Dr. Sweatman currently serves as UMTRI's director. UMTRI is the focal point for safe and sustainable transportation within the University of Michigan and carries out a large program of transportation systems research spanning drivers, vehicles, communication technology, and the infrastructure. Dr. Sweatman is working to create new research and policy capabilities to address the broader challenges of safety, mobility, energy and greenhouse emissions; he is also helping to develop new research fields assisting the transition from todays automotive industry to the transportation industries of the future. Dr. Sweatmans current research interests include intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and vehicle electrification.
In January 2010 Dr. Sweatman was appointed by Transportation Secretary LaHood to the U.S. Department of Transportations ITS Advisory Committee. Dr. Sweatman currently serves on the ITS America Board of Directors and chairs the ITS America Safety Forum. He is a past president of ITS Michigan. He serves on the SAE Truck and Bus Council, and as editor of the International Journal of Commercial Vehicles. In 2006, he served on the National Academies Review of USDOT Strategic Plan for Transportation Research and Technology. He is a past member of the Ford Global Citizenship Review Committee.
Dr. Sweatman is an international leader in the scientific field of heavy-vehicle-infrastructure interaction. He is a strong advocate for performance-based standards (PBS) as an improved method for regulating heavy vehicles. His work has been influential in developing truck size and weight evaluation tools for the Federal Highway Administration and the world's first comprehensive PBS regulatory regime for Australia. He chaired the landmark DIVINE study of vehicle-infrastructure interaction for the Organization for Economic cooperation and Development (OECD) and is a past president of the International Forum for Road Transport Technology.
Dr. Sweatman's research has crossed the boundaries of traditional engineering disciplines and his work has been widely recognized in the fields of vehicle design and engineering, vehicle safety, road safety, driver performance, highway condition monitoring, heavy vehicle standards and regulations, and transport economics and policy. He has a strong interest in advanced safety systems which help drivers to avoid crashes, and in communication technology which will not only prevent crashes but also improve traffic flow. He is the author of numerous articles and technical reports and has presented extensively at international conferences and meetings.
Dr Sweatman was appointed UMTRI director in September 2004. He came to UMTRI after a successful career in transportation research and development in his native Australia working in both the private and public sectors - and with extensive international experience. Dr. Sweatman was elected to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1997, and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2002 by the Prime Minister of Australia for service to Australian society in transportation engineering. He was named Australian Freight Industry Personality of the Year in 2004.