News & Features

Chandra Bhat Receives Humboldt Award

Chandra Bhat

Chandra Bhat is the recipient of the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany. The award recognizes “academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.”

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, based in Bonn, Germany, grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards annually to scientists and scholars from abroad with internationally recognized academic qualifications. Award winners are invited to carry out research projects of their own choice in Germany in cooperation with colleagues. Among past winners of this prestigious prize are nearly 40 Nobel Laureates. The Humboldt network is a nonprofit foundation established by Germany for the promotion of international research cooperation.

As part of the Humboldt Award, Bhat plans to collaborate with Prof. Kai Nagel at Technische Universitat (TU) Berlin on research issues at the interface of transportation demand modeling and transportation supply modeling. He will also collaborate with Prof. Claudia Czado in the mathematical statistics field at TU München. Prof. Czado and Chandra share interests in the area of complex multi-dimensional dependency modeling, an important methodological issue in accommodating interactions between decision making agents in complex systems such as transport systems.

A brief description of Chandra Bhat's contributions

Bhat has made fundamental contributions in the form of discoveries, recognized theories, and insights in examining the inter-linkages among human behavioral dynamics and activity-travel choices on the one hand, and built environments on the other. His fundamental study of these linkages has broad social and environmental implications for human quality of life, especially at the interface of transportation, urban policy design, public health, energy dependence, sustainable development, and greenhouse gas emissions.

He has not only contributed to the fundamental study of human activity and travel behavior, but has also been a pioneer in the formulation and use of analytic methods. His published analytic-oriented scholarly pieces have been seminal and innovative contributions that represent a body of research that has significantly impacted the econometric and statistical fields. These published research efforts have been described by leading transportation and economics researchers as “absolutely pivotal”, “a phenomenal development in the discrete choice field”, “a quantum leap forward” and “electrifying in terms of its scope”.

In all, Bhat now has over 150 high quality (published or forthcoming) refereed journal publications, and the number of times his work has been cited, as per the Thomas Reuters Web of Science database, is close to the 2400 mark with an h-index of 30. He is currently listed by Google Scholar among the top ten most cited civil engineering researchers around the world. Two of his papers have been included in a book compilation of the 44 most influential scholarly papers in the choice modeling field in the past 80 years. He has received many awards during his career, including the prestigious 2008 Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF) program coordinated by the US Department of State. As importantly, Bhat has made significant scientific impacts by producing a new generation of high quality researchers.