The DPTS has a total (expected) duration of 3 years. The first year of each program is primarily devoted to coursework, worth 60 ECTS. Coursework includes two mandatory  courses – “Research Methodologies” (6 ECTS) and “Thesis Project in Transport Systems” (30 ECTS) – and four optional courses. At least two of the optional courses must be chosen among the ones listed in the next table. The remaining ones can be chosen among any other doctoral course offered in the participating schools or in any schools with which they have doctoral collaboration agreements. The 2nd and 3rd years of the DPTS are dedicated to the preparation of a doctoral thesis, worth 120 ECTS. The courses listed in the following table are typically taught by faculty of two participating schools. Lectures are given in the school where the professor usually teaches, and broadcasted to the other schools by videoconference.

Structure of the doctoral program in Transportation Systems

CourseECTSMandatory/OptionalSemester

Road Traffic Management

6

Optional

1st

Research Methodologies

6

Mandatory

1st

Transport Demand Modelling

6

Optional

1st

Transport Infrastructure and Operations Optimization

6

Optional

1st

Risk and Decision-Making

6

Optional

1st

Highway and Airport Infrastructure Engineering

6

Optional

2nd

Business Models and Contracts

6

Optional

2nd

Transport Policies and Institutions

6

Optional

2nd

Railway Infrastructure Design and Maintenance

6

Optional

2nd

Simulation of Land-Use/Transport Systems Simulation

6

Optional

2nd

Thesis Project

30

Mandatory

Annual

Incoming students are assigned to one of the three partner universities in Portugal, depending on how closely their stated interests and experiences align with faculty members and ongoing research at each university, and with the current composition of the research teams at the three schools.

After admission, the director of the program in the respective host school, having heard the interests of the students, designates a tutor for each student amongst the faculty involved in the DPTS or any other faculty member of the school approved by the Scientific Committee. The tutor helps the student to design her/his course plan and to become acquainted with all the research areas ongoing in the participating schools, other Portuguese schools, and in the international scene. This aims at helping the student to identify until May of the 1st year a suitable research area and a supervisor (or supervisors) for her/his future doctoral thesis, according to her/his research interests. The course plan and the supervisor of each student have to be approved by the Scientific Committee. With the support of her/his supervisor(s), the student must submit a thesis project specifying a research subject and a work plan by the end of the 1st year. The student must make a presentation and discuss the thesis project before a jury designated by the Scientific Council of the host school. Once the thesis project is approved, the student can start preparing the doctoral thesis.

Throughout the program, students are expected to meet with their doctoral committees and demonstrate their research progress, at least once per year. The Doctoral Committee, includes the supervisor(s), one element of the Scientific Committee, and one representative of a participating school, other than the host school.


Road Traffic Management

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives:

Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of road traffic management.

Main Topics:

  • Basic principles for transport network organization.
  • Design vs. hierarchy rules.
  • Corridor management and control strategies.
  • Speed management.
  • Parking management.
  • Transit-oriented infrastructure management.
  • Integrated transport infrastructure management.
  • Road safety.
  • Accident monitoring, analysis, and mitigation.
  • Intelligent transport systems.
  • UTC, AVL, and VMS systems.
  • Route Guidance.
  • Automatic Road Pricing.
  • Control, communication, and information systems.
  • Microsimulation of transport systems.
  • Traffic forecasting.
  • Generation of alternative traffic solutions.
  • Performance assessment measures.

 


Research Methodologies in Natural and Social Sciences

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge on advanced research methodologies and work plan development skills.

Main Topics:

  • Evolution of research methods.
  • Scientific approaches.
  • Scientific method in natural sciences: description, prediction, control, and understanding.
  • Controllable and uncontrollable phenomena: limitations of experimental methods in face of real world complexity.
  • Non-experimental methods: correlation, nature observation, surveys/questionnaires, case studies.
  • Research and analysis with missing data.
  • Optimization methods.
  • Conversion of empirical data into computational data.
  • Socioeconomic analysis and methods.
  • Political analysis and methods.
  • Research design and process control.

 


Transport Demand Modeling

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of transport demand modeling.

Main Topics:

  • Linear regression models.
  • Estimation methods.
  • Assumption violations: non-linearity; heteroscedasticity; serial correlation of errors; non-normal distribution of errors; multicollinearity.
  • Modeling strategies.
  • Time series models.
  • Smoothing methods.
  • ARIMA models.
  • Non-linear models.
  • Panel data models.
  • Fixed-effect and random-effect models.
  • Generalized regression models (counts of events).
  • Poisson regression model.
  • Negative binomial regression model.
  • Zero-inflated Poisson regression model.
  • Ordered response and discrete choice models.
  • Probit and logit models.
  • System dynamics models.
  • Model ingredients – stocks, transitions, loops, and boundary.
  • Construction of a system dynamics model with the Vensim software.
  • Multi-agent models.
  • Model ingredients – environment, agents, objects, space-time interactions, and boundary.
  • Construction of a multi-agent model with the Anylogic software.

 


Infrastructure Optimization and Transport Operations

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of optimization of transport infrastructure and operations.

