A professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer, Holguin-Veras is director of the Institute’s Center for Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment and Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems. He began his academic career as a faculty member at The City College of New York, and joined Rensselaer as a tenured associate professor in 2002. He was promoted to full professor in 2006, and the Hart Professor in 2011.
Holguín-Veras is known as a global leader in the areas of freight demand modeling, transportation economics, and humanitarian logistics. He also studies behavior relating to sustainability policies and the impact of transportation on the environment. As part of his supply chain research, Holguín-Veras led the multidisciplinary teams that investigated the cause of logistical failures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan. He is actively working to develop new theories and methods for expediting the flow of critical supplies to the site of extreme events.
In another influential project, Holguín-Veras led the development of an off-hours freight delivery system in Manhattan that combined global positioning system (GPS) remote sensing monitoring with GPS-enabled smart phones. This transportation technology solution has facilitated a shift in deliveries from the congested daytime hours to the off-hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Since the system was implemented in 2010, freight receivers have praised the superior reliability of off-hour deliveries, while carriers have reported increased productivity. The off-hour freight deliveries benefit daytime travelers and pedestrians with reduced congestion, noise, and pollution.
For this work, the White House in 2013 honored Holguín-Veras as a “Transportation Champion of Change.” The National Science Foundation (NSF) recognized him in 2001 with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. In 1996, he received the Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers, and in 2001 was the recipient of a proclamation from the City Council of New York, honoring his research accomplishments and contributions to local communities.
Holguín-Veras is active in leadership positions at several key international research organizations. He is president of the Pan-American Association of Transportation Research, an elected member of the Council of the Association for European Transport, and a member of the board of directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of New York. Holguín-Veras is a fellow of the International Road Federation, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Organization of American States.
He served as conference chair of the 13th Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute on Transportation Sciences, as well as vice president for the Pan-American Conferences of Traffic and Transportation Engineering. He is a member of the board of directors of the University Transportation Research Center, Transportation Infrastructure Research Center, and the Community University Consortium for Regional Environmental Justice. Additionally, Holguín-Veras was appointed by former New York Governor David Paterson to serve on the New York State Thruway Authority Board. He is also a member of several journal editorial boards.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Holguín-Veras received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, his master’s degree in transportation from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and his doctoral degree in transportation from the University of Texas at Austin.