Kara Kockelman
Dr. Kara Kockelman
Professor of Transportation Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX
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Biography

Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and William J. Murray Jr. Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kockelman is a registered professional engineer and holds a PhD, MS, and BS in civil engineering, a Masters of City Planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received an NSF CAREER Award for faculty research and teaching (2000-2004), a Ford Fund CAREER Award (2002), a U.C. Transportation Center “Student of the Year” Award (1998), U.C. Berkeley’s University Medal (1991), and the NSF and Berkeley Fellowships for graduate study (1993-1998). In 2002, MIT’s Technology Review Magazine identified her as one of the world’s Top 100 Innovators under age 35, and the Council of University Transportation Centers awarded her its inaugural Young Faculty Award. In 2006, the Regional Science Association International presented her with its Geoffrey J.D. Hewings Award (for exceptional promise as a young regional science researcher). Dr. Kockelman received ASCE’s 2007 Harland Bartholomew Award, to recognize her many transportation planning contributions, including her novel credit-based congestion pricing theory. She also received the Heart of Texas’ Women’s Transportation Seminar’s 2007 Woman of the Year Award and was made a WTS-HOT Honorary Member in 2012. In 2010, Dr. Kockelman received ASCE’s Walter L. Huber Research Prize in Transportation Engineering, for contributions in the areas of data acquisition and analysis to facilitate decisions in transport planning and policy-making. Between her undergraduate and graduate studies, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the rural Andean region of Ecuador, managing the construction of potable water systems and other sanitation infrastructure. She continues her public service through her research and interactions with a variety of Austin groups, including student and alumni associations and professional societies. Dr. Kockelman's primary research interests include the statistical modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade, and location choice), energy and climate issues (vis-à-vis transport and land use decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrence and consequences. She has taught classes in transportation systems, transport economics, transport data acquisition and analysis, probability and statistics, design of ground-based transportation systems, and geometric design of roadways. For several years, she advised the student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Kockelman chaired the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Travel Survey Methods committee for three years (2007-2010) and served on the Transportation and Land Development committee for 11 years (1999-2010). She also serves on the organization’s Committee on Transportation Economics, Committee on Statistical Methods, and Integrated Transportation and Land Use Modeling subcommittee. She has been a member of the two National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) panels and one Transit CRP panel, and recently served as a member of the National Research Council’s Committee for the Study on Relationships among Development Patterns, VMT, and Energy Conservation. She sits on the editorial advisory boards of Transportation Research (Part B, Methodological), Journal of Transport and Land Use, Journal of Regional Science, International Regional Science Review, Economics of Transportation and Papers in Regional Science. In 2005, she was elected to the North American Regional Science Council, and in 2009 she chaired the annual North American meetings of the Regional Science Association International. In 2010, Dr. Kockelman was appointed to a three-year term as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics. In 2011, she was appointed to a two-year term on ASCE’s national Awards Committee. Dr. Kockelman is primary and co-author of over 100 papers across a variety of subjects, all of which involve transportation-related data analysis. She has conducted research for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Cooperative and Strategic Highway Research Programs, the University Transportation Centers program, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Texas and Oregon Departments of Transportation. Recent and current projects include NSF grants for spatial econometric models of discrete response and studies of plug-in-electric-vehicle ownership and use, an NSF IGERT on the power grid, an NSF RCN on sustainable cities, an EPA STAR grant for land use, transport, and air quality models, NCHRP projects on demand modeling of non-motorized travel and tolled roadways, and TxDOT projects for holistic evaluation of competing network improvement projects and the development of a transportation economics reference for practitioners.

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Education
U.C. Berkeley BS, MS & PhD in Civil Engineering, Masters of City Planning, Minors in Economics & Statistics
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
Latest Questions
  • Ingrid, Chicago

    Added Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 1:01 AM

    Hi my name is Ingrid! I am currently in high school and I was thinking about majoring in civil engineer and minoring in architecture. I love both math and art. However, I read on some sites that computer science classes are recommended for civil engineering and I was wondering if I should take it. I really wanted to continue my art class though, but because of my tight schedule I'm gonna have to pick between advanced art studio or AP Computer Science. So is it worth it to take AP Comp?
    Answers 1
    Kara Kockelman, University of Texas at Austin
    Answered Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 1:01 AM
    I remain a huge fan of art in general, and 20th Century art, in particular, Ingrid. I took several art classes in high school, as well as drafting once.  I'm delighted you're enjoying a schedule that allows you to use both sides of your brain! Balance is ...
    Read More
  • Sirsj, Sukkur

    Added Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    What are the best future plans of civil engineer after completing the master degree
    Answers 1
    Kara Kockelman, University of Texas at Austin
    Answered Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    Civil engineers have all types of terrific opportunities after completing a master’s degree!  Those with a strong business sense and novel ideas may start their own company. Others may join a large or small consulting firm, a city’s ...

    Read More
  • Moira, Scotland

    Added Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    I love mathematics and was wondering which side of civil engineering has more maths involved - consulting or contracting? And what is the difference between Consultants and Contractors?
    Answers 1
    Kara Kockelman, University of Texas at Austin
    Answered Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Thanks for the question, Moira!  “Contractor” normally means someone who works under contract, which is how most of us work: we sign a contract to perform specific work/deliver specific work products (like a building, a report, a new ...

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CV
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