supply issues, topics in sustainable transportation are also an important part of our research interests which include energy efficiency measures and emission quantification, issues related to the development of alternative transportation modes and environmental policy assessment.
Transportation research activities in our Department are greatly benefited from the interdisciplinary research environment at the Transportation Research at McGill (TRAM) research group, which is a multidisciplinary team including faculty members and students from both the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Urban Planning at McGill. The main goal of this research group is to generate valuable research and educate students through transportation research projects.
Professor Sun’s research centers on the area of urban computing and smart transportation, developing innovative methodologies and applications to address efficiency, resilience, and sustainability issues in urban transportation systems. In particular, he is interested in integrating advances in mobile sensing and machine learning into human mobility modeling, agent-based simulation, and intelligent transportation systems to explore how big data, artificial intelligence, and cyber-physical systems could benefit urban life and help build smart cities. His work has been featured in popular media outlets, including Wired, Citylab, Scientific American, and MIT Technology Review.