He begins his appointment as Professor in September 2014. Liu also has an appointment with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
Liu’s research is in the areas of traffic network monitoring, modeling and control. His recent work has focused on traffic flow modeling and simulation, traffic signal control and optimization, traffic management under network disruptions and equilibrium traffic assignment.
Liu is the co-founder and chairman of the advisory board for SMART Signal Technologies. The SMART Signal (Systematic Monitoring of Arterial Road Traffic Signals) is a real-time arterial performance monitoring system that uses traffic data from existing signal systems.
SMART Signal simultaneously collects event-based high-resolution traffic data from multiple intersections and generates real-time signal performance measures, including arterial travel time, number of stops, queue length, intersection delay and level of service.
“Traffic engineers can use this information to improve traffic flow on roads controlled by traffic lights—reducing congestion and saving drivers both time and fuel. SMART Signal could also give drivers a more accurate prediction of travel times by accounting for time spent waiting at traffic lights,” states the University of Minnesota Intelligent Transportation Systems website.
The system is now deployed at more than 100 intersections on major arterial corridors in Minnesota and Pasadena, California. Arterial corridors are roads where many cars can move from urban centers to high-capacity freeways.
Liu and his fellow researchers behind the SMART signal earned the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies Research Partnership Award in 2009. Other honors for Liu include the 2007 Young Engineer of the Year award from the Twin Cities section IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).
Liu earned his PhD degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his BS degree in Automotive Engineering from Tsinghua University in China. He joins the University of Michigan after several years with the University of Minnesota, first as an assistant professor in 2005 and then an associate professor in 2011.
Liu is currently an associate editor for Network and Spatial Economics, Transportmetrica Part B and overview papers for Transportation Research Part C. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems and IET Intelligent Transportation Systems Journal.
Current research projects include “Develop Annual Arterial Congestion Report for MDOT Metro Area” and “Automatic Generation of Traffic Signal Timing Plan.”
CEE is looking forward to working with Liu and expanding U-M’s presence in traffic research.