MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


The Center for Transportation Studies was established in 1973 to develop and coordinate the wide range of transportation-related activity at MIT. It provides a focal point for transportation education, facilitates transportation research, conducts an outreach program to the transportation industry, and encourages a sense of common purpose among the many departments, centers and laboratories involved in transportation and logistics at MIT.

The Center's Web address is<>. In addition to a wealth of information about the Center and its programs, the site includes descriptions of current research projects in transportation, and a listing of MIT theses in transportation since 1980. Transportation faculty and research staff are also listed with their areas of interest, along with connections to other interesting resources on the Web.


Because the quality of applications remains consistently high, qualifying for graduate admission for transportation studies is increasingly difficult. This year, 77 applications were received for graduate studies in transportation, and 20 students were enrolled. Funding was found for 80% of the students.

In December, 35 undergraduates from around New England came to MIT to learn about graduate transportation programs at MIT and Harvard and at the Universities of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The open house event was sponsored by the Region One UTC Program (headquartered at the Center), of which those schools are all a part.

A new course was introduced this spring dealing with reshaping the transportation system and the supporting transportation organizations of eastern Massachusetts. The course design had students working in a team to produce a written and oral report based on background lectures, interviews with principal actors, literature review and their own ideas and insights. In the process, students learned about organizational and institutional issues and about the specifics of transportation in Massachusetts. They also gained experience with working in a team on a simulated high-level consulting project, and had an opportunity to sharpen their oral, written and graphic communication skills.


During the past academic year, 157 projects were listed in the Center's Current Research Projects in Transportation at MIT, 50 of which had been started since last year's listing was printed. Sponsored research volume increaased by 14%.


East Japan Railway Company

As part of our research into Intelligent Transportation Systems, we are developing new train control systems which utilize emerging information technologies. The total system design is being studied, as well as key component technologies.

Martin Marietta Energy Systems

The goal of the overall project is to develop a deployable real-time Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA) system. The system shall be able to serve as an effective integrator between ATMS and ATIS and shall be deployable in real time in a large and congested network in which recurrent and non-recurrent congestion may occur.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

This effort is in support of the Traffic Surveillance and Detection Technology Development Program. MIT will design, develop, fabricate, assemble, integrate and test a sensor or sensor system employing color vision technologies designed for vehicle traffic surveillance and detection.


Since its inception last year, the MIT/Industry Integrated Supply Chain Management Program has grown to ten members -- Amoco, Caliber Logistics, CVS, Lucent Technologies, Monsanto, Procter & Gamble, Quelle, Siemens, Xerox and Volkswagen. To date, ten research projects have been initiated, six quarterly collaboration meetings have been held at sponsor locations, and the first annual executive seminar has been conducted, attracting over 55 senior managers from sponsor companies for a two-day session.


The Center awarded $50,000 in seed funding for new research in 1996. The grants, which were funded by the Center's Corporate and Public Affiliates programs, were designed to support research which was not otherwise funded and which showed the potential to generate significant future research opportunities. The selected proposals were: Cynthia Barnhart, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mitsui Career Development Professor, for "Real-Time Control of Transportation Systems;" Carl Martland, Senior Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, for "Steady State Cyclical Queues: Development of Approximate Solutions for Use in Transportation Systems Analysis;" and Paul Carlson, Research Assistant, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, for "Space Transportation."



Nearly 60 people convened at MIT in November for a two-day symposium entitled "Transportation Privatization: Potential and Reality." The purpose of the meeting was to explore the potential of privatization n the transportation sector and the lessons learned from experiences to date, focusing both on privatizing transportation operations and on privatizing infrastructure design, construction and maintenance for surface transportation systems. Participants in the symposium represented 29 organizations including private carriers; federal agencies; state turnpike, transit, highway and port authorities and departments of transportation; metro transit agencies; finance organizations; Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project; Harvard and MIT. The speakers represented public, private and academic organizations from four different states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Argentina, England and Japan.


In January, the Integrated Supply Chain Management Program marked its first anniversary with a two-day executive seminar for its sponsors' senior management. Attended by nearly 70 people, the meeting gave senior executives the opportunity to learn what supply chain is all about and to learn about the latest MIT research in the area.


