Jose Holguín-Veras Honored by White House as “Transportation Champion of Change”
The White House on Wednesday honored Rensselaer faculty member Jose Holguín-Veras as a “Champion of Change” in the field of transportation.
Holguín-Veras, the William H. Hart Professor at Rensselaer, was one of 12 individuals recognized for “exemplary leadership in developing or implementing transportation technology solutions to enhance performance, reduce congestion, improve safety, and facilitate communication across the transportation industry at the local, state, or national level.”
As part of the honor, Holguín-Veras visited the White House and participated in the two-day Transportation Technology Solutions for the 21st Century event. Additionally, the White House will soon feature a blog post by Holguín-Veras titled “Taking Steps toward Sustainable Urban Freight Systems.”
“These champions represent the very best in American leadership, innovation, and progress,” said Ray Lahood, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “I’m proud to recognize these transportation leaders who work every day to grow our economy and help us reach our destinations more quickly, efficiently, and safely.”
“It is a tremendous honor for Dr. Holguín-Veras to be recognized by the nation’s highest office as a Transportation Champion of Change,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “His transformative, multifaceted research in the area of traffic and freight systems is a shining example of the world-class, world-changing research taking place at our university. We congratulate Dr. Holguín-Veras on this outstanding achievement.”
“These champions represent the very best in American leadership, innovation, and progress.” —Ray Lahood
In its citation, the White House lauded the leadership of Holguín-Veras toward the development of an off-hour freight delivery system in Manhattan that combines global positioning system (GPS) remote sensing monitoring with GPS-enabled smart phones. This transportation technology solution has facilitated a shift in deliveries from the congested daytime hours to the off-hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Since the system has been implemented, freight receivers enjoy the superior reliability of off-hour deliveries, carriers benefit from increased productivity, and daytime travelers and pedestrians enjoy reduced congestion, noise, and pollution. Holguín-Veras’ influential research has led to substantial improvements in the ability to model and induce changes in the behavior of the freight industry, the citation read.
“The entire School of Engineering family—faculty, staff, students, and alumni and alumnae—joins me in congratulating Dr. Holguín-Veras on this recognition,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering. “Jose is known around the world as a leader in transportation systems, policy, and economics and his research is having a significant impact on the way urban traffic systems and disaster response logistics are understood by academics, lawmakers, and the public.”
Holguín-Veras is known as a global leader in the areas of freight demand modeling, transportation economics, and humanitarian logistics. As part of his supply chain research, Holguín-Veras led the multidisciplinary teams that investigated the cause of logistical failures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan. He is the director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment and the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems at Rensselaer.