New Faculty Profile: Christian Claudel
CTR welcomes new transportation faculty member Dr. Christian Claudel, who joined the CAEE faculty in January 2015. He received his PhD at UC Berkeley and served as an assistant professor at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST). His research interests focus on solutions to traffic flow models and optimization-based traffic state estimation and control. He will add new dimensions to our transportation engineering program with his expertise in wireless technologies and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for real-time traffic flow sensing.
What brought you to UT Austin?
I came to UT because of the mix of expertise available in the CAEE department, and the multidisciplinary vision of the group. I particularly enjoy the opportunity to address fundamental societal problems by teaming up with people within and outside of the transportation department.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading, hiking, and studying history.
What’s the most exciting element of the transportation field to you right now?
The increasing availability of large quantities of data generated by users is the most exciting element of transportation to me. It will allow us to manage the transportation systems more efficiently, though challenges remain on the integration and processing of this massive amount of data.
What do you think will be the biggest change in transportation in the next 10 years?
The availability of ever cheaper and more powerful sensors, computers, and actuators is a revolution, which will allow us to make considerable progress in various subfields of transportation, from autonomous vehicles to road safety. Following the smartphone revolution, the emergence of wearable electronics will create a variety of apps that will help create a more connected, efficient, and safer transportation system.
If you had no constraints (if time, money, or existing infrastructure were no object), how would you solve Austin’s traffic problems?
If no constraints existed, I would focus on reducing the demand on the transportation network through high incentives for telecommuting. Most tertiary sector employees could work via some sort of partial telecommuting, which could significantly reduce the demand on the network in an ever-expanding city like Austin. I find it surprising that at least partial telecommuting is not prevalent nowadays, despite having been envisioned in the early 1970s.