headshot of Jose Holguin-Veras

photo of Jose Holguin Veras with arms crossed in lab

José Holguín-Veras

PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1996
MS, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1984
BS, Universidad Autonoma de Santa Domingo, 1981

José Holguín-Veras is the William H. Hart Professor, and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment; and the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is one of the most widely published and cited freight researchers and humanitarian logistics experts in the world and his research group pioneered the multidisciplinary study of post-disaster response logistic operations.

Holguín-Veras earned his PhD at UT Austin and was supervised by Dr. Michael Walton. His research emphasizes the integration, synthesis and projection of the knowledge that exists in multiple disciplines to produce solutions to the complex and multifaceted problems that impact freight transportation and humanitarian logistics.

Current research activities focus on three major areas: freight transportation demand modeling, sustainable freight systems, and disaster response logistics. His work has received numerous awards including the 2013 White House Campaign of Change Award for his contributions to freight transportation and disaster response research.

His work on sustainable freight systems studies the interactions between agents involved in freight activity, to define ways to exploit these interactions to foster sustainable development and operations.The application of principles has resulted in more than 400 companies in Manhattan to switch operations to the off-hours, an idea that has had a significant impact on easing traffic congestion.

Holguín-Veras’ research group has conducted analyses of the most prominent disasters of recent times including Hurricane Katrina, the Port-au-Prince earthquake, the tornadoes in Joplin and Alabama, Hurricane Irene, and the Tokoju disasters in Japan.

The lessons learned are then used to support future disaster response policy and the development of novel analytical formulations. Most recently, he and his team worked to develop a series of models to help with Puerto Rico’s Supply Chain struggles to disperse aid after Hurricane Maria.

His body of research is of great relevance to developed and developing countries. Holguín-Veras has led more than 55 projects with the National Science Foundation, National Cooperative Freight Research Program, US Department of Transportation and others with total funding more than $14 million.

He has also held numerous leadership positions including: President of the Scientific Committee of the Pan-American Conferences of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research, and is a member of technical committees at numerous professional organizations, and is a member on the editorial boards of the leading journals in his field.