Professor John Polak is Professor of Transport Demand and Director of the Urban Systems Laboratory, Imperial College London and Honorary Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at South East University in Nanjing, China. He is also a Director of the ESRC London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership. Prior to establishing the Urban Systems Laboratory in 2016, he was Chairman of the Centre for Transport Studies and Director of Research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial.
Professor Polak is a mathematician by background specialising in the areas of mathematical and statistical transport modelling. He is a member of the Mayor of London’s Smart London Board, a Member of the UK Department for Transport’s Strategic Roads Reform Expert Group and a member of the British Standards Institute Advisory Committee on Smart Cities Standards. He is a past President of the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research and the Association for European Transport and a member of a number of TRB Committees and serves on the editorial advisory boards of a number of leading international journals including Transportation Research Part C, the EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics and the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems amongst others. He has served as an advisor to central and local government and industry on a wide range of transport issues, both in the UK and overseas.
Professor Polak has been in the forefront of innovative transport model development in the UK for a number of years and has published extensively on a number of aspects of travel demand modelling, network performance estimation, network control and traffic management and intelligent transport systems. His work has been applied in major projects including the London congestion charging system and London’s traffic management response to the 2012 Olympics. Much of his recent research has been concerned with the collection, analysis and interpretation of very large scale real-time datasets related to operational, behavioural, attitudinal and environmental aspects of transport and urban systems.