Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award

The Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award is presented annually to a team of individuals who have collaboratively drawn on their diverse expertise to achieve significant impacts on transportation. The award is named in honor of former CTS director Robert Johns, who provided visionary leadership in recognizing that the most effective research to address today’s complex transportation challenges is often a result of interdisciplinary teamwork and partnerships. He demonstrated this by developing and leading several major CTS studies, including transportation and regional growth, transportation and community design, and access to destinations. He continued to champion interdisciplinary research as director of the USDOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.


This award recognizes research projects within the CTS program that have the following qualities:

  • Included an interdisciplinary research component led by University of Minnesota faculty or research staff
  • Involved University of Minnesota students
  • Produced significant findings that have influenced transportation practice and/or policy
  • Generated measured benefits as a result of the impacts of the research
  • Involved a team of individuals representing one or more sectors of society (i.e., public, academic, private, non-profit)

2020 Recipient

Development of the Daynamica Mobile Application

Winners of the 2020 CTS Research Partnership Award

This year’s recipient is a series of projects that developed the Daynamica™ mobile app. A unique data collection technology, Daynamica collects both continuous and momentary information about people’s activity and travel behavior and their associated emotional experiences. By collecting rich data, the technology is capable of informing transportation planning and fostering more sustainable and healthier communities. It has been deployed in research studies involving more than 1,000 subjects and resulting in over 120,000 person-hours of data. The studies range from travel behavior research in urban planning to physical activity and emotional well-being research in public health.

University of Minnesota: Yingling Fan, Julian Wolfson, Gediminas Adomavicius, Chen-Fu Liao, Frank Douma, Ying Song

Ohio State University: Huyen Le

Virginia Tech: Steve Hankey

Princeton University: Anu Ramaswami 

Texas A&M University: Chanam Lee

Northwest University, Xi’an, China: Jing Zhu

Shenzhen Urban Transportation Planning Center: Xiaochun Zhang

USDOT Volpe Center: Matt Cuddy

Metro Transit: Theresa Cain

Minnesota Department of Transportation: Lisa Austin

Past Winners

View a list of research projects that have previously received the Research Partnership Award.