Transportation and Operations Research


MIT's transportation group has provided leadership in the field of transportation research for many years by emphasizing an interdisciplinary systems approach incorporating engineering, urban planning, transport system management and public policy. We are now applying this interdisciplinary approach to the concept of sustainable transportation to address the critical issues confronting the world today.

The scope of our research has broadened from a focus on the operation of existing systems to include consideration of the interactions of transportation infrastructure and operation, urban spatial structure and land use, economic growth, resource and energy use, and environmental impacts at various spatial and temporal scales. These include issues of public health and environmental impact; the loss of livability of urban areas; the uneven distribution of benefits and costs of transportation projects among different geopolitical areas, social groups and generations; and the consequences of climate change. For more information, visit our Transportation research pages and view videos of MIT transportation researchers talking about their research on MIT World.

Operations Research

Much of the CEE research in operations research involves the development of optimization methods for large-scale transportation and logistics problems. The approaches often require the development of new models and algorithms, and their implementations in real operating environments.  Research foci include integrated schedule planning, robust scheduling and real-time re-planning.

Today‚Äôs supply chain executives must balance multiple trade-offs between, cost, service, risk and pressure for sustainability.  This is where engineering and management have the potential to make a big impact. What is needed is a rigorous scientific understanding of physical properties of systems in general and supply chain in particular. Examples include trade-offs between responsiveness and efficiency, or flexibility and cost. Such understanding leads to the development of engineering design principles and management approaches that improve supply chain performance. For more information, visit our Operations Research pages.