Transportation Systems | Doctoral Program

The Doctoral Program in Transportation Systems (DPTS) is designed to prepare students for transportation-related careers in academia, including teaching and advanced research, as well as professional practice careers in both public and private sectors. Upon completion of the program, students will be intellectual leaders within their chosen fields and organizations.

Established in 2007, the DPTS has already gained worldwide recognition, attracting highly qualified candidates from around the globe. The transportation systems PhD program is offered in association by the Technical University of Lisbon (IST), the University of Porto (FEUP), and the University of Coimbra (FCTUC), with MIT collaborating in the program’s research component.

The goal of the program is to prepare students to become leading actors in the transportation world by providing excellence and innovation in teaching and research through:

  • Providing a solid scientific education covering both methodological approaches and institutional factors required to understand the transportation enterprise as an intermodal integrated system;
  • Conducting cutting-edge research for the development of a world-class transportation system for passengers and freight for Portugal that can serve as a model for the rest of Europe though multi-disciplinary research collaborations between Portugal and MIT; and
  • Working with industrial, government, and laboratory collaborators to provide added value to the program through research collaboration and teaching involvement.

The DPTS covers all transport systems topics, from transport policy and planning to infrastructure design and maintenance, at the various spatial levels (from international to local), and for the various modes (air, rail, road, etc.). Up to now, the main focus areas have been:

  • Air transport systems;
  • High speed rail systems;
  • Land-use/transport systems;
  • Innovative urban transport modes/services;
  • Intelligent transport systems; and
  • Traveler information systems.

Candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds including engineering, urban planning, computer science, economics, and other social sciences are encouraged to apply.

Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with MIT and Portuguese faculty on world-class research projects in the areas of intelligent transportation systems, high-speed rail development, airport and airline systems, and land use – transport integration. Best students with an MIT Portugal scholarship will have the opportunity to spend up to an year at MIT working on their research projects.

The PhD program Director is:
Luís Picado Santos (IST)

A list of other faculty members involved in research and/or teaching in the CTIS Master’s program is available at:

The contact person for the Doctoral Program of Transportation Systems is:

Ms Teresa Afonso
IST – Technical University of Lisbon
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