Debbie A. Niemeier

  • Professor Emerita, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Air Quality - Transportation
  • Transportation - Climate Change
  • Transportation - Energy - Land Use
  • Infrastructure Funding Policy
Graduate Group TTP


Dr. Debbie Niemeier is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. She joined UC Davis in 1994 as an Assistant Professor after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

Her research interests focus on transportation-air quality modeling, energy consumption and land use interactions, sustainability and the project development process for major infrastructure projects. She teaches graduate classes in travel demand modeling, transportation-air quality, and transportation finance.

She has served on the expert independent review teams to assess the cost increases associated with the San Francisco Bay Bridge and to review the cost methods used for the proposed 3rd locks of the Panama Canal. Her work in mobile source emissions has contributed to many significant policy documents including the recent PM hotspot guidance issued by the EPA, in which she served as the lead author of the section on California requirements.

She was also the lead author for the Transportation chapter of the 2012 Southwest Climate Change Inventory. Working with an interdisciplinary research group of graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and faculty collaborators, she has published more than 110 journal articles and many book chapters.

She has been the major advisor for 22 Ph.D. students, several of whom are now faculty members at the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and the University of New Mexico.

She currently serves as the Director for the Sustainable Design Academy at UC Davis and has just completed a 6-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Transportation Research, Part A, the leading international journal focused on transportation policy and practice.

She is a member of the National Academy of Science Environmental Systems and Energy Board as well as a member of the Mars Corp. Scientific Advisory Council on Sustainability and the science advisory board for Capital Public Radio.

She has served as Dept. Chair and as the Director of the John Muir Institute and Associate Vice Chancellor in the Office of Research at UC Davis. For more than 10 years, she was the Director of the UC Davis- Caltrans Air Quality Project, a state and federally funded research program aimed at improving vehicle emissions modeling and developing regulatory responses for state and local agencies. She has received a number of awards including the Aldo Leopold Leadership Award (2005), the Chancellor’s Fellow Award (2001-2004), an NSF CAREER award (1997), and UC Davis Outstanding Faculty Mentor (1997) and Faculty Advisor (1995) Awards.

She is a member of the Transportation Research Board and NECTAR, the Network on European Communications and Transport Activities Research. She has served on several National Research Council committees; her current committee service includes NCHRP 25-38 (Data Sources for MOVEs) and SHRP 2 C10B (Partnership to Develop an Integrated Travel Demand Model and Fine-Grained, Time-Sensitive Network) Expert Task Group. She recently completed membership on the American Association for the Advancement of Science, serving an elected four-year member-at-large term on the AAAS engineering section nominating committee. She is a member of the graduate faculty in the department of Computer Science as well as a member of a number of interdisciplinary graduate groups: Transportation, Technology, and Policy; Ecology; and Geography. She is currently serving on the Geography Graduate Group Executive Committee.

2005 Aldo Leopold Leadership Award

1997 National Science Foundation, CAREER Award

1997 Outstanding Mentor Award, UC Davis Consortium for Res. for Women

1995 Outstanding Faculty Advisor, UC Davis, College of Engineering

ECI 162 Transportation Land Use Sustainable Design (4)

Lecture—3 hours; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 161 or 163. Interactions between land use and transportation systems design. Generalized design paradigm; group problem solving.


ECI 251 Transportation Demand Analysis (4)

Lecture—4 hours. Prerequisite: course 114 or the equivalent. Procedures used in urban travel demand forecasting. Principles and assumptions of model components (trip generation, trip distribution, model split). New methods of estimating travel demand. Computer exercises using empirical data to calibrate models and forecast travel demand.


ECI 269 Transportation-Air Quality: Theory and Practice (4)

Lecture—3 hours; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 149 or the equivalent. Health and regulatory aspects of airborne pollutants. Principles of modeling vehicle emissions. Conformity issues and the regulatory framework. Regional and micro-scale modeling.

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