A central topic in the field of Traffic and Mobility for a Civil Engineer is to understand how and why people move between two places, be it on foot, by bicycle, by tram or by car. Even as a student, you will be out of the house on average 1 to 4 times a day.
In your studies as a Civil Engineer (and as a Transportation Engineer or Environmental Engineer), you will deal with this mobility, urban and regional spatial planning, the technical design of the traffic route (road construction) as well as the basics of lane-guided traffic and local public transport. It shows how a classic process for planning a transport system works and how infrastructure, operation and supply planning intertwine. In addition to classic methods for improving transport, new mobility concepts such as ridepooling or mobility-on-demand are also discussed. Above all, the strengthening of the means of transport of the environmental alliance (walking, cycling and public transport), as well as the planning, design and constructive implementation of durable road pavements will be dealt with in depth and ideas for a successful traffic turnaround will be presented.
Interest aroused? On this page, the transport institutes of the TU Braunschweig give you a small insight - If you are interested, you can contact the institutes or Faculty III at any time!
The design of inner-city street spaces is a topic that has been increasingly discussed in recent years. How can the available space in cities be distributed fairly among all road users? How, for example, can more and more bicycles and also new mobility offers be integrated into the existing infrastructure and what challenges have to be overcome here? How can our roads be made safer for all road users and what contribution can each user make? And how can the special and different requirements of mobility-impaired people be taken into account? Civil or Transportation Engineers try to find an answer to these questions in cooperation with other disciplines and to develop balanced, sustainable and economic solutions.
In the basic lecture "Transport and Urban Planning" and the advanced subjects of the IVS (Institute of Transport and Urban Engineering you also have the opportunity to deal with these questions and to contribute your experience. Using existing regulations and practical examples, you will learn the basics of road design and planning. You can then apply the knowledge you have gained to examples and real street spaces in Braunschweig and other municipalities in the region. When your studies are coming to an end, we offer a variety of Bachelor's and Master's theses in cooperation with municipalities and engineering offices, in which you can use the knowledge you have gained and your own skills to work out a proposal for redesigning a road or a junction. The IVS is well networked here and works well with the various administrations.
Why do we need roads? Roads not only overcome distances, they connect people and businesses and enable transport needs to be met. Whether it is for people to reach their place of work or leisure facilities or for goods to get from A to B. Roads exist in various forms or classes, such as federal roads, rural roads, country roads, and roads to the main road network.
Roads exist in different forms or classes, such as federal roads, rural roads and motorways, and in different construction methods, such as asphalt or concrete. The goal of road planning is always to ensure a safe and functional road that contributes to sustainability through its longevity.
But how is it determined whether the road will be planned and constructed as a single lane, two lanes or even three lanes? Where should the road go? How thick should the road structure be? And what construction materials will be used or what construction method will be chosen? The answers to these and similar questions are learned in the Bachelor's subject "Fundamentals of Road Engineering" at the ISBS (Institute for Road Engineering) of the Civil Engineering Department at the TU Braunschweig, as well as in more depth in the Master's programme. Part of the basic subject also includes a practical lecture hall exercise in which you can plan and develop the course of a bypass road (called alignment) yourself.
In the subject "Planning and Design of Roads" (Master's programme), you can also implement/visualise a concrete road construction project on the computer in a practical way with the help of a road planning programme. It starts with a three-dimensional survey of the terrain, then all further planning steps, such as the course of the road and the road cross-section, are carried out with the help of a computer, until at the end of the course every participant in the subject has created their own road in a 3D model.
The road network in Germany is very well developed. However, since total traffic will increase rather than decrease in the coming decades, the question of how to optimally utilise the existing infrastructure and which technical systems for traffic control can be used for this purpose is increasingly coming into focus. In addition to the proven influencing and informing systems at roads (influencing the collective), systems for individual influencing have become increasingly important in recent years.
In the courses at the Institute of Transport and Urban Engineering, you will learn the basics of Road Traffic Technology and Traffic Management. You will learn how traffic light systems at intersections work and how they can react dynamically to traffic. But traffic control on motorways in the form of dynamic displays or announcements on the traffic radio are also important topics. You also get the opportunity to look into the future with us. Here we deal with automated and connected driving and ask ourselves whether and how the existing traffic infrastructure seems suitable for this or whether adjustments are necessary here.
