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MPC Region Info
North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University (NDSU) is a student-focused, land-grant, research university. NDSU, via its Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI), is the lead university in the MPC and the UGPTI is the focal point for most MPC activity on Campus. The UGPTI is an interdisciplinary center, providing innovative transportation research, education and outreach that promote the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. The UGPTI was created in 1967 at NDSU by the North Dakota Legislature. It now has an annual budget of about $10 million. Approximately 50 staff are located at three locations: NDSU in Fargo, Bismarck and Lakewood, CO. The UGPTI also employs about 50 graduate and undergraduate students. Areas of staff expertise include, infrastructure modeling and needs analysis, rural and small urban transit, traffic analysis, Intelligent Transportation Systems, agricultural and freight logistics, low-power sensing, wireless communications, mobile computing, rural transportation and safety, and software and database systems in support of commercial vehicle inspection and enforcement. UGPTI is also home to the ND Local Technical Assistance Program, an outreach program facilitating the exchange of transportation technology among local units of government.

The UGPTI coordinates the NDSU multidisciplinary program of course work and experiential learning that prepares professionals for careers in transportation and logistics. Options include: doctorate in transportation & logistics, master of managerial logistics, master of transportation and urban systems, and the transportation leadership graduate certificate.

Research Project

Knowledge-Based Machine Learning for Freeway COVID-19 Traffic... (2021)

Project Description

Final Report

Development of Models for the Prediction of Shear Strength of... (Dec 2019)

More Info | Research Brief

News Article

Transportation Scholarships Awarded at NDSU (Feb 2021)

Full Article


Meet Our Researchers (View More Bios)

University Labs / Resources

  • Traffic modeling is a key strength for UGPTI. Staff developed detailed rural road traffic models to estimate traffic volumes on North Dakota's road network. Staff use the models to estimate the impact to state, county and local roads due to oil development in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana. In addition, changing agricultural production and marketing practices and their impacts on North Dakota's road network are being analyzed.
  • The Advanced Traffic Analysis Center (ATAC) enhances transportation systems in small to medium-size cities by using advanced traffic analysis and Intelligent Transportation Systems to improve safety and mobility. Additional work involves traffic operations and travel demand modeling.
  • The Agriculture & Freight Center improves the competitive position of producers and businesses in the region through reliable, safe/secure, and cost effective freight transportation. Industry experts are engaged in an ongoing program of research, including economic analyses, transportation planning and network modeling, along with outreach.
  • The Center for Surface Mobility Applications and Real-time Simulation environments (SMARTSe) applies advancements in low-power sensing, wireless communications, and mobile computing to demonstrate leaps in multi-modal and intermodal transportation system efficiencies, responsiveness, reliability, sustainability, safety, and security. Agricultural, industrial and residential settings provide real-world test beds for SMARTSe research and development.
  • The Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center (RTSSC) promotes and enhances the region's transportation safety and security in a partnership with stakeholders. It is a collaborative effort between UGPTI and the NDDOT with funding from the Federal Highway Administration.
  • The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) provides workforce development for transit stakeholders, users, providers, suppliers and agencies by facilitating information exchange and training on technology and enhanced management and operations. Research focuses on transit coordination, ITS applications and mobility planning.
  • The Transportation Learning Network (TLN) is a workforce training initiative linking the transportation departments in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming and the MPC universities. TLN provides workforce training and development primarily in transportation engineering by using technology to enhance technical skills, communication, education, professional development, technology transfer and research.

University Facts

  • Enrollment: more than 14,500 students from 47 states and 79 countries
  • Offers 100 undergraduate majors, 86 master's degrees and 50 doctoral degrees
  • Home of the Lawrence Welk musical arrangement and memorabilia collection
  • Listed in the National Science Foundation's top 100 in several areas, including agricultural sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, chemistry, psychology and computer sciences

Related Departments

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050