Introducing New NITC Faculty and Researchers


The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is happy to welcome some new faces into our six-university consortium, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Latest NITC Faculty and Researchers to Join their Universities

Nelson Gomez-Torres, University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Nelson Gomez-Torres joins the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington as an assistant professor of instruction in civil engineering. Before coming to UTA he was the Director of Civil and Industrial Engineering Programs at Universidad Ana G. Mendez in Puerto Rico. Nelson has worked in engineering design, construction management, and traffic studies, but he found his passion in helping to develop the next generation of engineers. He teaches transportation and related areas such as highway design, traffic studies, statistics, surveying, and professional practice. Dr. Gómez wants his students to understand that what they get for their years of education are the knowledge and tools to solve real-world problems, not just a degree.

Andy Hong, University of Utah

Dr. Andy Hong is an assistant professor in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah. He is an honorary research fellow at the University of Oxford and the George Institute for Global Health. Andy is also Co-founder of the Healthy City Futures, a global nexus of innovators dedicated to sharing cutting-edge information on urban health. Andy’s research lies at the nexus of urban planning, transportation, and public health. His goal is to bridge the gap between urban planning and public health to develop evidence-based policy solutions to emerging health challenges linked to urban and transportation planning. Dr. Hong has been awarded funding as principal investigator for a new NITC project: Transportation for Seniors (T4S): Developing a New Accessibility Measure to Support Older Adults in a Post-Pandemic World.

Chris Lim, University of Arizona

Dr. Chris Lim is an assistant professor in the Community, Environment & Policy Department at the University of Arizona School of Public Health. Dr. Lim’s research examines how the environment impacts human health applying epidemiologic, statistical, and data science methods. Specifically, he is interested in the health effects of air pollution and climate change, and whether there are disparities in the exposures and associated health outcomes. He also explores the potential application of low-cost sensor technologies for personal-level exposure assessment, urban air pollution modeling, and community-based environmental justice projects.

Kathryn Logan, University of Arizona

Dr. Kathryn Logan is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Arizona Institutes for Resilience researching urban climate action as part of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) project. Prior to this, Kathryn was an Energy Policy Researcher at University College Dublin, Ireland, investigating energy systems, energy management and energy in society for both academics and policymakers in Ireland. Kathryn obtained both her BSc (Hons) and PhD degrees in Environmental Science from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her PhD research investigated the impact of the electrification of transport and the related trade-offs between greenhouse gas emission reductions, climate regulation and the potential impact upon ecosystem services and natural capital.

Alyssa Ryan, University of Arizona

Dr. Alyssa Ryan joins the University of Arizona this month as an assistant professor in civil engineering. Her research primarily focuses on the intersection of transportation safety and equity with human factors, unmanned aerial system applications, traffic operations, and resource allocation. Professor Ryan completed her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She will be presenting her work on equitable road safety in an upcoming seminar at Portland State University:

In this seminar, Alyssa Ryan will discuss two strategies to increase safety for vulnerable road users. First, a study on road injury differences between drivers of different biological sex. Next, a research study that explores the factors that impede the ability of municipalities to efficiently and equitably distribute highway funding to improve local road safety.

First-time NITC Funded Researchers

In addition to the people we introduced above, we're also excited to see some new NITC-funded researchers in our latest rounds of funding, bringing their perspectives to bear on transportation problems. These researchers have been awarded roles as investigators on new projects and are embarking on NITC research for the first time:

Jianli Chen, Civil and Environmental Engineering; University of Utah
Co-Investigator on: Enabling Decision-Making in Battery Electric Bus Deployment through Interactive Visualization

Ashton Greer, Civil Engineering; Oregon Tech
Co-Investigator on: Applying a Mt. Mazama Volcanic Ash Treatment as a Trail Accessibility Improvement

Ladd Keith, Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture; University of Arizona
Principal Investigator on: Assessing Cool Corridor Heat Resilience Strategies for Human-Scale Transportation

Diane Mitschke, Social Work; University of Texas at Arlington
Principal Investigator on: Housing Choice, Transportation Equity, and Access to Opportunities in Refugee and Immigrant Communities

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is one of seven U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers. NITC is a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. This PSU-led research partnership also includes the Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, University of Texas at Arlington and University of Utah. We pursue our theme — improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.

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