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Senior Research Engineer, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University

Dr. Carlson is a Research Engineer at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), a member of The Texas A&M University System. He is the Division Head of the Traffic Operations and Roadway Safety Division, where he is responsible for leading a research program broadly focused on safety, design, and operations. He coordinates the state traffic safety and design research, promotes national research initiatives, facilitates sponsor interaction, and manages a number of research projects.

Dr. Carlson leads TTI's Visibility Research Laboratory located in TTI's State Headquarters and Research Building. This facility has been used to test new materials for traffic signs and pavement markings. TTI has also used the facility to develop and test their mobile luminance measurement system. The laboratory's equipment will measure the photometric properties of traffic control devices and lights to ensure safe travel for nighttime drivers.

Dr. Carlson's primary areas of interest are traffic engineering, highway safety, vision science, traffic control devices, geometric design, and human factors. Paul enjoys finding innovative solutions to solve transportation problems using advanced technologies. Paul has been a principal or co-principal investigator for numerous research studies dealing with topics such as traffic sign and pavement marking retroreflectivity, highway safety, nighttime driver visibility needs, centerline and edgeline rumble strips, traffic signal warrants, and operational effects of geometric design. Paul serves on many technical committees such as ASTM, TRB, NCUTCD, CIE, ITE, and others.

Paul holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering from The Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, both in Civil Engineering, from The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA). Paul is also a licensed Engineer in Texas (85402). Before joining TTI in 1995, Paul worked as a transportation researcher at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute.


  • –present
    Senior Research Engineer, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University