In order to control traffic control measures, large amounts of data are constantly being collected in practice. This includes classic methods, such as recording vehicles with induction loops or radar systems, which are also used in "speed cameras". However, with the advent of smartphones and navigation apps, new sources of data are being added that can be used specifically for traffic recording. Have you ever wondered, for example, what data the navigation app on your mobile phone uses to detect traffic jams in advance and suggest the best possible alternative route? And how reliable is it? You can deal with these and other questions in your studies.
What is the best way to test new technologies, construction materials and construction methods in road construction? Correct, with the help of laboratory tests and on the basis of a real test section. New test methods are constantly being developed at the Institute of Road Engineering and it is planned to realise an asphalt model route in the near future and to monitor it over a longer period of time. New innovations, such as sensors embedded in the asphalt, are to be tested. But also the reuse of old asphalt (reclaimed asphalt) to a high degree or the use of new types of additives and the resulting effects on the quality of the road are to be researched. In addition, the influences of climatic conditions (solar radiation, oxygen or water, etc.) on the road and in particular on the "adhesive" of the asphalt, the binder bitumen, can be permanently investigated.
As a student of civil engineering, you can participate directly, e.g. in the form of a laboratory internship as part of the lectures or through a student job (Hiwi-Job) at the Institute of Road Engineering. In addition, you can conduct your own experiments in the institute's own laboratory and gain practical experience.
At the Braunschweig Pavement Engineering Center (ISBS), research is being carried out on an innovative system for charging electric taxis in cooperation with the City of Hanover, Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts and other project participants. This project is causing a stir nationwide because it involves a novel technology.
The research idea is also being tested directly in practice. Coils are to be inserted into the asphalt along almost the entire length of a taxi stand at the main railway station in Hanover, through which the electric taxis will be inductively charged during the standstill periods. This leads to an ecological advantage, as the energy from the coils can be drawn directly from the ground and used emission-free to charge the taxis. The task of the Institute of Road Engineering here focuses on the integration of the inductive charging technology into the road structure. For this purpose, employees of the institute and students are developing a sustainable and durable solution for integrating the coils into the asphalt in the institute's laboratory.
As part of their studies in Civil Engineering at the TU Braunschweig, students thus gain an insight into the work of the institutes and can participate directly in innovative projects for sustainability.
Almost every seventh newly registered car now has a battery drive. The share of e-cars is thus steadily increasing. But how can the time-consuming charging at charging stations, which "deters" many people from buying an electric car, and the high battery costs be circumvented? With wireless charging while driving, i.e. without overhead lines that spoil the landscape and pollute the environment. The Institute for Roads is currently researching this in cooperation with Volkswagen and other project partners from industry.
The system is based on inductive energy transmission, as is known, for example, from induction hotplates in the kitchen or from inductive charging of smartphones. Induction coils are integrated into the asphalt roads at a depth of about 10 centimetres and covered with an asphalt surface layer so that the system is not visible to the user. The driver's electric car contains the receiver that transmits the energy to the system's battery.
If this system is effective, so-called e-corridors of 25 kilometres in length can be built at regular intervals on motorways, for example, so that the car's battery is automatically charged while driving and charging at a charging station may no longer be necessary.
Has this topic aroused your interest? Then you can read a report here in which Prof. Michael Wistuba tells the TU Braunschweig magazine about the project in more detail:
Increasing urbanisation and climate change require a rapid change in transport. In terms of sustainable mobility development, an expansion of public transport services is crucial. This should enable the reduction of environmental pollution, the redistribution of road space and the better connection of development sites.
If the tram network is to be expanded accordingly, numerous existing bridges are affected that are not designed for the tram tracks with a special railway body. In the course of a research project, the Institute of Transport, Railway Construction and Operation (IVE) is investigating whether a tram track on bridges with a construction height of about 10 cm is feasible and can be economically maintained. For this purpose, a special construction has to be developed and mathematically proven, taking into account the track/bridge interaction. The special rail profiles and the preferred variant are being tested in the laboratory in cooperation with the Institute for Steel Construction (see Figure 1).
You will get these and other exciting insights into project work at the Institute of Transport, Railway Construction and Operation in all our lectures. In the Bachelor's programme, we look at the basics of track-based transport and public transport for all the important basics. In the Master's programme, you can choose between specialisations such as rail-based transport or transport planning and public transport and select your own core subjects.