John Helveston

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John Helveston

Assistant Professor

Department: Engineering Management and Systems Engineering


Office Phone: 202-994-7173
SEH 2830 | Office hours: By appointment

Professor Helveston is interested in understanding the factors that shape technological change, with a particular focus on transitioning to more sustainable and energy-saving technologies. Within this broader category, he studies consumer preferences and market demand for new technologies as well as relationships between innovation, industry structure, and technology policy. He has explored these themes in the context of China’s rapidly developing electric vehicle industry. He applies an interdisciplinary approach to research, with expertise in discrete choice modeling and conjoint analysis as well as interview-based case studies.




Professor Helveston has written the logitr package to support flexible estimation of multinomial logit models with preference space and willingness-to-pay (WTP) space utility specifications. The package supports homogeneous multinomial logit (MNL) and heterogeneous mixed logit (MXL) models, including support for normal and log-normal parameter distributions. Since MXL models and models with WTP space utility specifications are non-convex, an option is included to run a multi-start optimization loop with random starting points in each iteration.  The package also includes a simulation function to estimate the expected market shares of a set of alternatives based on an estimated model.


  • B.S., Engineering Science & Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 2010
  • M.S., Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 2015
  • Ph.D., Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 2016
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Boston University, 2016-2018
  • Engineering and technology management
  • Technology and innovation policy
  • Discrete choice modeling
  • Design for market systems
  • Electric vehicles
  • Helveston, John P., Yanmin Wang, Valerie J. Karplus, and Erica R.H. Fuchs (2018) "Institutional Complementarities: The Origins of Experimentation in China’s Plug-in Electric Vehicle Industry," Forthcoming at Research Policy. DOI:
  • Helveston, John P., Yimin Liu, Elea M. Feit, Erica R.H. Fuchs, Erica Klampfl, Jeremy J. Michalek (2015) "Will subsidies drive electric vehicle adoption? Measuring consumer preferences in the U.S. and China". Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 73, 96–112. DOI:
  • Helveston, John P., Elea M. Feit, and Jeremy J. Michalek (2018) “Pooling Stated and Revealed Preference Data in the Presence of Endogeneity,” Transportation Research Part B: Methodological. 109, pg. 70-89. DOI:
  • Helveston, John P. “Perspective: Navigating an Uncertain Future for US Roads,” Issues in Science and Technology 34, no. 1 (Fall 2017).
  • Helveston, John P. (2016) “Development and Adoption of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in China: Markets, Policy, and Innovation,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. DOI:
  • 2017 Best Dissertation Award, Industry Studies Association
  • 2016 Best Paper Award in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Stream, Industry Studies Association
  • 2014 Link Energy Foundation Fellow
  • 2014 National Science Foundation East Asia Pacific Summer Institute Fellow
  • 2013 Herbert Toor award for best Engineering and Public Policy qualifying examination paper
  • 2011 NSEP Boren Fellowship (Award Declined)
  • 2010 Taiwan Huayu Mandarin Enrichment Scholarship (2010-2011)
  • 2009 Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for Mandarin Chinese
  • 2002 Eagle Scout Award