Prof. Dr. Jörg Schönharting | Transportation Research and Consulting

Personal Details

Professor Schönharting (eme.) graduated from the Technical Universities of Stuttgart and Aachen in 1966. In 1970, he received his Ph.D. at the Technical University of Vienna. He worked for 21 years as a consultant engineer, first in Vienna, later as partner and managing director of Steierwald Schönharting and Partner GmbH (today SSP Consult, Beratende Ingenieure GmbH). Then he moved to academia with a central focus on traffic planning and traffic technology as well as the design of traffic facilities for road and rail traffic. In 1996, he was appointed as a full professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Essen to hold the chair of Traffic System and Traffic Construction.


Within the scope of the lectures, the field of Traffic System and Traffic Construction treats both traffic carriers road and rail with its essential bases with high priority. The course "transport telematics" exhibits a specific feature, it makes the promising field of information systems and communication systems in the transportation accessible. In the beginning of 2004, the field on the initiative has furnished as a leader Institute the master study on the job "Public Transport Management (PTM)" for public traffic enterprises. PTM is the first, and by now, only study program that offers a continuing education with a university master’s degree for the middle and higher management of transport companies, task makers and consulting firms. Furthermore an important aspect is the integration of the traffic carriers. The main issues in this context were the rail freight and the linking of taxis transport with public transport.


In addition to the traditional tasks such as planning, assessment and the construction of traffic route count Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) to the major research areas of the chair traffic system and traffic construction. The aim of the work of Professor Schönharting is to achieve an economic, ecological and safe traffic flow on the street and rail traffic routes. An example is the project "smart way" from Japan, in which science, industry and government the first time reflected in teamwork on the best traffic flows.
Key approaches of implementation are the application of driver assistance systems, the communication between the vehicle and road infrastructure, and between vehicles themselves. "We use available basic technologies like On-Board-Units, GPS or traffic central computers, link them up and are thus able to give individual route recommendations to every road user, regardless whether cyclists, motorists, bus or train users." says Professor Schönharting. Data on congestion, bus and train delays or wrong drivers should be transferred in real time. Professor Schönharting considers this as the problem of the "standardization of all equipment and information."
Equally innovative is also the project Noise Mapping, which is part of the EU-dedicated plan to implement the new noise-guidelines aimed at a significant reduction in the cities of Europe.
Another research field of the chair is the energy issue. Along with international scientists Prof. Schönharting developed an ideal-typical, energy efficient structure for the case of the mega-city Shanghai, which considers both the energy consumption of people and vehicles as well as buildings.
With the system Aurelia the team of Professor Schönharting has developed a new system concept for the individualized driver-less freight traffic on the rail. Other projects deal with the optimization of traffic situation reports in the jam-test Rhine-Ruhr region and the integration of traffic control inside and outside of cities.
Prof. Schönharting is a member of the Engineer Chamber of Baden-Württemberg, the Research Society for roads and transport (FGSV), the VDI and the group of railway professors in Germany. Internationally he is involved in EU-research projects and is active as an EU-Evaluator.
His publications in books and journals are numerous. These include the contribution "Environmental costs by traffic – possibilities and limitation of traffic manipulation", VDI research reports in 1998. In addition, Prof. Schönharting took part of the scientific accompanying investigations to the land traffic program “Rhineland-Palatinate 2000”, the mobility-related monographs "Mobility of and accident risks for children" and "Mobility in childhood".