Christopher Day


Associate Professor [CCE E]

Assistant Professor
Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering


352 Town Engr
813 Bissell Rd
Ames, IA 50011-1066


Chris Day is an assistant professor of civil engineering at Iowa State University. His research background is in transportation operations, with a focus on performance measures for traffic signal systems and other road facilities. Automated traffic signal performance measures, a major product of his prior research, has been widely implemented across the US and internationally. Day’s current research focuses on further applications of new data sets in traffic control, operation, and analysis, with a particular interest in connected and automated vehicles and equivalent data from infrastructure-based sensing and their integration with traffic signal systems.

Honors & Awards

  • Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, from the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University. August 2022.
  • Michael and Denise Mack 2050 Challenge Scholar, College of Engineering, Iowa State University, September 2022.
  • Exceptional Paper Award, Transportation Research Board Traffic Signal Systems Committee (won nine times: 2021, 2019, 2018, 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


  • 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
  • Simulation
  • Visualization


  1. Okaidjah, D., M. Haddad, C.M. Day, and B. Das. “Spatial Analysis of the Relationship between Intersection Crashes and the Urban Built Environment: A Case Study of Des Moines.” Paper No. 22-03530, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (2022). Accepted for publication in Transportation Research Record.
  2. Shams, A. and C.M. Day. “Advanced Gap Seeking Logic for Actuated Signal Control using Vehicle Trajectory Data: Proof of Concept.” Paper No. 22-03874, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (2022). Accepted for publication in Transportation Research Record.
  3. Emtenan, A.M.T. and C.M. Day. “Correlation Analysis for Exploring the Relationship between Probe Vehicle Data and Event-based Traffic Signal Performance Measures.” Paper No. 22-03453, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (2022). Accepted for publication in Transportation Research Record.
  4. Emtenan, A.M.T., A. Haghighat, M. Shields, J. Shaw, P. Hawley, A. Sharma, and C.M. Day. “Development of Right-Turn-on-Red Volume Estimation Models for the Highway Capacity Manual.” Paper No. 22-03691, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (2022). Accepted for publication in Transportation Research Record.
  5. Yang Y, A Shams, and CM Day. “Application of Pareto Front to Evaluate Adaptive Traffic Signal Timing for Multiple Objectives.” Journal of Modern Mobility Systems, 2, 108-113 (2021).
  6. Singleton PA, M Taylor, C Day, S Poddar, S Kothuri, and A Sharma. “Impact of COVID-19 on Traffic Signal Systems: A Survey of Agency Interventions and Observed Changes in Pedestrian Activity.” Transportation Research Record, in press (2021).
  7. Emtenan AMT and CM Day. “Impact of Turning Lane Storage Length and Turning Proportions on Throughput at Oversaturated Signalized Intersections.” Transportation Research Record, 2675(11), 305-319 (2021).
  8. Chawla H, MU Megat-Johari, PT Savolainen, and CM Day. “Evaluation of Strategies to Mitigate Culvert-Involved Crashes.” Transportation Research Record, 2675(5), 403-417 (2020).
  9. Emtenan AMT and CM Day. “Impacts of Detector Configuration on Performance Measurement and Signal Operations.” Transportation Research Record, 2674(4), 300-313, 2020.
  10. Day CM and AMT Emtenan. “Trajektorienbasierte Leistungskennzahlen für Anlagen mit gestörtem Verkehrsfluss.” (“Trajectory-Based Performance Measures for Interrupted-Flow Facilities”). Straßenverkehrstechnik 63(9), 647-653, 2019.
  11. Day CM and DM Bullock. “Optimization of traffic signal offsets with high-resolution event data.” ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, 146, 04019076, 2019.
  12. Day CM and AMT Emtenan. “Impact of phase sequence on cycle length resonance.” Transportation Research Record, 2673(11), 398-408, 2019.
  13. Brennan TM, CM Day, and M Volovski. “Ranking statistically similar highway travel corridors using speed data sets.” Infrastructure Asset Management, 5(3), 96-104, 2018.
  14. Day CM, H Li, JR Sturdevant, and DM Bullock. “Data-driven ranking of coordinated traffic signal systems for maintenance and retiming.” Transportation Research Record, 2672(18), 167-178, 2018.
  15. Remias SM, CM Day, J Waddell, J Kirsch, and T Trepanier. “Evaluating the performance of coordinated signal timing: a comparison of common data types with connected vehicle data.” Transportation Research Record, 2672(18), 128-142, 2018.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Day, C.M. and D.M. Bullock. Computational efficiency of alternative algorithms for arterial offset optimization. Transportation Research Record No. 2259, 37-47, 2011.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.