Transportation Engineering and its social importance

Hallerbachtal BridgeTransportation Engineering play an important role at the foundations of our society. Mobility gives each individual the opportunity to participate in and benefit from education, work and leisure activity. As people's expectations and demands have risen with regard to their homes, work, hobbies and leisure, public and private passenger transport have increased dramatically. Germany's central location in Europe has made it a major transport region. The combined impact of EU enlargement, globalization and an economy characterized by ever greater specialization and division of labor means that passenger and goods transportation are set to increase further in the future. Mobility for the individual is vital to freedom, growth and prosperity, but the phenomenon of mass transport is the source of major problems for society and the environment, which can only be tackled with innovative engineering and methods.

From traditional education ...

Corner of Rebenring and Mühlenpfordtstraße in BraunschweigThe customary path to becoming a "transportation engineer" was via civil engineering, which covers methods of planning, building and operating transportation infrastructure, i.e. the transportation routes, or via mechanical engineering and its methods of planning, building and operating vehicles. Modern traffic management methods, comprising the areas traffic information and traffic control, combine elements of the transportation infrastructure (e.g. in the detection of traffic conditions) and of the vehicles (e.g. navigation) and have only become possible thanks to advances in traffic telematics, i.e. in telecommunications and computer science. In addition to this, transportation engineers have to fulfill a more formidable set of requirements than ever before, due to factors such as the increasing privatization and market-driven focus of formerly state-run institutions and the increasing level of technology employed in transportation, which have led to information and communication services set up primarily by private business.

... to modern education of transportation engineers ...

Synchronized traffic lights in BraunschweigThe need to develop new and improved methods and techniques to solve future transportation problems presents transportation engineers with new advanced challenges and their training must reflect these. This clearly calls for a suitable combination of relevant elements from the field of transportation as covered in the civil engineering degree with automotive and systems engineering from the mechanical engineering degree; information and communications engineering from the electrical engineering degree; plus elements of computer science, social sciences and business studies including logistics. The transportation engineer of the future must possess at least fundamental skills in all of these areas (Bachelor degree) before going on to specialize in a certain subject area in accordance with his or her abilities (Master degree). The interdisciplinary degree programme Transportation Engineering at the TU Braunschweig is the first undergraduate programme with a bachelor/master structure at a German university that encompasses the field of transportation in its entire breadth.

... to the center of transportation expertise of Braunschweig

Main building of the TU in Pockelsstraße, BraunschweigThere can be no better location for the establishment of an interdisciplinary degree programme for Transportation Engineering than the TU Braunschweig. The transportation sector features heavily both in local business in the Braunschweig region, with the major presence of transport-related industries (e.g. Volkswagen AG, Siemens Transportation Systems, Alstom) and in public institutions (e.g. the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (LBA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Braunschweig Research Airport). A large section of the region's population works in the transportation sector and Braunschweig is regarded as a center of transportation expertise. The establishment of the Transportation Engineering degree is an example of how the TU Braunschweig is focusing on the local economy and society in its strategic planning objectives.

The introduction of this new programme of study also raises the prospect of greater collaboration in research between departments and industry in and beyond the Braunschweig region.


The mobility sector is one of the largest employers in developed economies. Transportation-related training within traditional engineering and business degree programmes naturally only covers narrow sections of the transportation field. As transportation systems become increasingly interlinked and complex, a growing need has arisen for transportation specialists with an interdisciplinary background who are equipped with both an understanding of transportation processes in a multitude of systems and in-depth specialist knowledge in individual fields. The Bachelor/Master degree programme in Transportation Engineering offers precisely this profile.

The Bachelor degree programme provides a sound foundation in the fields of planning, production, inspection and operation and covers the transportation systems: road transport, rail transport, inland navigation and aviation. B.Sc. graduates have the ability to successfully carry out tasks in transportation-related fields, working under the supervision of experienced professionals. The bachelor's degree is especially suitable for graduates moving into employment with large companies in the transportation industry, where employees can build on their existing skills through in-house training programmes that provide specialist training in the company's field of activity.

In the Master degree programme, students choose a suitable combination of elective modules according to their personal interests to specialize either in a certain field of work (e.g. the profession transport planner, with a combination of modules in the field of planning for a number of types of transport) or in a chosen type of transport (e.g. the profession railway engineer, with a combination of rail-related modules in various fields). The master's degree is an advanced engineering qualification showing specialist knowledge and thus giving graduates access to challenging specialist and management positions. The Master degree also provides students with a high aptitude and interest in research with the necessary qualification for admission to a PhD programme.

As the transportation sector encompasses an extraordinary range of activities, a wide variety of occupations are open to graduates of the Bachelor/Master degree programme Transportation Engineering, especially with the following employers:

  • engineering and transportation planning companies
  • freight forwarders and logistics companies
  • rail transport companies
  • public transport companies
  • transport associations
  • rail infrastructure companies
  • airport and port operators
  • road authorities
  • technical inspection agencies (e.g. Federal Railway Authority (EBA), Federal Civil Aviation Authority (LBA))
  • regulatory authorities for transportation infrastructure (e.g. Federal Network Agency)
  • transportation departments in local, regional and federal authorities
  • the railway industry
  • the automotive industry
  • scientific institutes
  • consulting companies in the transportation sector


  last changed 20.06.2019
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