Wasatch Front Regional Council
Modeler III/IV
Job Description and Announcement

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Association of Governments (AOG) for the area of Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Morgan, Tooele, and the southern portion of Box Elder Counties in Utah, is seeking a full-time travel modeler, with an emphasis on model development. WFRC develops and maintains a Regional Travel Demand Model (TDM) and a Real Estate Market Model (REMM). WFRC also applies an EPA approved air quality model which is integrated with the TDM. This position would focus primarily on TDM development for the models maintained by WFRC and its partners.

WFRC is continually updating its models to keep them state of the practice and to improve their forecasting capabilities. The TDM runs on a CUBE software platform, and the REMM runs on UrbanSim. Recent updates to the TDM include:

  • Recalibration based on data from the 2012 Utah Household Travel Survey
  • Update of the transit module
  • Addition of a freight module
  • Addition of a life cycle variable
  • Addition of a K-12 school trip module
  • Expansion of the employment categories
  • Improved integration with GIS

The WFRC model is jointly operated with the Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG). MAG is a close partner in all model development decisions. In addition, WFRC and MAG coordinate modeling with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). UDOT maintains a statewide model which is integrated with the WFRC/MAG model, as well as the other models throughout the state, all on the CUBE software platform. WFRC provides ongoing modeling support to UTA for mode choice and transit modeling.

WFRC is seeking a modeler to lead the development, refinement, and maintenance of the WFRC/MAG Travel Demand Model, as well as provide support for the Utah Statewide travel demand model, and the three smaller models representing three counties adjacent to the Wasatch Front Urbanized area (Wasatch, Summit, and Tooele Counties). This modeler will play a leading role in the development of the WFRC/MAG model, and provide support to UDOT in the statewide and county models to ensure that these models are state of the practice and provide support for exceptional decision making.

The modeler position will be an integral part of the WFRC Modeling, Forecasting, and Information Services team. Under supervision, this position will be part of the team which is responsible for the development and enhancement of a suite of models. We are seeking a creative problem solver who is capable of understanding and communicating complex concepts and data.
Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Quantitative and statistical analysis
  • Maintaining a strong relationship with WFRC’s partners
  • Specification and estimation of model parameters
  • Scripting
  • Model calibration
  • Database development and management
  • Communicating model inputs and outputs in meaningful ways that are understandable to a non-technical audience
  • Enhancing connection between models and GIS
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualification Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, Urban Planning, Economics, Statistics, Computer Science or closely related field
  • At least 8 years of travel and/or land use modeling or equivalent experience
  • Detailed understanding of all phases of traditional n-step travel models (implementation and development), including land-use forecasting techniques, including an awareness of state-of-art in travel and land-use forecasting. Should have the ability to critique the state-of-the-art, recommend improvements and manage a model development team.

Knowledge of planning processes, specifically:

  • Regional Transportation Plan/Transportation Improvement Program
  • NEPA
  • New Starts/Small Starts

Project management experience

Computer Skills

  • Understanding of data analysis techniques and software [R, SPSS, SAS preferred]
  • Computer programming experience
  • Knowledge of how to use GIS effectively [ArcGIS skills preferred]
  • Transportation modeling software [Familiarity with CUBE preferred]
  • Model estimation software (e.g. R, SPSS, SAS, Alogit, Limdep) [preferred]

Interpersonal Skills

  • Must be able to work and communicate modeling effectively with all levels of government, including management and technical staff, as well as local stakeholders to assure comfort with models, understand needs and concerns, and create realistic expectations.
  • Ability to document technical work clearly.
  • Work with members of the modeling team to teach varying skills and techniques related to model development and application.
  • Work with other members of the modeling team to help project consultants produce analyses and solve modeling issues or concerns.
  • Professionalism, integrity, and a public-service attitude.

To apply:
Those interested in this position should submit a letter of interest briefly outlining their experience and qualifications (1 – 2 pages) and a resume to Ned Hacker, Wasatch Front Regional Council 295 North Jimmy Doolittle Road, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84116 by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. The letter and resume can be sent by email to nhacker@wfrc.org. For further information, contact Ned Hacker at the addresses above or at (801) 363-4230 x 1120. For general information, please visit our website at www.wfrc.org.
The Wasatch Front Regional Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer.