Professor Stephane Hess


Stephane Hess is an internationally recognised expert in the data driven study and mathematical modelling of human choice behaviour. He has made contributions to the state of the art in the specification, estimation and interpretation of such models, as well as in facilitating the transition of ideas and approaches across disciplines, notably by also working in mathematical psychology and behavioural economics. Although a majority of his applied work has been conducted in the field of transport, he is also very active in health and environmental economics.

He holds a variety of academic and non-academic positions.

He is Professor of Choice Modelling and Director of the Choice Modelling Centre at the University of Leeds, where he is based in the Institute for Transport Studies. He is also a part-time Professor of Decision modelling, AI and mobility research at Delft University of Technology. He is also Honorary Professor in Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney and Honorary Professor of Modelling Behaviour in Africa at the University of Cape Town. He is also a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. Outside academia, he has advisory appointments at a number of consultancy companies.

Together with his research team at the Choice Modelling Centre, he is setting the research agenda in applying choice modelling in new fields. Advanced choice models require high quality data, and Hess and his team are leading the field in exploring and exploiting novel data sources, with numerous applications using ‘big data’. Hess has published very widely, and his work is highly cited, with a Scopus H-index of 35 (google scholar H-index of 46). He has been involved as a principal or co-investigator in academic projects with a combined income generation of over £11.9M, including the ERC funded consolidator grant DECISIONS, and the ERC funded advanced grant SYNERGY. His contributions have been recognised for example by the 2017 and 2019 ICMC awards for the most innovative application of choice modelling, the 2014 Outstanding Young Member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) award for exceptional achievements in transportation research, policy, or practice, the 2010 Fred Burggraf award handed out by the Transportation Research Board, the 2005 Eric Pas award for the best PhD thesis in the area of travel behaviour modelling, and the 2004 Neil Mansfield award handed out by the Association for European Transport. Students under his supervision have also won numerous awards.

He is also the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling and the founder and steering committee chair of the International Choice Modelling Conference. He serves on the editorial advisory board of two other leading journals; Transportation Research Part B and Transportation, as well as academic committees at leading international conferences. Together with David Palma, he is the author of Apollo, a highly flexible and powerful free tool for estimating and applying choice models.

Alongside his academic work, he has an extensive track record of applied work including advising policy makers, for example leading the modelling on the most recent UK, German and Singaporean national value of time studies, as well as the reestimation of the Swiss study. He has a director position at RSG, a leading North American consultancy company. He is also the Director of Choice Analysis and Training, LTD, and one of the founding directors of African Choice Modelling Experts (ACME), a grouping of experts working on choice modelling applications in Africa.