Dr. Chris Cherry’s research interests include transportation planning, economics, and sustainability; he is also intrigued by the behavioral aspect of transportation engineering and the complex way it is interwoven with human decision-making and sustainability.
Cherry, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is a recent recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to study motorization and sustainability in China.
Cherry has looked at behavioral and environmental aspects related to electric bikes, scooters, and larger electric vehicles in his research and has published articles related to the growth of electrical two-wheelers. He’s also interested in in bicycle transportation planning and safety and is investigating bicycle and pedestrian safety investments, which are often difficult to prioritize in traditional highway safety funding mechanisms. Cherry is also interested in the role of technology in commercial vehicle safety.
Through the National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for US Graduate Students (EAPSI) program, Cherry has brought several students to do transportation-related research overseas. He and his students have also established an electric bike exchange program on campus called “cycleushare,” in part to investigate the open question of whether e-bikes can be included in automated bike sharing schemes and to study the operational, technical, economic, behavioral, and environmental factors of such a system.
Cherry would like to see his research influence transportation policy toward technologies and systems that encourage effective and efficient use of the world’s scarce resources. He received a 2009 Faculty Environmental Leadership Award from UT for his commitment to environmental stewardship on campus as well as the CEE Research Recognition Award in 2012 and 2009. His research has been referenced in several high-profile media outlets including US News and World Report, Time, and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few.