Xiang Liu

Assistant Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Office:RWH 428D
Website: xiangliu.rutgers.edu

Dr. Xiang Liu’s research aims to improve the safety, efficiency and resiliency of transportation systems, with a current focus on railroad. He and his students endeavor to advance the state of the art in four inter-related areas: 1) Transportation Accident Analysis and Prevention; 2) Risk Analysis of Chemical Logistics; 3) Optimization of Infrastructure Management; and 4) Transportation Data Analytics. These research thrusts collectively provide opportunities to better understand how transportation systems are affected by natural or man-made hazards, so as to develop solutions to enhance the system’s robustness and resilience. In addition to his own research, Dr. Liu aims to promote rail-related education and multi-disciplinary research collaboration at Rutgers University, to serve the industry’s acute need in terms of high-quality research and well-rounded young professionals. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and B.S. from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China.


  • Ph.D. Transportation Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, December 2013
  • M.S. Transportation Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2011
  • B.S. Transportation Engineering (Maritime and Port Operations), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, May 2008



  • Transportation Research Board (TRB) Hazardous Materials Transportation (AT040) Committee Outstanding Contribution Award, 2016
  • International Society for Risk Analysis Travel Grant for Attending the World Congress on Risk, 2015
  • Best Young Member Paper Award, Rail Operational Safety Committee (AR070), Transportation Research Board of U.S. National Research Council, 2014
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference Scholarship, 2013
  • Society for Risk Analysis – Risk, Law & Policy Merit Award, 2013
  • American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association Educational Foundation Scholarship, 2013
  • Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting Travel Award, 2013
  • U.S. DOT Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship, 2012
  • Society for Risk Analysis International Travel Award, 2012
  • American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association Committee 12 Rail Transit Scholarship, 2010
  • American Association of Railroad Superintendents Frank J. Richter Scholarship, 2010

Professional Affiliations

  • Transportation Research Board (TRB) Railroad Operational Safety Committee
  • American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

Research Interests

  • Transportation Safety and Accident Analysis: advanced statistical methods and applications to rail, highway and maritime transportation
  • Risk Analysis of Chemical Transportation: risk assessment of chemical release accidents; cost-effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies
  • Risk-Based Infrastructure Management: data-driven infrastructure degradation models; optimal inspection and maintenance schedules to reduce life cycle cost
  • Transportation Data Analytics: use of big data analytics in transportation engineering, data mining, visualization

Selected Publications

  • Liu, X., Dick. C.T. (2016). Risk-based optimization of rail defect inspection frequency for petroleum crude oil transportation. Transportation Research Record (Accepted for Early Publication).
  • Liu, X., Hong, Y. (2015). Modeling railroad tank car releases using a generalized binomial model. Accident Analysis and Prevention (in press).
  • Liu, X. (2015). Statistical temporal analysis of freight-train derailment rates in the United States: 2000 to 2012. Transportation Research Record (in press) (Best Young Member Paper Award by TRB Railroad Operational Committee)
  • Liu, X., Lovett, A., Dick, C.T., Saat, M.R., Barkan, C.P.L. (2014). Optimization of rail defect inspection frequency for the improvement of railway transportation safety and efficiency. Journal of Transportation Engineering 140(10).
  • Liu, X., Saat, M.R., Barkan, C.P.L. (2014). Probability analysis of multiple-tank-car release incidents in railway hazardous materials transportation. Journal of Hazardous Materials 276, 442-451.
  • Liu, X., Saat, M.R., Qin, X., Barkan, C.P.L. (2013). Analysis of U.S. freight-train derailment severity using zero-truncated negative binomial regression and quantile regression. Accident Analysis and Prevention 59: 87–93.
  • Liu, X., Saat, M.R., Barkan, C.P.L. (2013). Integrated risk reduction framework to improve railway hazardous materials transportation safety. Journal of Hazardous Materials 260: 131-140.
  • Liu, X., Saat, M.R., Barkan, C.P.L. (2013). Safety effectiveness of integrated risk reduction strategies for rail transport of hazardous materials. Transportation Research Board 2374: 102-110.
  • Liu, X., Saat, M.R., Barkan, C.P.L. (2012). Analysis of causes of major train derailment and their effect on accident rates. Transportation Research Record 2289: 154-163.
  • Liu, X., Barkan, C.P.L., Saat, M.R. (2011). Analysis of derailments by accident cause: evaluating railroad track upgrades to reduce transportation risk. Transportation Research Record 2261: 178-185.