Research Scientist, City Science

by Jessica Sisavath

July 31, 2020

Job Description

The City Science research group is enabling dynamic, evolving places that respond to the complexities of life. City Science researchers are developing evidence-based, data-driven urban design strategies as an alternative to the conventional practice of urban planning. For this position, we seek a research scientist to lead and develop numerous mobility projects. The scientist will act as a subject matter expert on the intersection of shared mobility, autonomous solutions, lightweight mobility, and human-centric modes. In addition to his/her expertise in lightweight mobility modes, the scientist will also analyze data from various sources to from to better understand mobility patterns, activities, and other features. Finally, the scientist will develop, model, and prototype these solutions. 



●      Conduct research, coordinate data gathering, analyze data, and deploy technologies in the areas of energy, mobility, innovation, housing, and urban planning;

●      Research and develop urban design strategies and algorithms for next-generation urban planning tools using data from utility providers, telecommunications and other sources;

●      Develop research protocols to deploy, test, validate, and refine strategies for community engagement and urban intervention using CityScope, a concept for shared, interactive computation for urban planning;

●      Lead the design and development of new urban mobility systems with a focus on electric, shared and autonomous vehicles.

●      Patent designs if applicable or construct an open source framework if applicable.

●      Understand, model and lead research on current mobility patterns in cities and proposed changes which may include the addition of shared, autonomous and/or lightweight mobility modes.

●      Propose global mobility solutions to adapt to different cities, environments, and economies.

Managerial/ Business

●      Coordinate the work of other researchers at MIT working on the project, and apply methodologies that were developed previously for other City Science projects, including the application of emerging simulation tools;

●      Coordinate with City Science researchers to install emerging simulation tools;

●      Build collaborative research relationships with key leadership and serve as the liaison between City Science researchers and the cities where the tools are being deployed;

●      Prepare monthly project updates and coordinate team teleconference meetings;

●      Help to coordinate one or more one-week student workshops.

●      Support the principal investigator in academic coursework, teaching and staffing.

○      Assisting in the design and implementation of curricula and courses when necessary. Potential to lead seminars relevant to the candidate's expertise.

○      Assist Principal Investigator in hiring and development of staff and consultants related to research.

●      Coordinate urban mobility research with industrial sponsors.

●      Assist principal investigator with the development of and undertaking of workshop courses related to urban mobility systems.

 Publishing and Speaking Responsibilities

·       Publish the research results and support the principal investigator on any developments related to urban mobility Systems within the Changing Places group.

·       Present demonstrations, presentations, and public talks, as required.  

Travel required related to research. Deals with confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgment.

Supervision Received:

General supervision by Kent Larson.

Supervision Exercised:



Qualifications & Skills:


●      PhD degree in architecture, urban planning, new mobility systems, data science or similar field;

●      Minimum of 3 years’ experience with academic research and teaching;

●      Experience and expertise with conducting research, collecting and analyzing complex data;

●      Skilled in 3D modeling, animation, and data visualization;

●      Experience in high-performance building delivery of urban planning.


●      Interest in City Science research initiatives related to urban design, data analysis, mobility, and architecture;

Speaks an additional language, i.e. to communicate with the City Science network countries.

To apply, go to and search for job ID#18867.

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