Michelle Barnes retired from the University of Michigan in January 2016 after 22 years 19 of which were at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). During her tenure at UMTRI she conducted research and analysis in highway geometry, road roughness, crash data, and transportation infrastructure as it relates to the dynamics of heavy vehicles and experimental vehicle systems. These activities required the collection and analysis of spatial databases, the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and vehicle simulation tools. She has also been the project administrator of two large, federally-sponsored field-operational-test projects. Since retiring Ms. Barnes has continued her research on automatic identification of intersection geometry to support road roughness data analysis.
Prior to her appointment at UMTRI, Ms. Barnes served as supervisor for traffic safety and engineering at the Washtenaw County Road Commission for 5 years. Responsibilities in this position included the design and coordination of traffic control devices. She also routinely reviewed road design and site plans for geometric and safety concerns, and served as a technical advisor for defense counsel and as an expert witness for civil lawsuits. Ms. Barnes also served as a senior transportation engineer for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and representative for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
Ms. Barnes earned master's degrees in public administration and geographic information systems from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering with a transportation concentration from the University of Michigan.