MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) head Markus Buehler has announced the promotions of two faculty members in the department: Marta González, who was promoted to associate professor without tenure, and Colette Heald, who was promoted to associate professor with tenure.
Marta González’s research focuses on urban computing, particularly in the intersections of people with the built environment as well as with their social networks. A recent leader in this emergent field, González has introduced new tools into transportation research during her time at MIT. Her current research explores human mobility patterns using mobile phone communication, propagation of mobile phone viruses, and urban transportation models. In the same manner, González integrates methods of complex systems with a physics approach, combining computation, geographic information systems, and network theory to model human interaction. Her ultimate goal is to design urban mobility solutions, which will pave the way for sustainable development of smart cities. In the past few years, she has twice received the Best Paper Award in the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining International Workshop on Urban Computing.
Colette Heald, an atmospheric chemist, is widely recognized for her significant scholarly achievements, as well as her influential role in the CEE department’s educational programs and students’ academic lives. Heald is an international leader in biosphere-atmosphere interactions, aerosol sources and transformations, and the connections between atmospheric chemistry and climate. She is rooted at the intersection of modeling and observational analysis, with a strong emphasis on the integration of the two. Her work has led to groundbreaking studies that involve the observations of atmosphere from a range of scales including ground stations, aircraft campaigns, and satellite sensors with global models of chemistry and climate. During her time in CEE, Heald has deepened study of the environmental impacts of both particles and gases. This past January, she presented on the environmental impacts on global food security at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to an audience of world leaders in business, policy, and academia.