Monday, May 21, 2018

Q&A: José Weissmann, UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Q&A: José Weissmann, UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

José Weissmann researches transportation infrastructure management and pavement materials.

(May 15, 2018) -- José Weissmann is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio, specializing in transportation infrastructure management and pavement materials.

Weissmann has been a member of the UTSA faculty for 25 years and is the author of several studies on transportation topics, including the long-term impact of heavy trucks on Texas roads and state transportation investment, as well as works that delve into how to make bridges and roads safer and public transportation more cost-effective.

How would you describe your current research? Why did you decide to focus on this topic?

My current research has a very wide spectrum in the transportation area. However, I have many projects completed in the highway infrastructure management area, more specifically truck size and weight regulation impacts on the highway infrastructure.

What is one experience as a professor or researcher that has inspired you?

We did a significant amount of work for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) that supported the passage of two propositions that provided TxDOT access to the Texas Rainy Day Fund and supported the end of some tax diversions that were affecting transportation funding.

These approved propositions are what is funding the design and construction boom that is going on at the moment in Texas. The report that supported these propositions is called the Texas 2030 Committee report. UTSA was listed as one of the authors.

Another example is the work that supported discussions at the last Texas Legislative session on truck size and weight regulations. My colleagues and I have collaborated on several bills and discussions with the state government that have had an impact I’m very proud of.

What advice do you have for a student considering joining your field?

We give you the basic tools to get started once you graduate. However, remember that your life and your career are a long journey that involves retraining and reinventing yourself.

What is the most important thing going on in your field that no one is talking about?

The needed change in how we occupy the land and associated population densities and the effect it has on how trips are generated. Texas will have to change the way our cities are laid out to improve transportation issues and make other transportation alternatives feasible.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful. The practical question is how wrong they have to be to not be useful.” -- George E. P. Box 

- Joanna Carver


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