Naomi Stein 2012





About Us:

The Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is directed by Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor, Emeritus and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems, Emeritus.

Drawing members from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the Institute of Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), the group focuses on regional transportation planning with special emphasis on high-speed rail (HSR).

As members of this research group, we are energized by the potential for innovative solutions to emerge for the problems we are working on, and contributing to the ongoing and active debate about the critical contemporary issues facing society. Email us at hsr_group@mit.edu.

Current Research Interests:
Strategic Regional Transportation Planning, High-Speed Rail (HSR), Complex Sociotechnical Systems (CSS), and the CLIOS Process (teaching note, 2014)

News:

2017

  • Prof. Sussman featured in the Course One Spring Newsletter
    May 31, 2017

    The Spring 2017 issue of the Course One Newsletter features an in-depth profile of Prof. Sussman and his career.

    Joseph Sussman, of CEE and the Institute for Systems, Data and Society (IDSS) has retired after 50 years in CEE. Sussman joined MIT faculty in 1967 after earning a PhD in Civil Engineering Systems at MIT. During his tenure as a faculty member, Sussman served as Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and as Director of the Center for Transportation Studies. In his research, where he applies a systems approach to transportation, he has worked in rail freight transportation operations, intelligent transportation systems, regional strategic transportation planning, and passenger rail, emphasizing high-speed rail. In 1991, Sussman was named MIT’s first JR East professor and played an instrumental role in building a strong relationship between MIT and the East Japan Railway. A revered advisor and mentor to students and colleagues, he led several generations of graduate students in the study of complex, sociotechnical systems. Sussman is the author of a graduate text entitled Introduction to Transportation Systems and is the recipient of the 2017 CEE Distinguished Service and Leadership Award, as well as many awards from professional societies.

  • R/HSR Members receive Civil & Environmental Engineering Department Awards
    May 18, 2017

    During the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 18, 2017, Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems, Emeritus received the Distinguished Service and Leadership Award. This award recognizes outstanding departmental service and leadership contributions of a member of the CEE faculty, to acknowledge colleagues who foster a culture of diversity, inclusiveness, and innovation, to further the department mission and vision and MIT as a whole.

    Undergraduate Mark Mockett ('19) - a CEE major and Mathmatics and Computer Science double minor - received the "Leo (Class of 1924) and Mary Grossman Award" in honor of Mr. Grossman who had a professional career in highway design and planning. The Grossman Award is given to an undergraduate student with a strong interest in transportation and a strong academic record. Mark served as an undergraduate research assistant (UROP) in the R/HSR Group from June 2016 - January 2017. Mark undertook a CLIOS Process evaluation of the Los Angeles to Las Vegas HSR corridor as part of the collaborative research project with East Japan Railway Company, entitled "The Evaluation of International HSR Markets for JR East: A Systems Approach." This coming summer, Mark will pursue another UROP in the Megacity Logistics Lab in MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics.

  • Masters Thesis Signing
    May 17, 2017

    Takafumi (Taka) Hidema completed his thesis, the final step in receiving the Master of Science in Technology and Policy degree. The thesis, entitled "Competitive Strategy for the Proposed Texas High Speed Rail Project: A System Dynamics/CLIOS Process Approach" explores feedback interactions between key variables such as ridership, load factor, total travel time and fares and their effects on operational profitability in the short- and long-term.

    In the photo, Taka visited Prof. Sussman to receive his signature.


  • R/HSR Students Participate in the 7th Annual Civil & Environmental Engineering Research "Speed Dating" Event
    March 10, 2017

    Rakesh Sridhar (TPP/MST '18) presented a poster entitled "Application of the CLIOS Process to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's Transportation System" . This poster summarizes the culmination of a two-year research project in collaboration with Masdar Institute.

    Joanna Moody (MST '16, Ph.D. Candidate) presented a poster entitled "High-Speed Rail Market Selection Process for East Japan Railway Company." This poster motivated and presented the methodological results of a three-year research partnership: a two-part process that helps JR East consider how different international high-speed rail markets might develop and what business role JR East might adopt to best match these markets. Joanna's presentation was selected by the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department for this year's "Best Graduate Poster" award.

