Huaizhu Oliver


Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
324 Hollister Hall
Ithaca, New York
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs


Dr. Gao, Director of Cornell Systems Engineering and Director of Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH), is an Associate Professor with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He is an elected member in the graduate fields of 1) Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2) Air Quality in Earth and Atmospheric Science, 3) Cornell Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA), and 4) Systems Engineering at Cornell University. His research focuses on quantitative modeling and development of engineering systems solutions for sustainable and intelligent infrastructure and lifeline systems, low carbon and low emission transportation systems, and the closely related environment (especially air quality and climate change)-energy systems. He also studies alternative transportation/energy technologies, systems innovation, and green supply chain and logistics (e.g., sustainable food systems, quantifying and mitigating green-house gas emissions from food supply chains). He is a member of Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation and Air Quality (ADC20), an academic member on the Federal Advisory Committee of US EPA MOVES model development, a member of Transportation Research Board Committee on Maintenance Equipment (AHD60), and a member of the Cornell Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF). Gao received his graduate degrees (Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, M.S. in Statistics, and M.S. in Agriculture and Resource Economics) from the University of California at Davis in 2004, M.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1999, and duel undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Civil Engineering in 1996 from Tsinghua University, China. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. Before joining Cornell, Gao was a quant in the mathematical and econometrical modeling division at the Rohatyn Group, LLG, a Wall Street hedge fund specializing in emerging markets including the BRIC countries.

Methodological: data science, networks/complex systems, engineering computing, statistics/econometrics, mathematical optimization & operations research, and experimental methods for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems, Healthy Community, and Smart Cities

  • Cooperative networked built-and-natural environment: Computational infrastructure and environment system sustainability management and optimization for the protection of human health and natural systems; inter-relationship between infrastructure and air quality, multi-scale air quality modeling– linking health risks modeling to air quality policy and infrastructure management;
  • Technology innovation and assessment for clean transportation and community health (hybrid-diesel electrical technology, alternative fuels, diesel retrofit)—on-board measurement and quantification of size-resolved particle number emissions from alternative vehicle/engine/fuel technologies;
  • Data science, deep learning, and systems analytics for the planning and management of complex systems/networks: integrated infrastructure and environment/energy systems modeling and advanced decision methodologies (e.g., low carbon and low emission transportation systems; complex systems of coupled transportation, environment and energy networks)
  • Cyber-innovation in data-driven high-fidelity urban informatics for healthy living in smart & sustainable cities: air quality and exposure monitoring, cellular microwave networks for air quality and precipitation monitoring, advanced travelers general information systems (ATGIS);
  • Behavior and agent-based systems modeling: generalized matching theory in two-sided networks; hierarchical multi-stakeholder modeling and mechanism design in public-private partnership for sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems;
  • Performance-based engineering and life-cycle management of infrastructure and technology systems?mathematical modeling and control theory for life-cycle management optimization of sustainable infrastructure and environment systems--technology, system analytics, and decision science;

Green supply chain and logistics: low carbon agriculture systems and food supply chains; mathematical systems modeling and policy analyses for food security and carbon policy.

  1. Xie Y, Zhao L, Xue J, Gao HO, Li H, Jiang R, Qiu X, Zhang S (2018), Methods for defining the scopes and priorities for joint prevention and control of air pollution regions based on datamining technologies, Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.101
  2. Beheshtiana, A., K.P. Donaghy, R. Geddes, H. O. Gao (2018). Climate-adaptive planning for the long-term resilience of transportation energy infrastructure, To be published in: Transportation Research Part E
  3. Tan, Z.G, H.O. Gao. (2018). Hybrid Model Predictive Control based Dynamic Tolling of Managed Lanes with Multiple Accesses, accepted, Transportation Research B
  4. Tan, Z.G, H.O. Gao. (2018). Bayesian Inference for Static Traffic Network Flows with Mobile Sensor Data. Proceedings of 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (accepted).
  5. Tan, Z.G, H.O. Gao. (2018). Ventilation Control in Complex Tunnels with Distributed Vents. Proceedings of  2018 American Control Conference.
  6. Sayarshad, H.P, H. O. Gao (2018). A scalable non-myopic dynamic dial-a-ride and pricing problem for competitive on-demand mobility systems, accepted, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies.
  7. Heo, J.P, P. J. Adams, H.O. Gao, (2017). Public health costs accounting of inorganic PM2.5 pollution in metropolitan areas of the United States using a risk-based source-receptor model, Environment International 106  119–126.
  8. Amirgholy, M. P, H.O. Gao (2017), Modeling dynamics of congestion in urban networks using macroscopic fundamental diagram: user equilibrium, system optimum, and pricing strategies,  Transportation Research Part B: Methodology, Volume 104, October 2017, 215-237.
  9. Tan, Z.G, H.O. Gao (2017). Optimizing vent configuration for complex urban tunnels considering environmental constraints, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Volume: 26 Issue: 1, 368-376.
  10. Amirgholy, M.P, M. Shahabi, , H.O. Gao (2017). Optimal design of sustainable transit systems in congested urban networks: A macroscopic approach. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review 103 261–285.
  11. Zhao, L. V, J. Wang, H. O. Gao, Y. Xie, R. Jiang, Q. Hu, Y. Sun (2017), Evaluation of particulate matter concentration in Shanghai’s metro system and strategy for improvement, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 53 (2017) 115–127.
  12. Shao, Z., Zu-Jun Ma, Jiuh-Biing Sheu, H. O. Gao (2017). Evaluation of large-scale transnational high-speed railway construction priority in the belt and road region, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review,
  13. David, N.P and H. O. Gao (2017). The potential of existing cellular networks for detecting the precursors of fog, . Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123.
  14. David, N.P and H. O. Gao (2017) Atmospheric monitoring using commercial microwave networks (A review paper). Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Environmental Science And Technology (CEST). Rhodes, Greece, August 31–September 2, 2017.
  15. Amirgholy, M.PP, M. Shahabi,  H.O. Gao (2017). An Advanced Traveler Navigation System Adapted to Route Choice Preferences of the Individual Users, International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, Volume 6, Issue 4, 240-254.
  16. Sayarshad, H.P, H. O. Gao (2017). A non-myopic dynamic inventory routing and pricing problem, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Volume 109, 83-98.
  17. Beheshtiana, A., K.P. Donaghy, H. O. Gao, S. Safaied, and R. Geddes (2017). Impacts and implications of climatic extremes for resilience planning of transportation energy: A case study of New York City, Journal of Cleaner Production, Available online 10 November 2017,

