John Shaw


Researcher, CTRE





Affiliate Researcher, Center for Transportation Research and Education


InTrans, CTRE

About John

John Shaw is a civil engineer, community planner, and researcher who brings a practitioner’s eye to research, and a researcher’s eye to practice. He received a BS in Civil Engineering (1988) and Master of Urban Planning (1990) from the University of Michigan.

Shaw began his professional career as a System Engineer for the fully-automated passenger rail system at O’Hare International Airport. He subsequently worked for 18 years at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, where his responsibilities included oversight of traffic analysis and simulation modeling for the Statewide Traffic Operations Center, management of the traffic data collection program for the state’s largest metropolitan area, and oversight of transportation funding assistance to state and local governments.

After joining the University of Wisconsin Traffic Operations & Safety Laboratory in 2011, Shaw developed guidelines for managing traffic incidents in roadway work zones and engineering design guidance for work zone lighting, pedestrian and bicyclist accommodation in work zones, and appropriate use of traffic barriers. Shaw has designed and instructed work zone analysis courses and conducted research on the use of Bluetooth technologies for traffic data collection. He was the lead author of NCHRP Synthesis 482, Work Zone Speed Management.

Since joining the Iowa State University staff in 2017, Shaw has been developing work zone design and training materials for FHWA, preparing a Rural Transportation Research Roadmap for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and conducting research on motor vehicle crashes involving railway level crossing signal apparatus. He also served as Local Road Safety Liaison to disseminate information about methods for improving safety on county and municipal roadways. Shaw has published on methods for calibrating and validating traffic models, bicyclist and pedestrian safety in work zones, highway safety, and performance evaluation for public transport systems. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin.


  • MS, Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1990 
  • BSE-Civil Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1988 

Professional Experience

  • Researcher & Local Road Safety Liaison, Iowa State University CTRE/LTAP, 2017–present 
  • Researcher, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2011-2017
  • Transportation Analysis & Data Management Program Leader, Wisconsin DOT, 2006-2011
  • Data & Analysis Supervisor, Wisconsin DOT, 2000-2006
  • Civil Engineer – Local Transportation Programs, Wisconsin DOT, 1993-2000
  • System Engineer – O’Hare Automated Transit System, Matra Transit, Inc., 1991-1993 

Selected Research Projects

  • FHWA Work Zone Design Guides and Training: 
  • Pedestrian & Bicycle Accommodations in Highway Work Zones 
  • Lighting Design for Night Work Zones 
  • Positive Protection (Barrier) Systems for Work Zones
  • Traffic Incident Management in Work Zones
  • NCHRP Synthesis of Practice 482, Work Zone Speed Management
  • Wisconsin DOT Microsimulation Modeling Guidelines
  • Wisconsin DOT Economic Analysis Guidelines 

Selected Publications

  • Shaw, J. and C. Muir (2017). A Tale of Two States: Strategic Highway Safety Planning, Vision Zero and the Safe System Approach in Wisconsin and Victoria. 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. 
  • Shaw, J., C. Muir, I.R. Johnston and D. Noyce (2016). “Developing Australia’s Highway Safety Professionals: What Can the United States Learn?” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 
  • Yu, J., X. Li, J. Shaw, Y. Wang, and Y. Liu (In Press). “A Bootstrap Super Data Envelopment Analysis Method to Evaluate Route-Level Transit Operational Efficiency.” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. 
  • Shaw, J., M. Chitturi, Y. Han, W. Bremer and D. Noyce (2016). Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety in Work Zones: Recent Advances and Future Directions. 95th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.
  • Shaw, J., M. Chitturi, W. Bremer and D. Noyce (2015). NCHRP Synthesis 482: Work Zone Speed Management. Washington, DC, National Cooperative Highway Research Program.
  • Shaw, J., T. Klockzeim and D. Noyce (2015). Overview of State DOT Online Work Zone Safety Public Service Announcements. 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.
  • Shaw, J., and Cavanaugh J. for Wisconsin DOT (2001). A Comprehensive View of Transportation: Better for Everyone. 

Affiliations, Honors, and Service

  • Member of TRB Transportation Systems Simulation Manual (TSSM) Task Force  
  • Wisconsin registered Professional Engineer #38605-6 
  • Wisconsin DOT Employee Recognition Awards (2003 & 2005)