  • R/HSR Celebrates Professor Sussman's 25 years as JR East Professor.
    March 2, 2017

    Current graduate students and local alumni of the Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Group joined in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the JR East-MIT partnership! See the full feature article below.
    In the photo (from left to right): Takafumi Hidema (TPP '17), Rakesh Sridhar (TPP/MST '18), Kenji Chigusa (MST '18), Tolu Ogunbekun (MEng-T, '15), Joanna Moody (MST '16, Ph.D. Candidate), Joseph Sussman (JR East Professor, Emeritus), Maite Peña-Alcaraz (Ph.D. ESD '15), Scott Middleton (MST/MCP '18), Naomi Stein (MST/MCP '14), Iori Mori (TPP '15 and JR East representative), and Masahiro Yamada (SDM '17)


  • Current and Former R/HSR Students Reconnect at the Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting.
    January 8-12, 2017

    The R/HSR group held a celebratory dinner at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The dinner was a great chance for current students to reconnect with former members of the research group. For those who could not attend the dinner, there was time to meet up with R/HSR colleagues and friends for coffee or lunch throughout the week (see photos). Current students and alumni also continued to expand their academic and professional networks beyond R/HSR at the annual MIT Reception at TRB held on Tuesday, January 10. The reception attracted many guests including research and industry collaborators.

    In the top photo (from left to right): Kenji Chigusa (JR East / MST '18) and his wife Yuriko, Rakesh Sridhar (TPP '17), Daniel Mascoop (MCP '17), Scott Middleton (MST/MCP '18), Joanna Moody (Ph.D. Candidate), Ryan Westrom (MST '14), Dagin Faulkner (CEE SB '16), Bruno Agosta (MST '15), and Naomi Stein (MST/MCP '13).


    In the bottom left photo: Maite Pena-Alcaraz (ESD Ph.D. '15) and Sevara Melibaeva (MST, '10) meet for coffee.
    In the bottom right photo: Joanna Moody (Ph.D. Candidate) and Tolu Ogunbekun (MEng-T '15) meet for lunch.


  • MST Thesis selected for 2016 Council of University Transportation Centers Award!
    January 7, 2017

    Joanna Moody of the Regional Transportation and High-Speed Rail (R/HSR) research group was selected to receive the 2016 Charley V. Wootan Memorial Award for outstanding Masters Thesis in Policy and Planning, given annually by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC). Joanna, who is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Transportation wrote the thesis, entitled "Development of a Predictive Coalition building Analysis for Stakeholders of Sociotechnical Systems," under the supervision of Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems. The award was presented at the CUTC reception at the 96th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington D.C. on January 7, 2017.

    In the photos: Joanna was joined by two other students of the National University Rail Center (NURail) who received "outstanding graduate student of the year" awards. From right to left: Samantha Chadwick (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Joanna Moody (MIT R/HSR), Steven Landry (Michigan Tech), and Prof. Christopher Barkan, Executive Director of the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at UIUC.


    In 2015, two other graduate students from the R/HSR group received the Wootan Award. Samuel Levy (MST '15) won in the Master's category for his thesis: "Capacity Challenges on the California High-Speed Rail Shared Corridors: How Local Decisions Have Statewide Impacts." Maite Peña-Alcaraz (ESD Ph.D. '15) won in the PhD category for her dissertation entitled "Analysis of Capacity Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms in Shared Railway Systems."

2016

    • R/HSR Alumna Jayne Chang Completes Internship at JR East
      December 22, 2016

      Jayne Chang (CEE SB '16), sponsored by Prof. Sussman, leveraged R/HSR research connections and opportunities with the MIT-Japan program to begin an internship with East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Her internship at the JR East Research and Development Center located in Saitama Prefecture took place from June to December 2016. She worked in the Frontier Service Development Lab, a group of about fifty researchers within the R&D Center focused on improving customer experience through innovative technological advancements.

      Jayne spearheaded a project entitled "Examining the Provision of Railway Transit Information to Foreign Visitors in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area and Strategies for Improvement." Jayne's research explored why inbound visitors might find the railway system in Tokyo hard to use and how JR East could do better. She identified four key areas that influence the ease-of-use of railway transit systems for foreign passengers in Japan - namely wayfinding, route planning, staff assistance, and ticketing - and explored ways to streamline information on these areas to improve the customer experience.

      Culminating her internship, Jayne presented on her research findings to an audience of about 80 people (see photo below). Included in the audience were Mr. Masaki Ogata, Vice-Chairman of the East Japan Railway Company, and other members from the company's upper management.


    • Masters Thesis Signing
      May 18, 2016

      Masters students graduating from the R/HSR research group all get their theses signed a day before the deadline!


