Dr. Shanjiang Zhu Named 2014 Young Researcher of the Year by ITF

shanjiangDr. Shanjiang Zhu was named the 2014 recipient of the International Transport Forum’s 2014 Young Researcher of the Year Award for his development of a new multi-dimensional analytical framework for methods to manage traffic congestion in cities. His work, in collaboration with Dr. Lei Zhang at the University of Maryland, promises to provide technically sound analysis for policy makers and engineers alike.

Dr. Zhu notes, “Some emerging approaches, such as ‘vehicle lotteries’ and ‘one day without a car’, have been tested in mega-cities. While sharing the results of these experiments is useful for other cities or in other parts of the same city, not all successes are transferable. The development of analytical models moves the practice from simply reapplication of empirical learning to methods of analysis that take into account the special features of the city or area in question. In my research, I developed an analytical approach that integrates a city’s traffic network adding economic considerations and traveller behaviour which have a strong effect on the outcome. Our research team built on past experience and then tested the model on Beijing’s congestion problems.”

Dr. Zhu, who serves as a VDoT technical appointee on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, has positioned himself for impact with practice-ready research that can be used to formulate solutions to address the increasingly pressing problems of traffic congestion in large cities, including the Washington D.C. region and the megacities of the world.  As a fellow in GMU’s  Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy, Dr. Zhu brings technical depth to ongoing transportation policy research collaboration.

Dr Zhu was selected by an international jury of experts for his work on choosing the best strategies to deal with traffic congestion. He will be presented with the distinction on 21 May in Leipzig, Germany, during the opening plenary of the Annual Summit of transport ministers organised by the International Transport Forum.

The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation for the transport sector with 54 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organises an Annual Summit of ministers of transport. The International Transport Forum’s mission is to help shape the transport policy agenda on a global level and ensure that it contributes to economic growth, environmental protection, social inclusion and the preservation of human life and well-being.

View the full press release at http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/Press/PDFs/2014-05-16-YRA.pdf