Scientific subdiscipline TRANSPORT

The TRANSPORT scientific subdiscipline is a part of the CIVIL ENGINEERING AND TRANSPORT scientific discipline

In the research sense, TRANSPORT is an interdisciplinary science dealing with technical, organizational, and economic aspects of the planned movement of people and loads.

The TRANSPORT subdiscipline is a part of the engineering and technical sciences covering socially organized research efforts on the multifaceted problems of the people and loads movement and applying the results in practice.

The TRANSPORT scientific discipline was formed in the seventies of the last century. It was directly related to the establishment of the Transport Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Subject and scope of research

The research carried under the TRANSPORT subdiscipline – transport sciences combines various problems of multifaceted and interdisciplinary nature. The elements connecting the TRANSPORT subdiscipline with other disciplines, in addition to substantive relationships, are common standards, research methodology, and the intended use of research results.

Systems theory, which developed dynamically in the middle of the last century, provided new research methods for the TRANSPORT discipline, which allowed for introducing the concept of transport systems. The terminology has also been enriched with the system, model, process, input and output information, disturbances, etc. At that time, the TRANSPORT discipline was defined as a science dealing with space and time-dependent transport systems that perform people and cargo movement processes, leading to safe, effective, and timely implementation of transport tasks.

New research areas have emerged, such as designing and optimizing communication systems and their infrastructure (land, water, or air mode) and the entire area of safety requirements.

Solving the problems of cooperation and synchronization of transport processes in real conditions and considering the implementation of transport tasks in a specific order and time, transport in logistics began to develop as one of the pragmatic trends in logistics.

In the practical functioning of transport systems, controlling transport processes and related information flows became important—this forced transport-related research efforts in telecommunications and then telematics.

The second half of the 20th century is the development of means of transport that meet the three basic needs of users, i.e., increased speed, travel comfort and safety. Implementing these requirements resulted in the necessity to research such areas as diagnostics and monitoring of the technical condition of vehicles and infrastructure, hazard analysis and risk assessment in transport systems.

Factors such as efficiency and costs play an important role in developing technology and technics at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. In the TRANSPORT discipline, this is reflected by the scientific area of transport economics.

Another issue is the functioning of human as a participant of transport processes. Human is the executor and user of this process. The analysis of causes of various hazardous events or accidents revealed that the human being is not a strong link in the implementation of the transport process, and human’s various psychomotor abilities are important in its course. These problems create new research areas that require constant updating due to the rapid pace of technics and technology development.

To conclude, the research subjects in the TRANSPORT subdiscipline are as follows:

  • transport systems and processes related to the movement of people and loads,

  • infrastructure of transport systems,

  • technical means of transport,

  • traffic control systems,

  • information flow control systems,

  • systems for monitoring and controlling the course of transport processes,

  • research methods and methodologies specific to implement in the field of transport,

  • safety and reliability of transport systems,

  • implementers and participants of transport processes.

For each generally formulated subject of research, several sub-issues can be listed. Solving these issues cannot be done without scientific research carried out in real or laboratory conditions using simulation methods based on computer equipment and techniques.

Objectives of studies

TRANSPORT has been classified as a field of technical sciences because scientific research methods are necessary to improve the processes of moving people and loads.

The core of the TRANSPORT subdiscipline consists of studies on:

  • theoretical basis and research methodology in the field of transport,

  • development of solutions in transport infrastructure, means of transport, transport technologies, traffic control, logistics in transport, information exchange and processing, safety and economics,

  • development of innovative solutions in transport,

  • decision-making in transport processes,

  • transport policy in short and long-time horizons,

  • compatibility of the national transport system with the transport systems of neighboring countries and the EU.

At the same time, it is important to formulate recommendations, assess the current transport situation, and provide substantive analyzes of planned transport development projects undertaken by the authorities.

Scientific specialties of the TRANSPORT subdiscipline

The scientific specialties listed below are permanently practiced by the researchers of the TRANSPORT subdiscipline working in a specific subject covering a narrower fragment of reality and requiring specific research methods.

Scientific specialties:

  • Transport infrastructure

  • Technical means of transport

  • Modeling of transport processes

  • Organization of transport

  • Traffic engineering

  • Traffic control

  • Traction and power

  • Operation and technical diagnostics in transport

  • Transport in logistics

  • Internal transport and warehousing

  • Navigation

  • Telecommunications (telematics)

  • Intelligent Transport Systems ITS

  • Transport safety

  • Economics of transport

Relationships with other disciplines

Before the discipline was established, transport was perceived primarily as a part of the economy, and research for transport was classified in other disciplines of that time, such as Construction and operation of machines, Electrical engineering, Construction or Geodesy and cartography. Along with the development of transport, research was supplemented by the content of other disciplines.

In the current classification of the scientific fields and disciplines, TRANSPORT is related to many other disciplines.

  • in the field of engineering and technical sciences: architecture and urban planning; automatics, electronics and electrical engineering; technical informatics and telecommunications; mechanical engineering; environmental engineering, mining and energy, and - within a common discipline - civil engineering and geodesy and cartography,

  • in the field of social sciences: security sciences; management and quality sciences; legal science,

  • in the field of exact and natural sciences: mathematics; chemical sciences; physical science.

These relationships emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of the TRANSPORT scientific subdiscipline.