      In the photo below, from left to right: Ryota (Tommy) Yasutomi and Rebecca Heywood (top row), Patton Doyle (middle), and Tatsuya Doi and Joanna Moody (bottom row) with their theses:

    • R/HSR Students Receive Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Awards
      May 13, 2016

      DUSP and CEE senior undergraduate Daniel Mascoop was awarded the "Leo (Class of 1924) and Mary Grossman Award" in honor of Mr. Grossman who had a professional career in highway design and planning. The Grossman Award is given to an undergraduate student with a strong interest in transportation and a strong academic record. Daniel is very active in research in the transportation fields, working on an internship with Professor Ben-Akiva in Singapore and with Professor Sussman and the R/HSR Group on his senior capstone project entitled "Evaluating the Process of Developing Infrastructure Systems Through Investigation of an Important Rail Hub". Daniel was also one of the leaders in the fossil fuel divestment movement at MIT over the past year and played a positive role in its reaching an eventual agreement.

      Graduate student Scott Middleton received the "Maseeh Award for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant" for his significant contributions to course work and student support. Scott was nominated for his work with Professor Sussman's undergraduate CEE course, 1.011 Project Evaluation and Management. He was said to be one of the best TA's his nominator had worked with in decades and was praised for his welcoming and approachable manner that set students at ease.


      Graduate student Joanna Moody was awarded the "Trond Kaalstad (Class of 1957) Fellowship." This award, named after a former CEE Administrative Officer, recognizes outstanding an graduate student who displays leadership and contributes significantly to the well-being of the CEE community. Joanna's service to CEE includes being a student representative on the Department Social Committee (2014-2015) and being an event coordinator for the MIT Transportation Showcase, the CTL lecture series, and the MIT-TDC Conference in New York for the past two years. Joanna is also an active board member of both the MIT Transportation Club and the Transportation Student Group.

    • 2016 Joint Rail Conference
      April 12-15, 2016

      Scott Middleton (MST/MCP '18) presented at the 2016 Joint Rail Conference in Columbia, South Carolina during a NURail session dedicated to graduate student research. Scott presented on innovative methods for analyzing high-speed rail opportunities in the United States, including the CLIOS Process. The content of this presentation drew upon the Regions/High-Speed Rail Group's work on the Northeast Corridor and other high-profile HSR case studies.

    • Eno Announces the Future Leaders Development Conference Class of 2016
      April 1, 2016

      Joanna Moody (MST '16) was selected to participate in the Eno Future Leaders Development Conference (LDC). Each year, the LDC gives 20 of the nation's top graduate students in transportation a first-hand look at how national transportation policies are developed. Those selected as "Eno Fellows" come to Washington, DC for a week to meet with federal officials and leaders of business and non-profit organizations. Corinna Li, (MST-MCP '16) was also selected to attend.

    • Professor Sussman Presents at Technology Day at UMass Amherst In Honor of Retiring Professor John Collura
      March 24, 2016

      Professor Sussman presented on complex socio technical systems and high-speed rail. Read more through Dr. Anna Nagurney's blog here.



      Professor Joseph Sussman, Professor John Collura, and Professor Anna Anagurney.


    • Wrapping up a second year of research with East Japan Railway Company with a trip to Tokyo
      February 22-23, 2016

      Professor Sussman, Joanna Moody (MST '16), Patton Doyle (MST '16), and Scott Middleton (MST/MCP '18) traveled to JR East headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo for a series of meetings on February 22 and 23. They presented the second year of work developing and applying the JR East Market Selection Process to various HSR developments around the world. This research continues to develop a framework to guide JR East in understanding how it might get involved in budding international HSR markets.

      The MIT team had an opportunity to meet with members of the Executive Board of JR East, including Masaki Ogata (Vice Chairman), Takao Nishiyama (Executive Director, International Department), and Atsushi Yokoyama (Executive Director, Research and Development Center). While in Tokyo, the research team also had an opportunity to catch-up with Iori Mori (TPP '14), a former R/HSR student from JR East and an active participant on this research project. Professor Sussman also met with Kenji Chigusa, a newly admitted MST student from JR East who will be joining the R/HSR research group this fall.

      With the insights gained from these meetings and funding for a third year of research secured, the MIT team returned to Cambridge to continue work on the project, with a particular focus on exploring how the JR East Market Selection Process fits into JR East's existing decision-making framework and international business strategy. The third year of research will officially start at the beginning of the Japanese fiscal year - April 1, 2016.

    • R/HSR Group Participates in the 6th Annual MIT Transportation Showcase
      February 17, 2016

      The MIT Transportation Club, along with the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and the New England University Transportation Center organized the 6th annual MIT Transportation Showcase on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The Showcase is the MIT Transportation Club's flagship event, and is widely attended by over 200 students, alumni, faculty, and professionals that make up the greater MIT transportation community. The event kicked off with a keynote speech on "urban livability and the bicycle" by Nicole Freedman, Chief of Active Transportation of the City of Seattle. The keynote speech was followed by a concurrent networking reception (career fair with representatives from 19 companies and organizations) and student research poster session. The annual event continues to strengthen the connections among the MIT transportation community, particularly between industry and academia.

