Willem Klumpenhouwer

I am a transit and passenger rail researcher with over six years of academic and professional experience in data-and-mathematics driven analysis and modelling of urban transportation systems. I bring a strong theoretical and applied research background that emphasizes practical and adaptive applications of theoretical models and bridging the theory-data gap. I have professional experience that enables collaboration with governments, transportation agencies, and stakeholder organizations to inform useful, applicable research projects and encourage funding partnerships, data sharing, and best-practices in the urban transportation feld. I have been recognized as an engaging and thoughtful teacher with a focus on facilitating hands-on participation and active learning in the classroom and as a research supervisor.

My goal is to understand and improve the sustainable movement of people in cities. My research focus include fundamental mathematical modelling of transit systems, urban rail transit optimization and analytics, data analysis and visualization, emerging technologies such as demand-responsive transit and automated vehicles.

Throughout my research process, I aim to analyse and visualize the impacts of potential improvements or changes using interactive data visualization techniques. With a focus on equity and access to sustainable mobility, I hope to bridge the gap between fundamental analytical modelling and the impacts that resulting changes can have on individuals.

You can read about my research experience, view my publications, or learn about my professional experience


2014 - 2018

PhD in Civil Engineering - Transportation

University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

Thesis: Optimal Time Point Location on a Markovian Bus Route.

Supervisor: Professor S. Chan Wirasinghe

Note: Transferred from the MSc program in Winter 2016

2009 - 2013

BSc (Honours) in Theoretical Physics

University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Graduated with distinction

Honours Thesis: Automating protein assignment with multi-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectra.

Supervisor: Professor Vladimir Ladizhansky

Research Experience

July 2020 - Present

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Toronto Transit Analytics Lab, Toronto, Ontario

Supervisor: Professor Amer Shalaby

  • Developing descriptive and predictive analytics of passenger rail reliability and delays in Ontario, Canada using automated vehicle location data, stochastic process modelling, and machine-learning supported categorization of delay logs.
  • Investigated planning and reliability implications of emerging transit technologies such as battery-electric buses and automated transit vehicles using mathematical modelling and simulation.
  • Collaborated on a research proposal between the University of Toronto and Queens University entitled Towards Connected and Autonomous Rail Transit: Assessments and Innovations. The proposal was submitted to the Infrastructure, Technology and Research stream of Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program.
  • Provided research and technical advice supporting the analysis of Twitter data to support transit planning and operations
  • Formulated practical and implementable transit access and equity measures that incorporate multiple destination types

March 2020 - Present

Research Consultant

TransitCenter, Toronto, Ontario

  • Collaborated on a data analysis and geospatial visualization project to demonstrate gaps in transit equity across seven major US urban areas.
  • Built a customized web application to visualize the temporal and spatial distribution of transit access.
  • Co-led a technical group of five, providing strategic direction and scope management while acting as liaison between the project team and the technical implementation team.

March 2020 - July 2020

Mitacs Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Toronto Transit Analytics Lab, Toronto, ON

Supervisor: Professor Amer Shalaby, Dr. Lee Weissling

  • Interviewed municipalities, regional transit agencies, and vendors, and analysed a collection of municipal reports and news articles to synthesize the current state of practice of demand-responsive application-based transit services in Canada.

2014 - 2018

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

Supervisor: Professor S. Chan Wirasinghe

  • Formulated a Markov Chain model of transit reliability to support transit scheduled design and the investigation of the impacts of route changes on reliability.
  • Combined mathematical modelling with the psychology of crowding to inform crowding-sensitive planning of urban rail lines and airports.
  • Created a theoretical model of traffic behaviour in an urban context based on the Principle of Least Action

May 2011 - April 2013

Undergraduate Research Assistant

University of Guelph APXS Group, Guelph, Ontario

Supervisor: Professor Ralf Gellert

  • Built custom data analysis and reporting tools to support the operation and calibration of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on board the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

Relevant Professional Experience

September 2019 - February 2020

Senior Policy Advisor, Strategic Transit Investments

Ministry of Transportation Ontario, Toronto, Ontario

  • Facilitated the development of policy regarding the governance of large transit investment programs.
  • Collaborated with municipalities to update and implement the annual provincial Gas Tax program that provides operational funding to municipal transit systems.
  • Evaluated a cost-benefit tool for active transportation projects.

