Faculty/Staff Directory

Christopher Day

  • Assistant Professor
  • Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Main Office

352 Town Engineering
Ames, IA 50011-1066
Phone: (515) 294-3015


  • PhD (Civil Engineering), Purdue University, 2010
  • MS (Civil Engineering), Purdue University, 2007
  • MS (Physics), Ball State University, 2006
  • BS (Physics), Ball State University, 2004

Interest Areas

  • Transportation Operations
  • Performance Measures
  • Traffic Signal Systems
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Connected and Automated Vehicles
  • Data Collection and Instrumentation

Brief Biography

Chris Day is an assistant professor of civil engineering at Iowa State University. He previously worked at Purdue University for nearly seven years as a senior research scientist in the Joint Transportation Research Program. His research background is in transportation operations, with a focus on performance measures for signalized arterials and freeway operations. Automated traffic signal performance measures, a major product of this prior research, has been widely implemented across the US and internationally, and is becoming a standard tool in modern traffic control. Day's current research focuses on further applications of new data sets in operations and analysis, with a particular interest in connected and automated vehicles.

Honors & Awards

  • Exceptional Paper Award, Transportation Research Board Traffic Signal Systems Committee (won six times: 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011, and 2010)
  • Pioneering Innovation Award, 2016, given by Utah Department of Transportation (shared with colleagues at the Joint Transportation Research Program at Purdue University)
  • Purdue University College of Engineering Faculty Award of Excellence, 2015, shared with JTRP colleagues
  • Purdue University Corps of Engagement Award, 2015, shared with JTRP colleagues

Selected Publications

  1. Day, C.M., H. Li, L. Richardson, J. Howard, T. Platte, and D.M. Bullock. Detector-free optimization of traffic signal offset with connected vehicle data. Transportation Research Record, in press, Paper No. 17-00089.
  2. Day, C.M. and D.M. Bullock. Investigation of self-organizing traffic signal control with graphical signal performance measures. Transportation Research Record, in press, Paper No. 17-00094, 2017.
  3. Day, C.M. and D.M. Bullock. Cycle length strategies for a diverging diamond interchange in a signalized arterial. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 142, 04016067, 2016.
  4. Day, C.M. and D.M. Bullock. Opportunities for detector-free signal optimization with limited connected vehicle market penetration: a proof-of-concept study. Transportation Research Record No. 2558, 54-65, 2016.
  5. Lavrenz, S.M., C. Day, J. Grossman, R. Freije, and D.M. Bullock. Use of high-resolution signal controller data to identify red light running. Transportation Research Record No. 2558, 41-53, 2016.
  6. Day, C.M., S.M. Remias, H. Li, M.M. Mekker, M.L. McNamara, E.D. Cox, and D.M. Bullock. Performance ranking of arterial corridors using travel time and travel time reliability metrics. Transportation Research Record No. 2487, 44-54, 2015.
  7. Day, C.M. and D.M. Bullock. Design guidelines and conditions that warrant deploying fully actuated coordination. Transportation Research Record No. 2439, 1-11, 2014.
  8. Day, C.M., J.R. Sturdevant, H. Li, A.M. Hainen, S.M. Remias, and D.M. Bullock. Revisiting the cycle length—lost time question with critical lane analysis. Transportation Research Record No. 2355, 1-9, 2013.
  9. Remias, S.M., A.M. Hainen, C.M. Day, T.M. Brennan, H. Li, E.M. Rivera-Hernandez, J.R. Sturdevant, S.E. Young, and D.M. Bullock. Performance characterization of arterial traffic flow with probe vehicle data. Transportation Research Record No. 2380, 10-21, 2013.
  10. Hainen, A.M., E.M. Rivera, C.M. Day, M. McBride, G. Grimmer, and D.M. Bullock. Roundabout critical headway measurement based on hi-resolution event-based data from wireless magnetometers. Transportation Research Record No. 2389, 51-64, 2013.
  11. Day, C.M., T.M. Brennan, A.M. Hainen, S.M. Remias, H. Premachandra, J.R. Sturdevant, G. Richards, J.S. Wasson, and D.M. Bullock. Reliability, flexibility, and environmental impact of alternative objective functions for arterial offset optimization. Transportation Research Record No. 2259, 8-22, 2011.
  12. Day, C.M. and D.M. Bullock. Computational efficiency of alternative algorithms for arterial offset optimization. Transportation Research Record No. 2259, 37-47, 2011.
  13. Brennan, T.M., C.M. Day, J.R. Sturdevant, and D.M. Bullock. Visual education tools to illustrate coordinated system operation. Transportation Research Record No. 2259, 59-72, 2011.
  14. Day, C.M., R. Haseman, H. Premachandra, T.M. Brennan, J.S. Wasson, J.R. Sturdevant, and D.M. Bullock. Evaluation of arterial signal coordination: methodologies for visualizing high-resolution event data and measuring travel time. Transportation Research Record No. 2192, 37-49, 2010.
  15. Brennan, T.M., C.M. Day, J.R. Sturdevant, E. Raamot, and D.M. Bullock. Track clearance performance measures for railroad preempted intersections. Transportation Research Record No. 2192, 64-76, 2010.
  16. Day, C.M., T.M. Brennan, M.L. Harding, H. Premachandra, A. Jacobs, D.M. Bullock, J.V. Krogmeier, and J.R. Sturdevant. Three dimensional mapping of inductive loop detector sensitivity using field measurement. Transportation Research Record No. 2128, 35-47, 2009.
  17. Day, C.M., E.J. Smaglik, D.M. Bullock, and J.R. Sturdevant. Quantitative evaluation of fully actuated versus non-actuated coordinated phases. Transportation Research Record No. 2080, 8-21, 2008.