University of Wisconsin–Madison



Improve traffic operations and safety in Wisconsin and across the Midwest through a diverse balance of service partnerships, research and training.

TOPS is a unique organization developed with a mission to, “improve traffic operations and safety in Wisconsin and across the Midwest through a diverse balance of service partnerships, research and training.”

The TOPS Laboratory, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Engineering and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is actively seeking public and private sector partners to achieve this mission. The initial, primary public sector partner, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), has been instrumental in the establishment of the TOPS Laboratory which started in Summer 2003. Staff members offer a unique balance of public agency, private sector, and academic perspectives to the TOPS Laboratory. If we can be of any assistance in meeting your transportation related needs, please do not hesitate to contact us.

UW-Madison And WisDOT Partner To Launch Wisconsin Traffic Operations And Safety (TOPS) Laboratory

In early summer 2003, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in close coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), took steps to form a laboratory to provide engineering-oriented services related to traffic operations and safety in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. The co-managed Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety (TOPS) Laboratory represents an innovative service partnership that mutually benefits the UW System and WisDOT. TOPS Laboratory service areas include:

    • Traditional Traffic Operations and Safety Engineering and Technology / Services Development,
    • Traffic Operations Support Services and Knowledge Management, and
    • Transportation Operations Data Management.

Please see Services for more information on the several services the TOPS Laboratory provides related to Traffic and Safety Engineering.

Why A TOPS Laboratory At UW-Madison?

    • ‘Natural’ Synergetic Partnership
    • Fulfills Needs of Both Organizations
    • Utilizes UW-Madison Faculty and Facilities
    • Leverage Other In-State University Resources
    • Attract Talent to Wisconsin and Sustain Transportation Operations Related Workforce

TOPS Laboratory Facility

The TOPS Laboratory is located in the basement of Engineering Hall on the UW-Madison Campus. The facility is equipped with state of the art traffic analysis software and field devices to provide students with hands-on, real-world experience in applying traffic engineering fundamentals. If you would like to donate any products to the TOPS Laboratory, contact us.

Please see the map of where the TOPS Laboratory is located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Engineering Campus.