Faculty Profile





Curriculum Vitae



Kari E. Watkins

Frederick L. Olmsted Junior Faculty Professorship & Assistant Professor
Transportation Systems Engineering
SEB 228
206.250.4415
kari.watkins@ce.gatech.edu

BIOGRAPHY

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, University of Washington, 2011
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2003
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering (graduated with highest honors), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1997

Dr. Kari Edison Watkins, P.E., is the Frederick L. Olmsted Junior Faculty Professor and an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She returned to her undergraduate alma mater to become a faculty member in 2011 after completing her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. Her teaching and research interests revolve around multi-modal transportation planning and the use of technology in transportation, especially as related to transit planning and operations and improved traveler information. At the University of Washington, Dr. Watkins’ research focused on transit travel time reliability and the effects of transit traveler information. She co-created the OneBusAway program (http://onebusaway.org/) to provide real-time next bus countdown information and other transit information tools for transit riders in greater Seattle-Tacoma. OneBusAway has won numerous awards and Dr. Watkins dissertation was awarded the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Wootan Award for best dissertation in transportation policy and planning. As a long time cyclist, Dr. Watkins has recently begun to explore cyclist infrastructure preferences through survey research and crowdsourced cycling data through the Cycle Atlanta (http://cycleatlanta.org) program. Dr. Watkins was recently recognized by Mass Transit Magazine as a Top 40 under 40 and she is a three-time invitee to a National Academy of Engineers Frontiers of Engineering. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Watkins worked for a decade as a senior transportation engineer at Wilbur Smith Associates in New Haven, Connecticut. In line with her years in industry, Dr. Watkins’ teaching focus is on including multimodal transportation concepts throughout the curriculum and sending top-notch engineers into the workforce through practical experience in the Senior Capstone course.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Transportation planning
  • Transit planning and operations
  • Traveler Information
  • Mode choice decision making
  • Complete streets design

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Invited to organize the Japan-American Frontiers of Engineering by the National Academy of Engineers – 2016
  • CETL / BP Junior Faculty Teaching Award, Georgia Institute of Technology - 2014
  • Top 40 under 40, Mass Transit Magazine – 2013
  • Invited to present at the Euro-American Frontiers of Engineering by the National Academy of Engineers – 2013
  • Bill Schutz Junior Faculty Teaching Award, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering – 2013
  • Invited to attend the Indo-American Frontiers of Engineering by the National Academy of Engineers - 2012
  • CUTC Wootan Award for Best Dissertation in Transportation Policy and Planning – 2012
  • University of Washington Valle Fellowship – 2010-2011
  • Women’s Transportation Seminar Puget Sound Chapter Helene Overly Scholarship - 2011
  • USDOT Eisenhower Fellowship – 2007-2010
  • University of Washington ARCS Fellowship – 2007-2010
  • UTC Student of the Year for TransNOW – 2009
  • ENO Foundation Leadership Conference – 2008
  • Women’s Transportation Seminar Puget Sound Chapter Helene Overly Scholarship - 2008

RECENT PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS

ARTICLES
  • Berrebi, Simon*, Kari Watkins, and Jorge Laval, “A Real-Time Bus Dispatching Policy to Minimize Headway Variance”, accepted for Transportation Research Part B.
  • Brakewood, Candace*, Gregory Macfarlane, and Kari Watkins, “The Impact of Real-time Information on Bus Ridership in New York City”, Transportation Research Part C, Vol. 53, pp. 59-75, 2015.
  • Brakewood, Candace*, Francisca Rojas, P. Christopher Zegras, Kari Watkins, and Joshua Robin. “An Analysis of Real-time Commuter Rail Information in Boston” Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2015.
  • Brakewood, Candace*, Sean Barbeau and Kari Watkins, “An experiment validating the impacts of transit information on bus riders in Tampa, Florida”, Transportation Research Part A, Vol. 69, pp. 409-422, 2014.
  • Barbeau, Sean, Alan Borning and Kari Watkins, “OneBusAway Multi-region – Rapidly Expanding Mobile Transit Apps to New Cities” Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2014.
BOOKS
  • Bregman, Susan and Kari Watkins Best Practices for Transportation Agency Use of Social Media. CRC Press, 2013.
PROCEEDINGS
  • Berrebi, Simon*, Kari Watkins, and Jorge Laval, “A Real-Time Bus Dispatching Policy to Minimize Passenger Wait Without Buffer”, Conference on Advanced Systems in Public Transportation 2015, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Brakewood, Candace*, and Kari Watkins, “Quantifying the Impact of Real-time Information on Transit Ridership”, Conference on Advanced Systems in Public Transportation 2015, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Le Dantec, Christopher, Kari Watkins, Russ Clark, and Elizabeth Mynatt, “Cycle Atlanta and OneBusAway: Driving innovation through the data ecosystems of civic computing”, HCI International 2015.
  • LeDantec, Christopher, Mariam Asad, Aditi Misra*, and Kari Watkins, “Planning with Crowdsourced Data: Rhetoric and Representation in Transportation Planning”, ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing 2015.
  • Brakewood, Candace*, and Kari Watkins, “A Method for Linking Transit Smart Card Data and Survey Responses to Evaluate Travel Behavior and its Application to a Before-After Analysis of Real-Time Information”, Transportation Research Board 2015 Annual Meeting
REPORTS
  • Watkins, Kari, Jeff LaMondia and Candace Brakewood*, Developing a New Course for Public Transportation Education, STRIDE Project #2012-029S, 2015.
  • Watkins, Kari, Susan Bregman and Kathryn Coffel, TCRP Report 179: Use of Web-based Customer Feedback to Improve Public Transit Service. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 2015.
  • Klein, Hans, Kari Watkins, James Wong, Landon Reed, Victor Wanningen, Bingling Zhang. Information Services in Social Networked Transportation: Governance and ITS. FHWA-GA-14-1226, Georgia Department of Transportation. 2014.
  • Watkins, Kari, James Wong and Maria Roell. Technology Scan of Future Traveler Information Systems and Applications in Georgia. Georgia Department of Transportation. 2013.
  • Hallenbeck, Mark, Chong Pham and Kari Watkins. Incident Response Evaluation Phase 3. Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC). 2011.
PRESENTATIONS
  • What is old is new again! Reinvention of traditional transport services, ITS World Congress Bordeaux, October 2015
  • Roles of open, big and small data in smarter mobility, ITS World Congress Bordeaux, October 2015
  • New Technology-enabled Models for Transit and Urban Mobility, FHWA-Eno Workshop on Emerging Technology Trends in Transportation, Sept 2015
  • Integrating Ped/Bike Concepts into University Courses, Ped-Bike Information Center (part of UNC Highway Safety Research Center) webinar, August 2015
  • Crowdsourcing Cyclist Data, Unraveling Cycling and Pedestrian Flows (European Research Council Grant Kick-off Conference), Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 2015