Cynthia Barnhart

MIT Chancellor
Associate Dean of Engineering
Ford Professor of Engineering
Ford–MIT Alliance

Ford Professor of Engineering Cynthia Barnhart is associate dean of engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering and engineering systems, and director of Transportation@MIT.

Barnhart’s teaching and research interests involve the development of optimization methods for large-scale transportation and logistics problems. Her approaches often require the development of new models and algorithms and their implementation in real operating environments.

Barnhart is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and has also served as co-director of both the Center for Transportation and Logistics and the Operations Research Center. She has served in editorial positions for Operations Research, Transportation Science, and Management Science; as president of both the INFORMS Women in Operations Research/ Management Science Forum and the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society, and as the liaison between the INFORMS Transportation Science Section and the INFORMS Aviation Applications Special Interest Group. Barnhart has been awarded the Franz Edelman Prize for Achievement in Operations and the Management Sciences, the INFORMS Award for the Best Paper in Transportation and Logistics, the Advancement of Women in Operations Research and Management Science Award, the Mitsui Faculty Development Chair, the Junior Faculty Career Award from the General Electric Foundation, and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Barnhart’s work has been published in several books and in research journals such as Transportation Science, Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, and Annals of Operations Research. At MIT she has developed and taught courses entitled, “Carrier Systems”, “Optimization of Large-Scale Transportation Systems”, “Transportation Systems Analysis”, “Airline Schedule Planning”, and “The Airline Industry.” Each course describes models and methods for designing, planning, analyzing, and operating transportation and logistics systems.

Barnhart earned a B.S. degree from the University of Vermont in 1981 and her S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in 1985 and 1988, respectively. 

Research Interests: 

Integrated Schedule Planning

Real­-Time Re-Planning

Robust Scheduling