In March, the Center's Corporate Affiliates Program sponsored a two-day symposium at the MIT Faculty Club on "Advanced Business Concepts for Logistics and Transportation." Attended by nearly 80 people, representing 38 public and private organizations, the symposium explored a range of vital business issues and concepts, including advances in manufacturing, team management, buyer-supplier partnerships and supply chain integration. Each session featured leaders form academia and from industry presenting the newest research and exemplary industry practice, and concluded with discussion of the implications of these concepts for the future of logistics and transportation.


About 75 people from federal, state and regional government agencies, along with private sector representatives, convened at MIT in April for a seminar on Advanced Projects in Intelligent Transportation Systems. Sponsored by the Center's Public Affiliates Program, established in 1994 to create a critical mass of energy focused on the challenges facing public agencies in transportation, the meeting was held to discuss new research activities here in the areas of Advanced Travel Information Systems and Advanced Traffic Management Systems. In addition to reporting relatively technical results of basic research, panelists also talked about the application of that research.


In May, more than 60 people representing 29 shippers, carriers, logistics providers and government agencies, came to MIT for a day-long seminar sponsored by the Center on Electronic Commerce for Logistics and Transportation. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the state of the art in such topics as electronic data interchange, commerce on the Internet, satellite-based tracking systems, etc., and its agenda included proposals for new ventures by MIT student teams. The meeting was held in conjunction with a larger event the day before on Electronic Commerce and Corporate Survival, sponsored by MIT's Industrial Liaison Office and attended by about 20 of the Center's participants. The night between the two meetings, the Center co-sponsored -- with the MIT Enterprise Forum -- a presentation featuring Tim Berners-Lee, "the man who invented the Web."



As usual, the Center sponsored a reception at the annual Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington in January. In spite of a blizzard which virtually shut the entire capitol down for a week, this year's event was attended by about 50 alumni and friends.


Every semester the Center sponsors a luncheon seminar series featuring transportation experts from the public and private sectors, and from academia, discussing current issues in the transportation field. Open to the public at large, the seminars draw an audience made up not only of students and faculty from the Institute, but also of representatives from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in nearby Kendall Square, from other universities, and from business and research organizations in the area.

Last fall, the series featured Sharon Banks, General Manager of AC Transit, the transit authority of the San Francisco East Bay area; Richard Doyle, FTA Regional Administrator for Region One (New England); Bill Millar, Executive Director of the Port Authority of Allegheny County; Lawrence G. Reuter, General Manager of the Washington DC Metro; and MIT's Solar Electric Vehicle Team, winners of Sunrayce `95, with a special presentation on their solar vehicle and their winning race.

The spring series included Steven Ditmeyer, Director, Office of Research and Development, Federal Railroad Administration; George Donohue, Associate Administrator, Research and Acquisitions, Federal Aviation Administration; Stephen Gluck, Manager, Surface Transportation Systems, Raytheon Electronics Systems Division; and Dharmenda Sharma, Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administration, US DOT.


A new series of luncheon seminars was introduced this spring featuring MIT faculty and research staff presenting their current work for discussion and feedback. Participants in the series were: Richard de Neufville, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Dr. Frannie Humplick of the World Bank (PhD'91); Rabi Mishalani, MIT Research Associate, and Tony Hotz, Project Manager, Lincoln Laboratories; Don Rosenfield, Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management; Sergio Jara-Diaz, Visiting Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Ralph Gakenheimer, Professor, Urban Studies and Planning and Civil and Environmental Engineering; Cindy Barnhart, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Arnold Barnett, Professor, Sloan School of Management; and Joe Sussman, JR East Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


The Corporate Affiliates Program welcomed several new members this year, bringing the current total membership to 39. The new members are Cummins Engine, General Electric, Home Depot, Lily Transportation, Monsanto, and Trism. Continuing members are AT&T; Bose; British Airways; British Railways; Burlington Northern Sante Fe; Caliber Systems; Canadian National; Caterpillar; Chemical Leaman Tank Lines; Conrail; CP Rail; CSX Transportation; Digital Equipment; DuPont; Federal Express; Gillette; Goodyear; Honda; IBM; LogiCorp; Mars; Norfolk Southern; NYK Line; Procter & Gamble; Ryder System; Sea-Land; The 3M Company; Unilever; Union Pacific; UPS; US Postal Service; Volkswagen; and Yellow.


