Kelly J Clifton


PhD, C.A.R.P, MS, Planning, BS, Mech. Eng.

Professor, Bombardier Chair, Director pro-tem

  • Office: LASR 428

Kelly J. Clifton is an internationally-recognized expert on transport and land use interactions, travel behaviour, pedestrian modeling, and equity in transportation policy. She has worked to elevate public impact research through partnerships with public agencies and community groups. Previously, Kelly was Professor of Portland State University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering, an affiliate of the Urban Studies and Planning Program, and a Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions. In addition to her faculty appointments there, she served as the interim Associate Vice President for Research for the campus and was the former Associate Dean of Research for the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science. She has also held faculty positions at the University of Maryland and University of Iowa. Kelly has a PhD in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin, MS in Planning from the University of Arizona, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University. In her free time, she enjoys listening to live music, outdoor recreation, cooking for others, traveling to world cities, solving crossword puzzles, and photographing street art.

Kelly’s research, teaching, and service focus on transportation and how human mobility is shaped by their needs, the built environment, and technology. Her work bridges the fields of transportation planning and engineering.

She currently has several ongoing projects:
  • She leads a team of investigators examining how consumers changed their grocery shopping and restaurant habits during the pandemic, including the adoption of e-commerce platforms and delivery services.
  • For many years, she has been developing and improving the Model of Pedestrian Demand (MoPeD), a planning tool for forecasting walking behaviours.
  • She is working with an interdisciplinary team to create a non-fiction comic about the transportation and land development process based upon her research.
Kelly has also engaged several international collaborations:
  • She was a Hans Fischer Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Technical University of Munich until 2020. There, she and her students worked within the Modeling Spatial Mobility lab to incorporate MoPeD into land use-transport interaction models and health impact assessments.
  • She was the inaugural Chair of the World Symposium of Transport and Land Use Research ( and currently serves on the board.
  • She was appointed as a Fulbright Scholar to Portugal in 2016 and was a visiting scholar at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon.
Kelly Clifton

Research and Specialties

  • EDI perspectives and practice
  • Technology
  • Transportation



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