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Heaslip Named Center for Transportation Research Director

Kevin Heaslip
Kevin Heaslip

Professor Kevin Heaslip has been named the new director of UT’s Center for Transportation Research, beginning in the role July 1.

“Now is a great time to be hiring a new director for the Center for Transportation Research with the system and campus focus on future mobility,” said Tickle College of Engineering Associate Dean Bill Dunne. “Dr. Kevin Heaslip is a great fit for this role as he brings a history of strong leadership in transportation- and infrastructure-related engineering, which will serve the university and the state well.”

He comes to the college after an eight-year role as a professor of civil engineering at Virginia Tech.

“The Center for Transportation Research has a long and distinguished history, which positions it well to meet the transportation and mobility challenges of the 21st century,” said Heaslip. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passage means there are great opportunities for CTR to help restore and rehabilitate our transportation system and conduct cutting-edge research that will define the transportation systems of tomorrow.”

Heaslip replaces David Clarke, who retired as director at the end of 2020. Jerry Everett and DeAnna Flinchum served as the interim director and interim associate director, respectively, in the intervening months since Clarke’s retirement.

He earned his bachelor’s in 2002 and his master’s in 2003 from Virginia Tech. He minored in urban and regional planning as an undergraduate and in transportation and infrastructure systems engineering in graduate school. He then earned his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst in 2007, also in civil engineering.

Heaslip served as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Florida in 2007-08, as an assistant professor, and then an assistant and Associate Professor at Utah State University from 2008-14, when he joined Virginia Tech’s faculty.

CTR began in 1970; it is celebrating its 50th anniversary of being fully operational in 2022, maintaining a track record of excellence in transportation-related research.

Today, the Center for Transportation Research has more than $10 million in sponsored, ongoing research and remains committed to exploring all avenues related to transportation, including roads, rails, and waterways, as well as safety, analytics, and planning of corridors and modes of transit.

CTR is constructed to encourage collaboration, both within and outside the university, and is poised to play a vital role in the nation’s infrastructure challenges.

The center also considers its public outreach component a critical part of its mission, with seatbelt safety demonstrations, the Tennessee Transportation Assistance Program, and railroad education and training being the most visible example of that effort.