People

Ed McCormack

Ed McCormack Research Associate Professor

  edm@uw.edu
  206-543-3348
  Wilson Ceramics Lab 109

Education

  • Ph.D. in Geography, University of Washington, 1997
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Washington, 1985
  • B.S.E. in Geography, University of Washington, 1979

Biography

Edward McCormack is a Research Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has over 35 years’ experience researching and studying a range of transportation issues with much of his recent work evaluating the use of technology in support of freight mobility. Dr. McCormack has led efforts for both the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the Washington State Department of Transportation to use trucking industry data to develop information that will support roadway performance measures and identify problem areas. He has participated in a three National Academy of Engineering projects developing guidebooks that assist in identifying and mitigating truck bottlenecks, incorporate smart growth principles into freight forecasting tools, and assisting public agencies in obtaining freight data. His other projects including an evaluation of different methods of obtaining truck trip generation rates, using unmanned aircraft to support roadside snow avalanche hazard monitoring, and participating as an independent evaluator on a number of USDOT sponsored freight technology projects. Dr. McCormack has also managed a number of USDOT studies to test transponder technology to facilitate truck flows along roadways and through border crossings and seaports. Prior to working at the university, he was a consultant completing transportation impact studies and running transportation forecasting models.

Research

The broad theme of McCormack's research program has been to explore the use of technology to improve mobility for people and goods. Improved data storage, wireless communications, and faster computers have created new streams of high quality transportation information. This information allows operators and the public to be more strategic and efficient about using our transportation system but also requires new thinking and innovative approaches. Given the belief in our society that technology can solve many problems, one challenge that he frequently addresses in his research is elemental: what works? For example, his research has evaluated the application and usability of different in-vehicle tracking technologies and of freight-oriented traveler information systems. A second topic of importance is his recent research—derived from his interest in technology—that explores the development of quantitative tools that can use streaming data. Many of his projects have used these data to create performance measures that allow the monitoring of vehicle travel activity and the calculation of metrics that support engineering and planning decisions.

He has increasingly focused on freight mobility. Despite freight’s obvious importance to our society, this area of transportation has traditionally been understudied by academics, particularly in comparison to people transportation. As a researcher, he has found that there are opportunities to provide innovative insights in this area.