2014 News Archived News News

Center Fellow Named “Young Researcher of the Year” at Int’l Summit of Transport Ministers


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Dr Shanjiang Zhu, a GMU professor of civil engineering and P3 Policy Center Research Fellow, has been honored by the International Transport Forum Summit of Transport Ministers for a tool he developed to evaluate anti-congestion policies.

Paris/Leipzig – Dr Shanjiang Zhu, assistant professor of engineering at George Mason University in Virginia, USA, is the recipient of the International Transport Forum’s 2014 Young Researcher of the Year Award.


Dr Zhu was selected by an international jury of experts for his work on choosing the best strategies against 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 organized by the International Transport Forum. Ministers from the ITF’s 54 member countries and several invited countries will be present.

Various policy options to combat traffic congestion exist. However, these are difficult to compare in their impact. Dr Zhu developed a new multi-dimensional analytical framework for comparing travel demand management policies and then applied the model to the city of Beijing. His winning entry is entitled “Rationing and pricing strategies for congestion mitigation: Behavioral theory, econometric model, and application in Beijing”. Abstract of the winning paper

“In facing increasing congestion, governments must be very creative in their choices of travel demand management strategies”, says Dr Zhu.

“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.”

Dr Zhu added: “In my research, I developed an analytical approach that integrates a city’s traffic network adding economic considerations and traveler behavior 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. This research promises to assist those making policy decisions in the world’s most congested cities using technically sound approaches.”

About the winner

Dr Shanjiang Zhu has benefitted from education on three continents. He is a dual-degree graduate of Tsinghua University, China, and the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Minnesota, USA, in 2010. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Transportation Planning and Engineering in the civil engineering department at George Mason University, USA. One of his main research interests is Big Data in transport. Photo of the winner for free download

About the Award

The ITF Young Researcher of the Year Award aims to highlight the importance of transport research for sound transport policy formulation and implementation and to foster closer links between transport policy and research. The award carries a prize of 5 000 euros. It is open to young researchers under 35 years of age who have undertaken their research in an institution, university or consultancy firm located in a member country of the International Transport Forum.More about the ITF Awards

About 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. More about the International Transport Forum

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