Pasi Lautala, PE

Pasi Lautala


  • Associate Dean for Research
  • Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
  • Director, Rail Transportation Program, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute
  • PhD, Civil Engineering (Transportation), Michigan Technological University
  • MS, Civil Engineering (Transportation), Michigan Technological University
  • BS, Civil Engineering, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland


Dr. Lautala was appointed in August, 2012 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017 and to Professor as well as Associate Dean for Research in 2023. He is also the founder and the Director of Rail Transportation Program (RTP) since the program was established in 2007 and is currently on his second stint of directing the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI). Pasi has his BS from Tampere University of Technology in Finland and his MSc and PhD degrees from Michigan Tech University. Dr. Lautala has been a leader or co-leader of more than ten million dollars in external research, covering a range of topics related to the rail and other transportation, from trespasser and grade crossing safety to multimodal transportation logistics, life cycle analysis, and railway capacity related topics. Under his leadership, Michigan Tech has also expanded the rail research portfolio to various departments across the campus. Dr. Lautala is also one the nationwide leaders in rejuvenation of rail transportation education in academia, including at Michigan Tech. Since 2013, Dr. Lautala has been appointed as a member of Michigan Commission for Supply Chain and Transportation Logistics Collaboration. He is currently the Rail Group Chair for the Transportation Research Board (TRB), part of National Academies of Sciences and actively involved in the AREMA Education and Training Committee. Since 2021, he has also provided transportation consulting services under Lautala Consulting, LLC. His previous experience includes work with Finnish Railways prior to his arrival in the US, as well as five years of railroad and highway-engineering consulting experience in Chicago before his return to Michigan Tech.

Research Interests

  • Rail and highway transportation / engineering
  • Highway-rail grade crossing and trespasser safety
  • Multimodal transportation; planning, policy, supply chain logistics and economics
  • Sustainability of transportation and life cycle/life cycle cost analysis
  • Railway capacity analysis and modeling
  • Curriculum and engineering education development
  • Industry/university collaboration