Congratulations to Omar El Samadisy (CivMin PhD 2023) and Jad Zalzal (CivMin PhD 2024) on receiving CAA Graduate Scholarships in Transportation Engineering!
Unique among scholarship donors, CAA invites winners to present to their board members annually. El Samadisy and Zalzal each presented his research at CAA’s Board Meeting on October 1, 2021.
“The annual presentations CAA scholarship winners make to the CAA Board of Directors is an opportunity to share some of the thought-leading research UTTRI graduate students are pursuing on their way to becoming the next generation of transportation leaders. CAA scholarships enable them on that journey,” says Dr. Judy Farvolden, UTTRI Executive Director.
Omar El Samadisy is a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto, working under the supervision of Professor Baher Abdulhai.
He completed both his BSc and MSc in Electronics and Communications Engineering at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt in 2014 and 2017, respectively.
Omar’s PhD research is in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). His main goal is to develop a control strategy for both manually driven and autonomous vehicles on freeways to reduce congestion and preserve safe and efficient flows at bottlenecks using the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods and techniques.
He currently serves on the executive committee of the University of Toronto Institute of Transportation Engineers Student Chapter (UT-ITE) in the position of Financial Officer.
El Samadisy presented “Minimizing Freeway Corridor Delays While Balancing Mainline and On-Ramp Flows.” He says, “The main goal of my research is to develop a control strategy for both manually driven and autonomous vehicles on freeways to reduce congestion and preserve safe and efficient flows at bottlenecks using the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods and techniques.”
Jad Zalzal is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto, working under the supervision of Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou.
He received his BEng and MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 2016 and 2019, respectively. During his MEng, Jad worked on assessing population exposure to air pollution in Lebanon using Land Use Regression models. Outside academia, he worked as an environmental and water resources engineer.
At U of T, Jad joined Professor Hatzopoulou’s Transportation and Air Quality research group. His current research focuses on characterizing air emissions across different sectors, such as transportation, residential wood burning and natural gas extraction, using novel approaches. As part of these approaches, Jad plans to incorporate remote sensing and image processing techniques to improve analysis of urban air pollution.
Zalzal presented “A mobile monitoring campaign for estimating truck traffic and assessing the impact of trucks on urban air quality.” The project aims to investigate the use of machine learning algorithms for estimating the spatial and temporal variability of truck traffic across the city of Toronto, and for assessing the immediate impact of different truck types on surrounding air quality.
Donors touch the lives of students
“The CAA Graduate Scholarship in Transportation Engineering is a decade-long partnership between CAA South Central Ontario and UTTRI,” explains Adria Miller, Associate Director, Development, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.
She says, “The Faculty is grateful for CAA’s visionary support of graduate students and the opportunity CAA gives their scholarship winners every year to meet and present their research to the CAA Board of Directors. We extend our sincere thanks to CAA.”
“Awards attract students to the University, motivate them and recognizes their hard work and achievements. They make families proud and prospective employers take notice. Donors touch the lives of many of our students every year by offering critical financial support while celebrating their successes.” Ms. Miller invites anyone considering a scholarship gift to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement from scholarship donor CAA
Since 1903, CAA has been a dynamic and innovative leader in mobility. As technology, infrastructure, and modes of transportation change, CAA has always existed to ensure our members and the general public are able to move safely.
The CAA Graduate Scholarship in Transportation Engineering, originally established in 2011 as a five-year program and re-established in 2019, offers a helping hand to hard-working, successful and innovative student researchers, as they continue working on the complexities and next advances to how we travel. We continue to be impressed by the research U of T students are conducting.
Omar El Samadisy researches control strategies to reduce congestion and increase safety on freeways, and Jad Zalzal investigates truck traffic in Toronto and its impact on surrounding air quality.
Through their efforts, we are able to look to the future of mobility and ensure it will be safe and efficient for all users.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients!
- Learn more about how to become a Scholarship, Award or Bursary donor
- Learn more about the University of Toronto Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering graduate programs
- Scholarship winners El Said, Wang present at 2020 CAA Board meeting