TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Allen Parrish is returning to The University of Alabama as executive director of the Alabama Transportation Institute.
Parrish worked at UA for 26 years, including as the founding director of the UA Center for Advanced Public Safety. He left in 2016 to help start the cyber operations program at the U.S. Naval Academy.
He begins his tenure at ATI Feb. 17.
The Alabama Transportation Institute serves as a planning, research and policy resource to advance a modern transportation system. This interdisciplinary institute enables Alabama to lead the way on emerging issues and serves as an independent resource that develops unbiased information for use by local, state and national leaders in developing transportation policy.
“The University of Alabama is very excited that Dr. Parrish will be coming back to UA to lead a signature research institute,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, vice president for research and economic development. “I believe he has both the vision and proven experience as a collaborative leader to be highly successful in the role of executive director.”
UA’s ATI has taken the lead role in researching and analyzing transportation challenges, issuing numerous publically-available reports to external stakeholders in the state and at the national level to inform organizations, policy makers and elected officials.
“Transportation is an important part of Alabama’s economy, and continued modernization of all modalities of the transportation system is critical to future growth of the state and region,” Parrish said. “UA can continue to be an important part of that ecosystem and is well-positioned to be a leader in this space.”
Parrish comes to UA from Mississippi State University where he served as the associate vice president for research and held a tenured appointment as professor of computer science and engineering. He was also the interim director for the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, one of MSU’s largest and most productive centers. He was responsible for facilitation of research among MSU’s academic and research stakeholders, with emphasis on transportation, data science and cybersecurity.
He left UA to become founding chair of the department of cyber science at the Naval Academy. During his tenure there, the program became one of the first four ABET accredited cybersecurity programs in the country and grew to be one of the largest programs at the academy.
Parrish originally joined UA in 1990 in the UA department of computer science, earning tenure as a full professor in 2005.
In 2000, Parrish became the founding director of the CARE Research and Development Laboratory, which became CAPS in 2009. Under his direction, CAPS grew to an organization with over 100 employees, students and faculty. During those years, Parrish successfully obtained over $100 million in more than 200 funded projects related to transportation and traffic safety.
Other roles at UA included becoming an associate vice president for research in 2015 prior to his departure for the Naval Academy.
He has published in refereed journals and conferences in areas as diverse as data science, software engineering, transportation safety and technology education.
Parrish is active in computing education and workforce development. In 2016, he was recognized as a Fellow of ABET, which is the worldwide leading accrediting body for engineering, computing, technology and applied science in higher education.
Parrish received a doctorate in computer and information science from the Ohio State University in 1990.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.