Main Topics:

  • The role of optimization in decision processes.
  • Formulation and resolution of optimization models.
  • Optimization of logistic systems.
  • Warehouse location, fleet sizing, vehicle routing, and service network design models.
  • Optimization of road and rail transport systems.
  • Road and rail capacity. Road and rail network design and conservation models.
  • Transit network design models.
  • Highway and railway alignment models. Traffic signal control models.
  • Optimization of air transport systems.
  • Airport capacity.
  • Airport network design models.
  • Air traffic management models.
  • Airline network design models (flight scheduling, fleet and crew assignment).
  • Revenue management models.
  • Consideration of uncertainty issues in transport systems optimization.

 


Risk and Decision Making

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of risk and decision-making.

Main Topics:

  • Paradigms in decision support involving uncertainty/risk, multiple objectives/attributes, and multiple actors/stakeholders.
  • Modeling uncertainty and risk.
  • Fundamental concepts of probability theory.
  • Framework for risk analysis, assessment and management.
  • Decision analysis (single-criterion).
  • Framework for decision support under uncertainty/risk.
  • Attitudes toward risk.
  • Utility theory.
  • Decision trees and influence diagrams.
  • Value of information.
  • Bayesian analysis.
  • Multicriteria analysis.
  • Problem structuring: values, objectives, attributes, achievement/performance scales.
  • Additive methods.
  • Weight eliciting and interpretation.
  • Reference point methods.
  • Outranking methods.
  • Sensitivity and robustness analysis.
  • Treatment of uncertainty.
  • Game theory.
  • Zero-sum and non-zero sum games.
  • Extensive form of a game. Resolution of finite games.
  • Cooperative and non-cooperative games. Coalition games.

 


Road and Airport Infrastructure Engineering

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of road and airport infrastructure engineering.

Main Topics:

  • Surface transport infrastructure engineering, scope and specificities.
  • The road and its components.
  • The aircraft-related land side of airports and aerodromes.
  • Design of road pavements.
  • Pavement design in special road sections.
  • Design of airport pavements.
  • Road bridges and tunnels: description, facilities, specific operation.
  • Construction of road and airport pavements.
  • Technological specificities of applicable materials.
  • Road and pavement condition assessment.
  • Formulation of road/pavement maintenance and rehabilitation.

 


Business Models and Contracts

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives:  Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of business models and contracts in the transport sector.

Main Topics:

  • Business legislation.
  • Accidents, safety, and civil liabilities.
  • Criminal sanctions for irregular conduct.
  • Competition and regulation.
  • Contracts and partnership structures.
  • Labor environment.
  • Business models.
  • Theory of contracts and incentives.
  • Transport operation contracts.
  • Infrastructure provision contracts.
  • Realworld cases.

 


Transport Policy and Institutions

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of transport policy and institutions.

Main Topics:

  • Fundamental issues of public policy and its processes.
  • Public policy analysis and assessment methods.
  • The role of institutions in policy design and implementation.
  • Environmental preservation issues and their role in policy design.
  • Inclusion of environmental concerns in decision processes.
  • General transport policy and its application to the different transport modes.

 


Project and Maintenance of Railway Infrastructure

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of rail infrastructure design and conservation.

Main Topics:

  • Basic notions of railways.
  • Key variables of railway design.
  • Stages and processes in railway design.
  • Geometric design.
  • Applicable criteria and constraint analysis.
  • Pre-design studies and design blueprints.
  • Railway layout.
  • Assessment of impacts on commercial operation.
  • Fixed facilities.
  • Complements on electricity, safety, signaling, and operation systems.
  • Basic notions of fixed facilities design.
  • Structural design.
  • Multi-layer elastic and finite-element models.
  • Constitutive materials models.
  • Dynamic analysis of railway-vehicle interaction.
  • Advanced models of railway behavior.
  • Construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure.
  • Assessment, maintenance and rehabilitation methodologies, criteria, and systems. Activity planning and implementation.
  • Advanced maintenance management.
  • Decision-aid tools/expert systems.
  • Railway design optimization based on life-cycle cost analysis.

 


Simulation Systems for Land-Use / Transport

Credits: 6 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with a deep knowledge and with advanced R&D skills and competences on the subject of land-use/transport systems simulation.

Main Topics:

  • Classic (four-step) transport model.
  • First land-use/transport model: the Lowry model.
  • Urban dynamics models.
  • Definition of stocks and flows, identification of loops, and construction of causality
  • diagrams.
  • Development of an urban dynamics model with the AnyLogic software.
  • Cellular automata models.
  • Cell structures, cell states, and state transition rules.
  • Development of cellular automata model with the CelLab software.
  • Examples of advanced models: SLEUTH and MOLAND.
  • Multi-agent models.
  • Agent behavior, interaction environments and events.
  • Development of a multi-agent model with the AnyLogic software.
  • Examples of advanced models: ILUTE and UrbanSim.
  • Calibration of land-use/transport models.

 


Thesis Project in Transport Systems

Credits: 30 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with the skills and competences to prepare a research proposal and the corresponding work plan.

Main Topics:

  • Preparation and defense of a written proposal for a doctoral thesis’ project.
  • The proposal must include a stateof-the-art about the subjects to deal with in the thesis, a thorough presentation of these subjects, indications about the methods to apply and the results to obtain, and a detailed description of the work plan, which will be developed by the student with his/her supervisor.

 


Doctoral Thesis in Transportation Systems

Credits: 120 ECTS

Objectives: Provide students with the skills and competences to coordinate and develop high-level R&D.

Main Topics:

  • Preparation and defense of a doctoral thesis.