Graduate Research Opportunities

The Larson Institute provides a wide variety of opportunities for graduate students to play an active role in sponsored research projects and educational activities. These range from traffic safety and supply chain issues to bridge and roadway infrastructure research projects, to a national stock-to-hybrid vehicle conversion competition. 

Students involved in research and education activities at LTI have represented a broad array of disciplines, from aerospace, architectural, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, and nuclear engineering to economics, public administration, supply chain and information systems, computer science, physics, chemistry, psychology, forest resources, and geography. 

Many LTI alumni are now leaders in their field and can be found in top offices at private sector consulting firms, federal and state transportation agencies, and automotive research and development companies.

Research Areas 

• Traffic Safety 

• Transportation System Operations 

• Bridge, Geotechnical, Materials, and Pavement Infrastructure 

• Advanced Vehicle Technologies 

• Transportation Policy Studies

From Our Students

“ The faculty group, specifically the transportation engineering professors, were very helpful and open, and pushed me to succeed, not only in my courses, but in research and life, too. I did not feel like I was just another student or research assistant to them.” — Jeffrey Gooch, E.I.T. (M.S. 2015/B.S. 2013, Civil Engineering – Transportation), Transportation Safety Engineer, VHB

“ Working at LTI allowed me to gain real-world experience working on national research projects. LTI provided an academic setting where state-of-the-art research meets practical solutions. I have carried this experience forward in my career as a research consultant.” — Frank Gross (M.S. 2003/Ph.D. 2006, Transportation Engineering), Highway Safety Engineer, VHB

“ At LTI, graduate students can participate in funded research projects focused on necessities of the current industry. Being part of a research team has numerous advantages like: being aware of the phases of a project, being in a professional environment, and of course acquiring academic knowledge.” — Marc Serra Bosch (M.S. 2016, Mechanical Engineering), Consultant Engineer, ESI Group

“ LTI provides students a unique opportunity to match academic curiosity with practical applications. Understanding that important linkage at an early age makes professionals who grew up through LTI more highly sought in the work force.” — Jared R. Wright (M.S. 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering), Restoration Engineer, Walker Consultants

For more information about graduate research opportunities, contact Dr. Eric Donnell at:

Larson Transportation Institute
201 Transportation Research Building
University Park, PA 16802-4710
Phone: 814-863-7053




The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute is Penn State’s transportation research center. Since its founding in 1968, the Larson Institute has maintained a threefold mission of research, education, and service. The Institute brings together top faculty, world-class facilities and enterprising students from across the University in partnership with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related problems.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710