University of Texas at El Paso
Welcome ! Bienvenidos !    

Welcome Message

Welcome to the virtual gateway of the Border Intermodal Gateway (BIG) Transportation Lab in the Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at El Paso.  Our lab is also part of the Center for Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CTIS), a university level research center.

The BIG Transportation Lab was established in 2006 to conduct research related to transportation in the U.S.-Mexican border metropolitan area and of national and international significance.  Our interests include all modes of transportation (private vehicles, commercial vehicles, public transportation, pedestrians and air) and their intermodal connections. Our research expertise includes, but not limited to transportation planning, traffic simulation, traffic operations and management, Intelligent transportation systems (ITS), transportation logistics, emergency service operations and transportation security.  In short, we study everything that moves!

We have devised a unique research program that complements the undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs in the Department of Civil Engineering, and in some cases students in other disciplines.  Our students come from U.S., Mexico, China, India, Bangladesh, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Iran, Brazil, Turkey and other countries.  In the BIG Transportation Lab, undergraduates are appointed as research assistants, working hand-in-hand with graduate (master) and PhD students.  This research opportunity enhances their education experience, and exposes them to scholarships at the master and PhD levels.  At the same time, master and PhD students gain experience in guiding and mentoring undergraduate students.  We also involve all students in developing project proposals and final reports.  We actively seek students from the surrounding region, as well as international students, and groom them to be the next generation of engineers and researchers with global outlook.

Our research projects are supported by the Texas Depart. of Transportation (TxDOT), El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, Texas Transportation Institute, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Dept. of Transportation (USDOT), U.S. Dept. of Education and other city, state and national agencies.  BIG Transportation Lab now houses two USDOT Tier 1 University Transportation Centers from 2016 to 2022: Center for Connected Cities for Smart Mobilities towards Accessible & Resilient Transportation (C2SMART), and Center for Transportation, Environment & Community  Health.  

Please take time to browse through our web site.  If you have any question about our activities, please feel free to contact me at

Kelvin Cheu, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, SM.IEEE

Professor of Civil Engineering