Remembering Joseph Sussman

Joe SussmanThe MIT Portugal Program celebrates the life of Joseph Sussman, MIT Portugal Transportation faculty member, and Professor at MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) who passed away in March 2018 at the age of 79.

Dr. Joseph M. Sussman was the JR East Professor (endowed by the East Japan Railway Company) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute of Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as a faculty member for 50 years.

He joined the MIT faculty in 1967 and from 1977 to 1979, worked as Associate Dean of Engineering for Educational Programs. In 2006, he initiated the transportation systems focus area for the MIT Portugal Program, where he participated  in the development and teaching, in collaboration with three Portuguese universities, of the new international masters in Complex Transportation Infrastructure Systems, in the foundations of the new Doctoral Program in Transportation Systems, and in research connected to transportation systems in general. Sussman also worked on ITS (intelligent transportation systems) to help build a U.S. national program and served as the first Distinguished University Scholar at ITS America from 1991-92.

During his professional life he worked on the development of an “intelligent corridor” in Bangkok; a comparison of ITS programs in Western Europe, Japan, and the U.S.; building regional architectures in Massachusetts; and emergency response and institutional issues concerning ITS and the provision of “flexibility” in surface transportation through intelligent technologies. He was the program chair of the ITS America annual meeting in 2000. In his last years he served as the chairman of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Transportation, advising the department on all facets of its Intelligent Transportation Systems Program. In 2015 Professor Joseph was elected to the Intelligent Transportation Society of America Hall of Fame.

According to Professor Luís Picado Santos who worked closely with him and others in the enhancement and development of the transportation focus area of the MIT Portugal Program, Joe was an exceptional human being and an outstanding Professor and Researcher that delivered a robust contribution for the success of the initiative.

Some of his friends and co-workers left their online testimony to honour his life and work, who will surely be greatly missed.

Obituary in Boston Globe

Manuel Heitor at MIT to discuss the 3rd phase of the MIT Portugal Program partnership

The Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and High Education, Prof. Manuel Heitor, has visited the MIT on February 27th with the aim of defining the final terms of the agreement signed between the Portuguese Government and MIT. This new contract aims at extending the MIT Portugal Programa to a third phase, until 2030. 

During this visit, Prof. Manuel Heitor was received by the MIT Vice President for Research, Prof. Maria Zuber (see photo), as well as by Prof. Richard Lester, the current MIT responsible for all the institute major international efforts.

The meeting held during the day included also a meeting principal investigators of the some of the MPP seed projects, recently announced by MIT, and  a work lunch with more nearly 20 PhD students from the MIT Portugal Program that are currently doing a research stay at MIT.

Among other decisions, it was established that there will be two kickoff events for this new phase, one to be held in Portugal, in mid-April, and another one in Boston, in early June.

In the Media: Diário de Notícias, Jornal Económico, Tek sapo online, Notícias ao Minuto.

Manuel Heitor at MIT 3rd phase br(from right) Prof. Maria Zuber (MIT Vice President for Research), Prof. Richard Lester (MIT Associate Provost for international activities); Prof. Manuel Heitor (Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and High Education); Prof. Dava Newman (MIT Portugal Program Director at MIT); Prof. António Cunha (Member of the MIT Portugal Program Governing Board); Prof. Pedro Arezes (MIT Portugal Program National Director).