UNSW Engineering’s rCITI wins Pyke Johnson Award from Transportation Research Board in US for most outstanding paper submitted on transportation planning and environment.

Engineering’s Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI) has won a prestigious award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

rCITI won the Pyke Johnson Award after TRB judged it had the most outstanding paper in the field of transportation planning and environment.

The Pyke Johnson Award has been awarded since 1971 and is named after the 23rd Chairman of the US Highway Research Board who started with the board in 1921.

rCITI’s paper, “How Should Travel Demand and Supply Models Be Jointly Calibrated?”, was selected from among 650 submitted for judging.

Deputy Dean (Research), Professor Travis Waller said the award includes some financial support to attend the awards ceremony and an invitation to the Chairman's Luncheon.

“This is one of the more significant paper awards in our domain,” Professor Waller said.

“This award indicates that ours was selected as the overall top paper from this group of 650. This is a massive validation that while we are a relatively young transport group at UNSW (rCITI is less than 7 years old), we are already having a broadly recognised global research impact.”

rCITI’s paper looked at demand forecasting and system/supply modelling which are very different mathematical models that are often developed in isolation of each other. The paper, which was published online in May aimed to reconcile the significant planning uncertainties resulting from such differences.

The rCITI list of co-authors include Ali Najmi, Dr. Melissa Duell, Dr. Milad Ghasri, Dr. Taha Hossein Rashidi and Prof. S. Travis Waller. In particular, the work directly relates to Ali's PhD thesis at UNSW and builds on the long-term research initiattive of Dr. Rashidi who is an ARC DECRA recipient on the topic of integrated transport planning.

Professor Waller said in terms of upcoming projects, rCITI has underway a major initiative on disruptive transport technology as well as active projects and upcoming papers involving autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, mobility as a service and leveraging social media for transport planning.

Written by: Lachlan Gilbert