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2014 Delaware Valley Hall of Fame Inductee: Vukan R. Vuchic, PhD

Vukan VuchicThe Delaware Valley Engineering Hall of Fame is comprised of individuals, teams, projects and companies whose engineering achievements have had a lasting impact on the profession and/or the public.  The Delaware Valley Engineers Week Committee of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia is proud to induct  Vukan R. Vuchic, Ph.D., into the Delaware Valley Engineering Hall of Fame for his outstanding accomplishments and service, both close to home and worldwide.

An internationally recognized authority on transportation engineering, Dr. Vuchic boasts a distinguished, 43-year teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania.  He’s authored countless books, articles and technical papers on the topic of transportation systems, and has served as a consultant on planning, design and operations of transportation systems to transit and planning agencies worldwide.  Through these personal contributions, and via the hundreds of students and officials he’s instructed and inspired, Dr. Vuchic has made the Delaware Valley and other urban hubs around the world more livable and more sustainable for generations to come.

Degrees of Engineering
Vuchic was born and raised in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and earned his Dipl.-Ing. degree at the University of Belgrade in 1960.  He emigrated to the United States in 1961 to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned a Masters in Engineering in 1965 and a Ph.D. in 1966.  

Dr. Vuchic joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1967 and today is Emeritus UPS Foundation Professor of Transportation Systems Engineering and Professor of City and Regional Planning at Penn.  He also holds an “Honoris Causa” [honorary Doctorate Degree] from CNAM University, Paris, awarded in 2011.

Always Moving
Dr. Vuchic’s research interests lie in the arena of transportation systems, especially with regard to urban and urban public transportation, highway transportation, transportation networks, and railroad systems.

He’s examined urban transportation systems technology, operations, planning and economics; the definitions of transportation systems components and their modeling; and the interrelationship of cities and transportation with respect to urban planning, livability and sustainability; and has supported development of high-speed ground transportation (HSGT).

Locally, Dr. Vuchic has worked with SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia as an advisor on major transportation projects and activities, including the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Long-Range Plans in the late 1960s/early 1970s; the redesign of I-476 in the mid-1970’s to mitigate its environmental impact and make it more context-sensitive; and ongoing work and efforts to develop a “Transit First” initiative to enhance transit operation and permit priority movement of transit vehicles in mixed traffic.  He developed the SEPTA Regional Rail plan to coordinate operations through the Center City Commuter Rail Connection, which created the “R” routes that were in effect from the opening of the Connection in 1984 until SEPTA revised the Regional Rail system and its route designations in 2010.

Getting Lectured
Over the course of a 43-year teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Vuchic taught courses in Transportation Systems Engineering, Design of Transportation Systems and Facilities, Transit Systems and Technology, Cities and Transportation, and Senior Design Projects in Systems Engineering.  

Outside of Penn, Dr. Vuchic has presented lectures and short courses at over 100  universities around the world, including: University of Alberta-Edmonton, Canada; University of Belgrade; University of California, Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon University; University of Kobe; University of Lisbon; MIT; TU München; Princeton University; Universidad de Rio de Janeiro; Universita di Roma; Universidad de Sao Paolo, Brazil; Universidad Simon Bolivar – Caracas; Universitait van Stellenbosch – RSA; Tokyo University; ETH Zürich; and others.  

What’s more, he’s lectured in Departments of Transportation in the United States, Argentina and South Africa, and has provided training for transit and planning agencies in Brisbane, Hamburg, London, Lisbon, Tokyo, Baltimore, New York, and Istanbul.   Dr. Vuchic has shared testimony before U.S. Congressional committees and the Conference of Mayors.  

Dr. Vuchic has authored five books and roughly 120 articles, published in countries all over the world, as well as penning nearly 30 technical reports on various transportation-related topics.  He has presented papers and sessions for meetings of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, International Union of Public Transport, ORSA/INFORMS, Regional Science Association and the Transportation Research Board.  

Leaving a Legacy
Dr. Vuchic’s fine work to advance transportation systems and improve urban livability is carried on via Penn’s Transportation Systems Engineering Alumni Club (TSEAC).  Made up of Presidents and CEOs of regional and international transportation firms; government officials at federal, state and local levels in the U.S. and abroad; and professors and researchers at various institutions of higher learning, the organization has proven incredibly influential throughout the Delaware Valley.

TSEAC founded and permanently endowed an undergraduate scholarship in Dr. Vuchic’s honor.  The Professor Vukan R. Vuchic Scholarship has been awarded every year since its inception to an undergraduate student at Penn who is pursuing studies in transportation engineering or fields related to Dr. Vuchic’s work. 

Dr. Vuchic resides in Swarthmore, Pa. with his wife.