Robert E. Paaswell is a civil engineer and educator from Red Wing, Minnesota, who has been involved in transportation operations, management, and planning since the 1950s. A graduate of Columbia University, where he was also a Ford Foundation fellow, Dr. Paaswell holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He broke into the field as a field engineering assistant for Spencer White & Prentis, Inc., and joined the academic world shortly thereafter. Dr. Paaswell’s past appointments include professorships and research positions at Columbia University; Stevens Institute of Technology; University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; Urban Studies College; and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today, he is director of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, distinguished professor of civil engineering, and director emeritus of the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) for The City College of New York. Additionally, he is director of Sustainable Integrated Building Systems for the National Science Foundation Center, and director of the National Science Foundation Industry University Research Center, as well as chairman of the board for Century Fund. While serving as director of the UTRC at the University of Illinois, Dr. Paaswell initiated a training program for midcareer professionals in mainland China to tackle surface transportation issues. The UTRC conducts a wide range of studies and training programs addressing current and emerging transportation issues.
Among other positions Dr. Paaswell had held are executive director of the Chicago Transit Authority and chairman of the Department of Environmental Design and Planning at the Center for Transportation Studies and Research. Dr. Paaswell has been a visiting expert lecturer at Jilin University of Technology in China, and a member of the City of Buffalo Environmental Management Commission, the New York State Commission on Higher Education, and the MTA Blue Ribbon Commissions. Using his experience and expertise, Dr. Paaswell wrote “Problems of the Carless,” and is a contributing author of works such as “Transport and Urban Development,” “Studies in Israel Planning,” “Decisions for the Great Lakes,” and “New Contributions to Transportation Analysis in Europe.”
In recognition of his accomplishments and achievements, Dr. Paaswell received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Transportation in 2009 and the Department of Transportation Award in 1977. He is a Who’s Who Lifetime Achiever and is featured in Who’s Who in Finance and Business, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in the Midwest and Who’s Who in the East.
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