Shashi Nambisan is the inaugural Executive Director of the Alabama Transportation Institute (ATI) and a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alabama (UA). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras, Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California Berkeley. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Nevada.
Professor Nambisan has more than 29 years of experience including about 22 years leading the development and growth of research enterprises. At ATI he leads research and outreach initiatives to address economics, finance, management, operations, planning, policy, and safety needs, challenges, and opportunities. ATI includes participation from seven associated centers and several colleges and departments across UA. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1989 to 2007, he led the initiation and development of the Transportation Research Center to a nationally visible program which was sought by state and regional decision makers for objective technical analyses. At Iowa State University (2007-2013), as Director, he led the transformation of the Center for Transportation Research and Education to the Institute for Transportation. He significantly enhanced its national competitiveness and recognition: annual expenditures grew by 35 percent in six years in the midst of the economic recession (2007-2012). At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2014-2016), as a Professor of Civil Engineering and the Education Director of the Southeastern Transportation Center, he led efforts to develop innovative partnerships to address transportation challenges and education.
Professor Nambisan has led efforts on more than 165 projects, grants, gifts on a broad range of multi-disciplinary topics related to data enabled decision support for transportation and infrastructure systems management, safety, and education and workforce development. He has authored or co-authored more than 135 peer reviewed journal and conference publications. Along with his students and colleagues, he has made over 250 technical presentations at international, national, and regional conferences and at universities. His efforts have been sponsored by more than a dozen national, state and local government agencies, such as the US Department of Transportation, US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control (National Institutes of Health), National Park Service, State Departments of Transportation in Nevada, Iowa, and Tennessee; private and not-for-profit organizations. He also has served as a Technical Advisor for the World Bank. His students and advisees have received numerous scholarships and awards at local, regional, and national levels.
Professor Nambisan also has been very active in leadership roles of several professional societies and organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education (Chair CE Division 2011-12), Council of University Transportation Centers (President 2014-15), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Transportation Research Board (TRB), a unit of the National Academies. His roles include those as the Chair of the TRB National Data Requirements and Programs (2012-2018), and on several national committees and project oversight panels.
Among the awards and honors Professor Nambisan has received is a proclamation by the Governor of Nevada designating January 31, 2007 as the “Professor Shashi Nambisan Day” in recognition of his leadership role in and contributions to enhancing transportation safety, and the best paper award in the STEM and Community Engagement category at the Engineering Leaders Conference on Engineering Education in Qatar in November 2014.