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A Better Way From Here to There

Longhorn Game Changer Chandra Bhat is an expert in understanding how people move through urban environments. His work on long-term transportation planning may help gridlock disappear.

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Chandra Bhat standing with lots of bicycles


Stop. Go. Red light. Green light. Blaring car horns, exasperated hand gestures and the frustrating gridlock of your daily commute. There has to be a better way of getting from here to there, right?

Alas, not quite yet. But relief is coming sooner than later, thanks to the work of Professor of Transportation Engineering Chandra Bhat and his team at the Center for Transportation Research.

As one of the leading university-based transportation research centers in the world, the center has created a place where researchers, faculty members and students work together to promote cutting-edge developments in transportation science and technology.

Bhat is widely recognized as an expert in the area of travel-demand modeling and travel behavior analysis, examining the ways people move through urban environments on a day-to-day basis and finding solutions to the transportation challenges facing communities.

According to Bhat, “a good understanding and prediction of the activity and travel behavior of individuals is critical to evaluating the effects of alternative traffic congestion-alleviation strategies, such as work rearrangement measures, transit service improvements, congestion pricing schemes and real-time traveler information systems.”

“My research is particularly relevant to long-term transportation planning in today’s rapidly changing demographic profile of the U.S. and world populations,” Bhat says. “For instance, the population is aging and the mobility needs of such an aging population have to be anticipated in advance for good infrastructure investment decisions.”

Bhat has received countless awards over the years for his groundbreaking work. Yet his proudest moments can be traced to his work mentoring students, many of whom have gone on to make massive strides in the transportation field themselves.

“I have been fortunate to receive several research and teaching awards during my career. While I am humbled at receiving these awards, it makes me particularly happy when I’m appreciated for teaching,” Bhat says.

“It certainly is gratifying when I receive notes from students indicating how much they enjoyed a course I taught or how much their future career aspirations have been influenced through interactions with me,” he adds. “However, my proudest moments are when my graduate students receive awards for their master’s or Ph.D. research under my guidance.”

Chandra Bhat, he’s a Longhorn Game Changer. That’s how we change the world.

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This story is part of our “Finding Solutions” series, which explores how UT Austin faculty, staff and students are putting their big ideas to work.