Every year, as part of the Center's Corporate Affiliates Program, one of the members hosts the rest of the group at a two-day meeting and tour of one of its facilities. This year's meeting was hosted by British Airways World Cargo at Ascot, about 15 miles from Heathrow where British Airways is headquartered. Attended by more than 60 people -- half from America, half from Europe -- it was the first Affiliates Day in the history of the program to be hosted by a non-American firm, a sign of the increasing internationalization of the program. (About 20% of the membership is now from outside the US.)


Every summer for the past eleven years, the Center has offered an intensive week-long seminar on Logistics Analysis for Carriers and Shippers. Attended by representatives of carriers, shippers and third-party logistics providers, the course is structured around a series of lectures and case studies and involves intensive interaction among the participants. This year the course was attended by 39 participants.


The Center will lose a key contributor and professional leader this summer when Senior Research Associate Tom Humphrey retires. Tom has been with the Center for over 18 years, having served previously in state and federal government leadership positions. At MIT, he was responsible for numerous initiatives in research and industry/government outreach, as well as teaching. Tom led the effort that established MIT as the leader of the consortium of seven New England universities in the University Transportation Center Program for Region One of the US Department of Transportation, successfully directing the program for nine years and leaving us with a very strong program to continue: it has brought millions of dollars of transportation research and student aid to MIT. Tom's other contributions include establishing the New England Transportation Consortium, setting up and directing the Center's Public Affiliates Program, teaching core courses in public transportation, and advising many students, both undergraduate and graduate. We hope to continue to benefit from his advice and goodwill in his new position in Washington DC. He leaves big shoes to fill.


In an attempt to measure the contributions of educational programs to the practice of operations research and the management sciences, a survey was recently conducted by Interfaces, an International Journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences which ranked MIT first for the most contributions to the practice literature from 1988 to 1994. Developing and applying advances in OR and management science to transportation and logistics is a particular strength of the Center.

MIT alumnus Damian Kulash was appointed president of the Eno Transportation Foundation. Previously assistant operating officer at the National Research Council, where he had been for thirteen years, Kulash holds a BS degree in industrial management (`66) and a PhD in civil engineering (`71) from MIT.

Six MIT students were winners of graduate fellowships from the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program in the last two years. The graduate fellowship is specifically designed to enable students to pursue masters degrees or doctorates in transportation-related fields. The recipients were John Bowman, Edward Lovelace, Paul Schimek, Clare Anne Epstein, Brian Perreault and Scott Ramming.

Daniel Roth, who earned the MST degree at MIT in 1994, received the Charley Wootan Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers for his thesis Incremental High-Speed Rail in the US: Economic and Institutional Issues. Roth currently works at Price Waterhouse in Washington DC.

Jeffrey Chapman, a senior at MIT, was awarded a $1500 undergraduate scholarship in January by the New England Roundtable of the Council of Logistics Management. Chapman is majoring in civil and environmental engineering with a concentration in transportation. As part of the MIT Rail Group he has performed extensive research into the economic effects of heavy axle loads and has also acquired work experience with the Canadian National Railroad in intermodal logistics and with Burlington Northern Railroad in maintenance planning and scheduling.

PhD candidate John Bowman was named the winner of the 1995 UTC National Student Award for Region One. He was chosen on the basis of his academic record and on his papers entitled "Travel Demand Model System for the Information Era" and "Activity Based Disaggregate Travel Demand Model System with Daily Activity Schedules." He received a $1000 cash prize.

Jung Soo Yu was awarded the Effective Teaching Assistant Award in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for his work in Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving.

Ken Kruckemeyer, one of the Center's research associate on MIT's UPR/Tren Urbano project, was presented with the World Habitat Award at a ceremony in Curitiba, Brazil. Kruckemeyer is a founder and now director of Tent City Corporation, a 269-unit mixed income housing complex in Boston's South End. The award, which honors innovative and replicable affordable housing developments worldwide, was made at a four-day international conference sponsored by the United Nations Center for Human Settlements.

Jeff Sriver won a $2000 scholarship from the George Krambles Transit Scholarship Fund for the second year in a row. Sriver (MST'95) finished his master's thesis on factors influencing land development around 55 rail transit stations in the cities of Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Toronto and Washington. The lessons and implications of his research are applied to the case of the proposed Tren Urbano light rail system in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Yossi Sheffi

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96