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Staff Bio

Doug Benson
Associate Research Fellow
Phone: (701)231-8388
Email: doug.benson@ndsu.edu

During his more than 27 years in transportation research, Doug has specialized in the analysis of railroad operations and the development of computer systems used for transportation analysis. Inland Waterway Analysis and Waterborne Commerce are particular focus areas with extensive research conducted for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Doug also served as executive director for TLN (formerly TEL8), a six-state videoconference network incorporating state Departments of Transportation and universities dedicated to transportation research.

Research Interests

  • Computerized Multi-Modal Transportation Analysis
  • Railroad Operations
  • Waterborne Freight Analysis
  • Inland Waterway Research
  • Transportation Database Development
  • GIS Transportation Applications

Recent Research Activities/Major Programs of Activity

  • Inland Waterway Commodity Analysis
  • Waterborne Commerce Transportation Alternatives
  • Lock and Dam Closure Economic Effects
  • Railroad Operations and Economics
    • Development of a database management system for the American Short Line Railroad Industry
    • Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS) analyst for the study of time-series grain railroad revenue/cost ratios
  • Short line railroad analysis cooperative study with Texas Transportation Institute
  • Comparative Rate Analysis of Water and Land Transportation Modes
  • Transportation in America, 20th Edition
  • Indian Reservation Roads Data Conversion


  • 1988-Present, Associate Research Fellow, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, NDSU
  • 1997-2004, Executive Director, TEL8
  • 1995-1997, Associate Director, TEL8
  • Assistant Systems Analyst, United States Army, Europe


  • M.S., Computer Science, North Dakota State University, 1996
  • B.S., Computer Science, University of North Dakota, 1988
  • B.S., Education, University of North Dakota, 1987
  • B.S., History, University of North Dakota, 1986
  • B.S., Psychology, University of North Dakota, 1978
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050