Editor-in-Chief, Transportation Research D: Transport and Environment (2014-2017); EPA’s Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) MOVES Review Work Group; Transportation Research Board (TRB) Research Topics Subcommittee of ADC10 (Transportation and Environment); TRB Committee ADC20 (Transportation and Air Quality); TRB Committee AHD60 (Equipment Maintenance); TRB SHRP2 Capacity Technical Expert Task Group (TETG) for C04: Improving Understanding of Highway Users and the Factors Affecting Travel Demand; TRB SHRP2 Capacity TETG for C10A: Partnership to Develop an Integrated Travel Model.

Built Environment and Sustainability


CTECH was proud to host the 2017 “Built Environment and Sustainability” activity as part of the Cornell College of Engineering Diversity Program’s CATALYST Academy.

2018 CURIE Academy ( 

CURIE Research Project: Smart and Healthy Cities

In the 2018 CURIE Academy, participants will learn how urban infrastructure provides critical services for the health, economic well-being, and security of modern communities, and represents one of the defining characteristics of the modern world. Stress in the physical infrastructure is reflected in structural deterioration and interruption of service from increased exposure to both natural and anthropogenic hazards including environmental pollution. Physical infrastructure and interdependent social, economic, and environmental systems are also stressed by population growth, social inequities, and the institutional barriers to integrated and intelligent infrastructure management. The social, economic, and political dimensions of urban life are intimately tied to functional infrastructure.

Since my academic career started at Cornell University in 2005, I have advised 8 post-doctoral research scholars (one of them now is an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics & Statistical Sciences at Arizona State University, another is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics at McGill University); 8 Ph.D. students; 8 Master’s students; 50+ M-Eng students; and 16 undergraduate research assistants. I have graduated 5 Ph.D. students and 4 M.S. students. Mr. Asaba, who was on a Fulbright Scholarship, returned to Rwanda after getting his M.S. degree at Cornell. He is currently Director of Road and Waterway Transport with Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency. He is also a visiting lecturer in Transportation Engineering at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), which is the only institution of higher education in Rwanda that offers transportation courses in its undergraduate program.  

All the M.S./Ph.D. students that I supervised have appeared or will appear as co-authors on at least one peer-reviewed journal publication or conference presentation.  I have also co-authored one journal paper with one M-Eng advisee (Vincent Kitirattragarn), one journal paper with one undergraduate research assistant (Amaya Bapat), and one manuscript with a sophomore undergraduate research assistant (Eric Liu). Awards and Honors to my graduate students include: American Association of Advanced Science (AAAS) Fellowship; U.S. EPA Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship; FHWA Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship; NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) Ph.D. Fellowship; New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) September 11th Memorial Program Graduate Fellowship; and Cornell Institute for African Development (IAD) Tuition Fellowship. In 2008, I was nominated by the School of Civil and Engineering for the Cornell University Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award, which recognizes "sustained and distinguished contributions of professorial faculty and senior lecturers to undergraduate advising”. I was selected as one of the College of Engineering’s outstanding teachers, the winner of the James and Mary Tien Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.

  • SYSEN6100: Ezra Roundtable Systems Seminar Series (
  • CEE4650/6650: Transportation systems and air quality planning and modeling
  • SYSEN 5300: Systems engineering and six sigma for the design and operation of reliable systems

University of California, Davis, CA.                  Ph.D. (Civil & Environ. Engr.) 2004

Dissertation: Spatial and temporal statistical data analyses of tropospheric ozone, NOx dynamics and transportation activities/emissions in Southern CA. (UCTC Dissertation Award)

Dissertation Committee: Professors Debbie Niemeier, Mike Kleeman, Daniel Chang.

University of California, Davis, CA.       M.S. (Agri. & Resource Economics) 2004

University of California, Davis, CA.                                                 M.S. (Statistics) 2004

Tsinghua University, beijing, China.                                            M.S. (Civil Engr.) 1999

M.S. Thesis: Finite element method (FEM) for the interactions among highrise-structure, pile-raft foundation and soil systems.  Advisor: Professor Erxiang Song.

Tsinghua University, beijing, China.                                     B.E. (Environ. Engr.) 1996

Senior Thesis: Transportation emissions and air pollution in Beijing. Advisor: Professor Huapu Lu (Transportation) and Professor Kebin He (Atmospheric Science).

Tsinghua University, beijing, China.                    B.E. (Civil Engr., with honor) 1996

Senior Thesis: Numerical methods for the analysis of pile-raft foundations. Advisor: Prof. E. Song.

Director, Cornell Systems Engineering program      

Director, Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH)

Assoc. Director, Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP)