Rick Donnelly is a vice president and technical fellow at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, with 30 years of experience in travel modeling and simulation. He has focused in recent years on activity-based modeling of person and freight flows at the urban and statewide levels, as well as agent-based simulation of defense logistics systems. Rick is presently leading the design of a bilevel integrated economic-transport model for the province of Ontario (Canada), as well as high-speed rail forecasts of the Texas Department of Transportation. He has also actively involved in developing data-driven forecasting frameworks, based on the fusion of big data, stated preference surveys, and discrete event simulations.
Over the past decade, Rick has also led the design of statewide travel forecasting models in Arizona, Maryland, and North Carolina. During that time he also convened an internationally prominent peer review panel to advise the California High-Speed Rail Authority on ridership forecasting, after considerable controversy over the forecasts and models used to build them came under withering public scrutiny. He has also spent considerable time defending the forecasts in court, as well as serving as an expert advisor in litigation related to failed tolling projects in New South Wales. His experience in these legal realms has altered his ideas about how travel forecasting should be carried out.
Rick has a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Melbourne. In addition to his work at WSP he is also a visiting scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and co-chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Travel Forecasting Resources (ABD45). He is also a member of the Association for European Transport’s freight and logistics committee, and highly interested in the impacts of artificial intelligence and increasing automation on society, and implications for transport planning.