Transportation Systems PhD Program

NYU Shanghai, in partnership with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Transportation Systems.
Participating students are enrolled in the NYU Tandon Transportation Systems PhD program, complete their coursework at the NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, and then transition to full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they undertake their doctoral research under the supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty.

Highlights of the Program

  • NYU PhD degree upon graduation
  • Graduate coursework at the NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering in New York
  • Research opportunities with and close mentorship by NYU Shanghai faculty
  • Access to the vast intellectual resources of NYU Tandon School of Engineering and NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering
  • Cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, a thriving community of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, and links with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

  • Zhibin Chen

    Zhibin Chen

    Transportation Network Modeling and Optimization, Transportation Economics, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Emerging Vehicle Technologies

Selected Publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty

  • Miralinaghi, M., Woldemariam, W., Abraham, D. M., Chen, S., Labi, S., & Chen, Z. (2020). Network‐level scheduling of road construction projects considering user and business impacts. Computer‐Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 35(7), 650-667.
  • Zhong, R., Xu, R., Sumalee, A., Ou, S., & Chen, Z. (2020). Pricing Environmental Externality in Traffic Networks Mixed With Fuel Vehicles and Electric Vehicles. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.
  • Li, X., Chen, Z., Zheng, W., & Chang, Y. (2020, March). An Image Dehazing Algorithm Based on the Improved CGAN. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 768, No. 7, p. 072012). IOP Publishing.
  • Chen, Z.*, Spana, S., and Yin, Y., 2019. An Advanced Parking Navigation System for Downtown Parking. Networks and Spatial Economics, 1-16.
  • Chen, Z., Yin, Y., and Song, Z., 2018. A Cost-Competitiveness of Charging Infrastructure for Electric Bus Operations. Transportation Research Part C, 93, 351-366.
  • Chen, Z., Liu, W., and Yin, Y., 2017. Deployment of Stationary and Dynamic Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles along Traffic Corridors. Transportation Research Part C, 77, 185-206.
  • Chen, Z., He, F., Yin, Y., and Du, Y., 2017. Optimal Design of Autonomous Vehicle Zones in Transportation Networks. Transportation Research Part B, 99, 44-61.
  • Chen, Z., He, F., and Yin, Y., 2016. Optimal Deployment of Charging Lanes for Electric Vehicles in Transportation Networks. Transportation Research Part B, 91, 344-365.
  • Chen, Z., He, F., Zhang, L., and Yin, Y., 2016. Optimal Deployment of Autonomous Vehicle Lanes with Endogenous Market Penetration. Transportation Research Part C, 72, 143-156.
  • Chen, Z., Xu, Z., Zangui, M., and Yin, Y., 2016. Analysis of Advanced Management of Curbside Parking. Transportation Research Record, 2567, 57-66. (Ryuichi Kitamura Best Paper Award & Stella Dafermos Best Paper Award)

Selected Faculty and Student Features

"Communicating Science: NYU Shanghai’s First Postdoctoral and Doctoral Research Assembly" (Yuhao Liu)

"NYU Shanghai Launches New Transportation Planning PhD" (Zhibin Chen)


Structure of Program

Participating students complete the PhD degree requirements set by the NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and in accordance with the academic policies of NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Each student develops an individualized course plan in consultation with the Director of Graduate Study at the NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and the student’s NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. Most students will complete their PhD in 4-5 years. A typical sequence follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


Begin program with funded research rotation, up to 3 months preceding first Fall semester, to familiarize with NYU Shanghai and faculty as well as lay a foundation for future doctoral study.

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Pursue PhD coursework at NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering alongside other NYU PhD students.

Summer 2
in Shanghai


Return to Shanghai for second funded research rotation to solidify relationships with NYU Shanghai faculty and make further progress in research.

Year 2 and Onward
in Shanghai


Under supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty advisor, pursue dissertation research and continue coursework. Depending on each student’s individualized course of study, return visits to New York may also occur. Complete all required examinations and progress evaluations, both oral and written, leading up to submission and defense of doctoral thesis.

To learn more about the NYU Transportation Systems PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.


Current Students

Name Research Areas
Yanling Deng Transportation Network Modeling, Vehicle Platooning, Optimal Control
Yilang Hao Intelligent Transportation System, Traffic Modeling, Heuristics to MIP
Zhi Li Machine Learning on Traffic Data
Qingnan Liang Traffic Equilibrium, Congestion Pricing
Yuhao Liu Transportation Systems with Electric Vehicles, Solution Algorithms

Application Process and Dates

Applications are to be submitted through the NYU Tandon Application portal, within which students should select the Transportation Systems PhD as their program of interest. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are set by the NYU Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and are the same as those for all NYU PhD applicants, no matter their campus preference; however, candidates should elaborate in their application and personal statements about their specific interests in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty. 

For admission in Fall 2024, the application deadline is December 1, 2023.


Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Vivien Du, PhD Program Manager, via email at with any inquiries or to request more information.