Leeds University

Meet the directors

Stephane Hess

Stephane Hess is Professor of Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport Studies and Director of the Choice Modelling Centre at the University of Leeds. He is also Honorary Professor in Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney, and affiliated Professor of Demand Analysis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. His main research interests lie in the use of advanced discrete choice models for the analysis of travel behaviour, primarily with the use of stated preference data. Here, Stephane has made contributions to the state of the art in the specification, estimation and interpretation of such models, notably in a valuation of travel time savings context, while also publishing numerous papers on the benefits of advanced structures in actual large-scale transport analyses, for example in the context of air travel behaviour research.

His contributions have been recognised for example by the 2014 Outstanding Young Member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) award for exceptional achievements in transportation research, policy, the 2010 Fred Burggraf award handed out by the Transportation Research Board, the 2005 Eric Pas award for the best PhD thesis in the area of travel behaviour modelling, and the 2004 Neil Mansfield award handed out by the Association for European Transport.

He is also the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling, the founder and steering committee chair of the International Choice Modelling Conference, and the co-chair for the 14th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, to be held in London in 2015. He is an associate editor of Transportation Research Part E, and serves on the editorial advisory board of two other leading journals; Transportation Research Part B and Transportation. He is a member of the two key academic transport modelling committees of the Transportation Research Board (Travel Demand Forecasting and Travel Behaviour and Values) and is a member of the board of the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research.

Charisma Choudhury

Dr Charisma Choudhury has recently joined the University of Leeds as a Lecturer in Transport Engineering and Emerging Economies. Prior to that, she worked as an Assistant Professor at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). She is also a Research Affiliate of the HumNET Laboratory and Intelligent Transportation Systems Program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Charisma’s previous research focused on developing driving behaviour models that capture the unobserved plans behind the observed choices. She also has significant expertise in choice modelling in the context of developing countries, particularly focusing on methodologies to address the limitations of the data available for developing choice models in such contexts.

During her consulting career at RAND Europe, UK and Cambridge Systematics, USA, she worked on various fields of choice modelling including personal transport, freight and logistics, lottery products, energy and water services. Her current research interest involves utilising ubiquitous data sources like GPS, mobile phone and social-networking platforms for modelling mobility and lifestyle decisions.

In recognition of her research, Charisma has received the Gordon Newell Memorial Prize and an Honourable Mention from the International Association of Travel Behaviour Research.