August 2018 - September 2019

Planner, Systems Analysis and Forecasting

Ministry of Transportation Ontario, Toronto, Ontario

  • Supported ministry priorities through the collection, analysis, and visualization of transportation data in Ontario.
  • Created tools to visualize the outputs of a province-wide transportation forecasting model and to support regional planning efforts in Southwestern Ontario.
  • Analyzed VIA Rail arrival and departure data to investigate network reliability issues.
  • Built a data governance tool to improve the storage and management of multiple data sources within the ministry.
  • Analyzed automated vehicle location data of commercial vehicles to map congestion and the flow of commerce.
  • Co-led the collection of data in the 2018 Commercial Vehicle Survey program, working with transportation enforcement officers at the Milton Commercial Vehicle Inspection Station.

December 2013 - April 2014

Rail Traffic Controller

Canadian Pacific Railway, Calgary, Alberta

  • Safely and efficiently dispatched trains, monitored train movements, coordinated access to track for maintenance, and responded to evolving situations such as crew schedules, weather, and infrastructure disruptions on one of the largest rail networks in North America.
  • Gained familiarity and experience with the language of operations of North American railways, including training in the Canadian Rail Operation Rules.

Teaching Experience

Winter 2020 - Present

Course Developer, Transit Analytics

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

  • Co-developing a new graduate-level course in prescriptive and descriptive transit data analytics to be delivered Summer 2021.
  • Identifying needs through collaborative workshops with industry partners on the skills and topics needed for graduating transit data analysts.
  • Preparation of course outlines, lecture materials, and coding workbooks to support hands-on student learning of applied data analysis topics in transit.

Winter & Fall 2018

Guest Lecturer, Transit Planning and Engineering

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

  • Conceived of and designed a set of lectures under the theme of ``The Science and Politics of Transit'' for 25-50 undergraduate students, covering the topics of what makes transit useful, compromise and trade-offs in transit, mathematical modelling of these trade-offs, and optimization of these models.
  • Transferred key concepts to students through formal lectures and mathematical formulations.
  • Facilitated active learning through collaborative critical problem solving, individual self-reflection, and group discussion of current event topics in transit planning in Calgary.

Winter 2015, 2016, & 2017

Teaching Assistant, Risk and Safety in Civil Engineering

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

  • Developed and facilitated flexible lesson plans for labs that included detailed explanations and work-throughs of example problems, the introduction of supplementary material and concepts, and accommodated student needs and gaps in knowledge.
  • Promoted critical thinking and active learning in students by connecting course content to topics outside the course material.
  • Supported student learning by creating and curating additional material to reinforce course concepts and reinforce prerequisite knowledge.
  • Curated, organized, and standardized course materials including problem sets, detailed solutions, quizzes, and exams using LaTeX.
  • Managed the course's online learning system (D2L) including posting course materials and updates, managing student grades, and responding to online inquiries about course content.
  • Coordinated three guest lecturers each year, including scheduling and distribution of materials.
  • Designed and tested midterm and final exam questions.
  • Graded and provided technical feedback on quizzes, midterms, and final exams.
  • Developed and facilitated a lecture on moment generating functions.
  • Delivered a lecture on probability analysis and Bayes Theorem.
  • Received positive feedback from the course instructor and from student evaluations. Received the Teaching Assistance Excellence Award (2016).

Spring 2015

Workshop Instructor, Pythonic Research: Making Data Easier With Python

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

  • Designed and delivered a full-day workshop for graduate students and faculty on the use of Python and associated libraries for transportation research.
  • Encouraged participants to prepare for the workshop by conceiving of a manageable research problem and collecting the associated data.
  • Introduced participants to fundamental programming concepts in Python by facilitating active participation in solving basic numerical programming problems.
  • Introduced databases as a data management tool, and demonstrated how to use them with Python.
  • Facilitated hands-on application of concepts to their individual workshop problems.
  • Coordinated three guest lecturers each year, including scheduling and distribution of materials.
  • Connected concepts to transportation research by demonstrating applications in transportation such as GPS visualization and analysis.

