Cynthia Chen is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle (UW). She received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Davis in 2001. Prior to joining UW, she taught for six years from 2003 to 2009 in the City College of New York as an assistant professor. She directs the THINK (Transportation-Human Interaction and Network Knowledge) lab at the UW and the research conducted at the lab centers around three inter-connected themes: travel behavior (aka human mobility) analysis, resilient infrastructures, and their intersections. Studying these related themes allows her group to explore the sustainability and resilience of a city through the lens of human beings interacting with the physical environment. The knowledge and insights generated can be used in city planning, infrastructure development and policy design. She is an associate editor for Transportation. She has chaired the time use and travel patterns subcommittee under the Travel Behaviors and Values committee at TRB, as well as served on a number of TRB committees (Travel Behaviors and Values committee, Telecommunications committee, and Travel Survey committee). She has published 50 peer-reviewed journal publications in leading journals in transportation, urban planning, public health and infrastructure systems. Her research has been supported by both federal (NSF, NIH, APAR-E, NIST, FHWA) and state agencies (state and city DOTs and regional MPOs).
- Ph.D., University of California, Davis
- M.S., New Jersey Institute of Technology
- B.A., Nan Kai University, China
- City College of New York
The THINK (Transportation-Human Interaction and Network Knowledge) Lab, directed by Cynthia Chen, studies the sustainability and resilience of a city through the lens of human beings interacting with the physical environment. We generate new knowledge and insights for use in city planning, infrastructure development and policy design. Our research results facilitate real-time disaster response and recovery efforts. Our work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on the latest methods and ideas in disciplines from social and natural sciences to engineering.
$2M from NSF to design an ‘adaptable society’
A team led by professor Cynthia Chen has received a nearly $2 million grant from NSF to further research into how urban societal systems can be organized to be both efficient and resilient.
Healthy planet, healthy people
Professor Cynthia Chen discusses how to attain environmental resilience following the pandemic.
Transportation and big data
UW CEE faculty Jeff Ban and Cynthia Chen hosted a panel discussion to better understand and leverage the strengths of emerging big data for a more efficient, equitable and proactive transportation planning process.