Meet the Faculty: Shams Tanvir

Dr. Shams Tanvir attended North Carolina State University and earned his Ph.D in civil engineering with a focus in transportation systems engineering. After, Tanvir was a research associate for the school’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) where he worked with state transportation agencies. After his time with ITRE, Tanvir moved to California and finished his postdoc fellowship at the University of California, Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT).  

Shams Tanvir

At CE-CERT, Dr. Tanvir researched energy and air quality implications from the transportation industry and how they can be improved. His research focuses on sustainable mobility and explores the carbon footprint of emerging transportation technology. “As the number one polluter in the U.S., transportation plays a very vital role in climate change,” Tanvir said. His research looks at self-driving technology, electric cars, and shared mobility options, like Uber or Lyft, to decrease pollution and improve our environment.  

Students interested in this area of research are encouraged to contact Tanvir as there are research opportunities available in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s new Sustainable Mobility Lab (SuMoLab). The SuMoLab builds high-fidelity simulations and advanced onboard sensing systems to monitor and improve transportation systems. Students in the lab will develop solutions for the industry and agency partners and learn necessary skills.  


Dr. Shams Tanvir attended the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in civil engineering. While Tanvir was earning his Master’s degree at the BUET, he taught as a lecturer. When he came to the U.S. for his Ph.D., Tanvir realized that he missed teaching. Tanvir wanted to teach in California because the state is a leader in many aspects of sustainable mobility and at the forefront of sustainable technology. During his postdoctoral research at the CE-CERT, Dr. Tanvir worked with many Cal Poly graduates which inspired him to pursue teaching at Cal Poly.  

Dr. Tanvir is excited to use Cal Poly’s unique learning model to inspire transportation students. “The ‘Learn By Doing’ mindset of Cal Poly is much needed in the rapidly evolving transportation industry, ” Tanvir said. He advises students to consider all of the problems the transportation industry is causing and pursue active solutions.  

“I’m looking forward to making an impact on students. Whether it’s virtually or in-person, I’ll continue to try my best to help students succeed," said Tanvir.

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