Academic Contributions

Note: Publications that are under review are indicated as such.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications
  • Kabbani, O., Klumpenhouwer, W., Shalaby, A., and El-Diraby, T. (2021) What do riders say and where? The detection and analysis of eyewitness transit tweets. Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems (Under Review) link
  • Pu, Y., Srikukenthiran, S., Morrow, E., Shalaby, A., and Klumpenhouwer, W. (2021) Capacity Analysis of a Passenger Rail Hub using Integrated Railway and Pedestrian Simulation. Urban Rail Transit (Under Review) link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W., Allen, J., Li, L., Liu, R., Robinson, M., Da Silva, D. L., Farber, S., Karner, A., Rowangould, D., Shalaby, A., Buchanan, M., and Higashide, S. (2021) A Comprehensive Transit Accessibility and Equity Dashboard. Findings link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2021) Modelling Stochastic Transportation Networks with Markov Chains. Transportmetrica (Under Review) link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Kattan, L. (2020) Principles of Least Action in Urban Traffic Flow. Findings link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Huang, W. (2020) A flexible framework for measuring accessibility with destination bundling. Journal of Transport Geography link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Wirasinghe, S.C. (2018) Optimal Time Point Configuration of a Bus Route – A Markovian Approach. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Wirasinghe, S. C. (2016) Cost-of-crowding model for light rail train and platform length. Public Transport link
Peer-Reviewed Conference Publications
  • Klumpenhouwer, W., De Barros, Alexandre G., and Wirasinghe, S.C. (2016) Crowding and passenger flow effects on optimal departure lounge configuration. Proceedings of the 14th World Conference on Transport Research link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Wirasinghe, S. C. (2015) An algorithm for using real-time information to improve inter-time-point bus movement. Proceedings of the 2015 CSCE Annual Conference link
Peer-Reviewed Conference Presentations
  • Klumpenhouwer, W., Shalaby, A., and Weissling, L. (2021) The State of Demand-Responsive Transit in Canada. 100th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (Presentation) link
  • Esmaeilnejad, S., Klumpenhouwer, W., Wirasinghe, S.C., and Kattan, L. (2021) Optimal En-Route Electric Bus Charging Station Locations and their Impacts on Reliability. 2021 International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory
  • Kabbani, O., Klumpenhouwer, W. . Shalaby, A., and El-Diraby, T. (2021) What do Riders Say and Where? The Detection and Analysis of Eyewitness Transit Tweets. Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2021 (Presentation)
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2021) The Impact of Shared Corridors on Intercity Passenger Rail Reliability in Canada. Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2021 (Presentation) link
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Wirasinghe, S. C. (2017) Optimal Time Point Confguration of a Bus Route – A Markovian Approach. 22nd International Conference of the Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies (HKSTS) (Presentation)
Invited Presentations
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2020) Talking Demand-Responsive Transit in Canada: Effective, or Exaggerated?. University of Toronto Institute of Transportation Engineers Seminar
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2019) Locating Truck Inspection Stations on a Highway Corridor. 14th International 4 University Conference
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2019) Elements of Good Transit Planning. Metrolinx Regional Reference Panel
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2019) The Markovian Bus. University of Toronto Institute of Transportation Engineers Seminar
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2018) The Unpredictable Bus: Optimal Time Point Location on a Bus Route. Calgary Transit
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2017) The more things change.... Cities of the Tomorrow Conference
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. and Wirasinghe, S.C. (2016) Passenger Crowding in Mathematical Models of Transportation Systems. 11th International 4 University Conference
  • Klumpenhouwer, W. (2016) The Unpredictable Bus: Optimal Time Point Location on a Bus Route. HDR Consulting