      Two R/HSR students were instrumental in organizing this year's event. Joanna Moody (MST '16) was the main event organizer, and Scott Middleton (MST/MCP '18) coordinated all of the logistics for the keynote speech. In addition, the research team working on the JR East project presented a research poster on one of the project case studies, entitled "High-Speed Rail on the Northeast Corridor of the United States: Evaluation of International Rail Markets for JR East."

      In the photo: Scott Middleton introduces the keynote speaker to kick-off the 6th annual MIT Transportation Showcase.



    • R/HSR Group Members Re-Connect at the TRB 95th Annual Meeting in Washington DC
      January 10-14, 2016

      The R/HSR group held a celebratory dinner in honor of the CUTC thesis awards received by recent R/HSR graduates Sam Levy (MST '15) and Maite Peña-Alcaraz (ESD Ph.D. '15) and Alex Jacquillat (ESD Ph.D.), a student of Professor Amedeo Odoni. The dinner was a great chance for the research group to reconnect with former members, including Naomi Stein (MST/MCP '13), Ryan Westrom (MST '14), Bruno Agosta (MST '15) and Joana Duarte Costa (Ph.D. student at Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal.

      We enjoyed a great meal, great company, and a warm and historic venue. The dinner was held at the Old Ebbitt Grill, a Washington DC fixture located across from the White House. Established in 1856, the Old Ebbitt Grill was a favorite of Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding and Theodore Roosevelt and is still a popular meeting spot for political insiders, journalists, celebrities and theater-goers. R/HSR alumnus Ryan Westrom, based in Washington at dDOT, took care of the (excellent) local arrangements.

    • R/HSR Group Members to Present at the TRB 95th Annual Meeting in Washington DC
      January 10-14, 2016

      Challenges and Opportunities in Implementation of the Future California Rail Network
      Sam Levy (MST '15) will present work co-authored by A. Awadagin Faulkner (CEE undergraduate '16) and Professor Sussman on Monday, January 11 from 8:00-9:30am in Lectern Session 233: "Best of the Best: Raising the Bar on Intercity Passenger Rail Performance." Convention Center, Room 147A.

      Application of Multicriteria, Multistakeholder Decision Analysis to Federal Transportation Performance Management
      Patton Doyle (MST '16) will present his ongoing Masters thesis research as part of the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program Research Showcase. His presentation is third from the top in Session 519 on Tuesday, January 12 from 8:00-12:00 in the Convention Center, Room 202B.

      Measuring Explicit and Implicit Social Status Bias in Car vs. Bus Mode Choice
      Joanna Moody (MST '16) will present work co-authored by Gabriel Goblet-Langlois, Lauren Alexander, Jonathan Campbell, and Assistant Professor Jinhua Zhao (MIT DUSP) on Tuesday, January 12 from 1:30-3:15pm in Lectern Session 607: "Travel Behavior Across Modes." Convention Center, Room 140B.

      A Ride to Remember: Experienced Versus Remembered Emotion on Public Transit
      Patton Doyle (MST '16) will present work co-authored by Nathaniel Bailey, Tolulupe Ogunbekun (MEng-T '15) and Assistant Professor Jinhua Zhao (MIT DUSP) on Wednesday, January 13 from 8:00-9:30am in Lectern Session 771: "Transit Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, Attitudes, and Behavior." Convention Center, Room 149.

    • R/HSR Graduates win Council of University Transportation Centers awards!
      January 9, 2016

      Two recent graduate student from the Regional Transportation and High-Speed Rail (R/HSR) research group were selected to receive the 2015 Charley V. Wootan Memorial Award for best theses in Policy and Planning, given annually by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC). Samuel Levy (MST '15) won in the Master's category for his thesis entitled "Capacity Challenges on the California High-Speed Rail Shared Corridors: How Local Decisions Have Statewide Impacts." Maite Peña-Alcaraz (ESD Ph.D. '15) won in the PhD category for her dissertation entitled "Analysis of Capacity Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms in Shared Railway Systems." Both were supervised by Prof. Sussman. The awards were announced on December 1, 2015 and were presented at the CUTC reception at the 95th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington D.C. on January 9, 2016.

      In the photo: CUTC Wootan Award recipients Sam Levy (far left) and Maite Peña-Alcaraz (far right) with R/HSR advisor, Professor Joseph Sussman after the award ceremony.


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