U-M associate professor joins Biden administration to work in Transportation Dept.

Robert Hampshire teaches at Ford School of Public Policy

Robert C. Hampshire. (Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy)

ANN ARBOR – Robert Hampshire, associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, has been appointed to work in the U.S. Transportation Department under the Biden administration, it was announced Thursday.

Hampshire’s research focuses on equity, societal and climate implications of connected and autonomous vehicles and other areas of mobility innovation.

He was appointed principal deputy assistant secretary for research and technology at the Transportation Department. The office, which receives an annual investment of $1 billion for transportation research and development, coordinates technology and research programs.

In his role, Hampshire will be responsible for technology activities, research and development for the entire department and in coordination with 40 university transportation centers. He will oversee the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Hampshire was a research associate professor at U-M’s Michigan Institute for Data Science and Transportation Research Institute’s Human Factors group. He is also an affiliated member of faculty in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

“The Ford School community is very proud of Robert and the values and skills he’s bringing to his important new role with the Biden administration,” Dean Michael Barr said in a statement. “Robert’s expertise and his deep commitment to equity, access and justice will improve transportation policy for all Americans.”

Jim Sayer, director of the U-M Transportation Research Institute, said Hampshire’s expertise in technology and transportation technology combined with his commitment to equity will “serve our nation well.”

“He understands that communities with inadequate access to transportation results in negative impacts on peoples’ lives in terms of employment, their access to medical care and healthy foods, and overall quality of life,” Sayer said in a statement.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.