In front of the Templo de la Salud, San Miguel de Allende

Students collecting data at Glorieta Cervantina

At Teotihuacan, in front of the Pyramid of Moon

Working together with students from University of Guanajuato

Transportation Challenges

Location of Program: Mexico      Year: 2014
Program Director(s): Dr. Mitsuru Saito
Participating Major(s): Civil & Environmental Engineering


In this program students work with students and faculty from partnering institutions in Mexico to solve transportation problems existing in the communities where partnering institutions are located, by applying knowledge and skills they acquired in transportation courses they have taken at BYU. The program helps students develop team work and leadership skills in a global work environment. They begin collaboration through the Internet to prepare for the trip. While in Mexico they collect data, prepare alternative improvements, and create models necessary for in-depth analysis after returning. Through communication with their counterparts, they complete the analysis, prepare a final report and present their work through video conference.

Recap of the Year:

This year six BYU students and four students from the University of Guanajuato participated in the program. We were able to work on two projects. Students were assigned to two projects. All BYU students have taken CEEn 361 Introduction to Transportation Engineering while four BYU students have already taken CEEn 562 Traffic Engineering. These four students have used the simulation software in CEEn 562 that is needed for creating simulation models for the projects.

We worked on congestion issues at two Glorietas (Mexican roundabouts) called Marfil and Cervantina. The access to the City of Guanajuato through the Glorieta Marfil was improved by a new route that will by-pass the circle portion of the glorieta but the increased demand in the direction to Guanajuato from the new route surged and created severe congestion and the local government official wanted to know the level of congestion there. We videotaped the glorieta through the morning peak period and pinpointed the source of congestion and provided two alternative measures to reduce congestion on the approach. The glorieta has three major trip attractions (or generations) which are a government office, a shopping mall and a preschool. Congestion happens in early afternoon when the pre-school ends. The government office has constant traffic incoming and outgoing to and from the office’s parking lot and their access is not well placed. Also, there is a bus stop inside the glorieta, at which buses frequently stop. Some buses will come through the nearby tunnel, go around the glorieta, stop at the bus stop and head back to the tunnel. These buses will do this routine for the next three years while the construction work in downtown Guanajuato continues. Students went to the field to observe the congestion condition, collected data, created simulation models and developed alternatives that could potentially reduce the congestion levels at these glorieta.

Students also went to San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City and visited many museums, including the Diego Rivera Museum in Guanajuato and the National Place in Mexico City where they saw Diego Rivera’s famous murals, Metropolitan Cathedral, Museum of Templo Mayor (all in the Zócalo district of Mexico City) and the National Anthropological Museum.  They also visited Xochimilco, where the ancient canal system is still preserved and enjoyed a relaxing boat ride before heading back to the airport.

This trip is a work trip where students collaborate to solve real transportation problems to improve the life of the residents in the communities where study sites are located. After returning back from the trip, students will further analyze the congestion situations and create technical reports and posters both in English and Spanish. The program creates a website which presents all the work that has been done through this program.

The website is found at:

In the office


Nikra Centeno CampsCivil Engineering (Grad)
David ChangCivil Engineering (Undergrad)
Daniel JeanCivil Engineering (Undergrad)
Travis MeservyCivil Engineering (Undergrad)
Greg SanchezCivil Engineering (Undergrad)
Yue ShenCivil Engineering (Undergrad)