Zhenhua Chen, a Graduate Research Associate in the Center for Transportation P3 Policy, was selected to participate in the 22nd Annual Leadership Development Conference hosted by the Eno Center for Transportation. Zhenhua was chosen from a pool of over 60 applicants and had the opportunity to learn about transportation policy development and industry executive responsibilities and decision-making. Please see the Eno Brief Newsletter for more details.
George Mason University civil engineering professor Shanjiang Zhu has been honored for his work in reducing city traffic congestion. Zhu, a Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy research fellow at School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, was awarded the 2014 Young Researcher of the Year Award by the International Transport Forum (ITF).
Zhu was selected by an international jury of experts for his development of a multidimensional traffic congestion simulation model. His research has created an invaluable and technically sound tool to evaluate policy options for congestion reduction in cities. The award highlights the importance of transportation research for policy formulation. Researchers considered for the award are under 35 and are affiliated with a research institution in one of the 54 member countries of the ITF.
“Dr. Zhu’s work demonstrates how multidisciplinary effective transportation research has become,” says Deborah Goodings, chair of the Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering at Mason. “Technically rigorous transportation modeling is not enough. By integrating economics and traveler behavior into numerical simulations, the result is a decision-making support tool that can have real impact on transportation planning.”
Zhu, she says, “has positioned himself as an emerging leader in practice-ready research that can be used to address the increasingly overwhelming problems of traffic congestion in large cities, including Washington, D.C., and the megacities of the world.”
Zhu developed a new multidimensional analytical framework for comparing travel demand management policies and then applied the model to the city of Beijing. His winning entry is titled “Rationing and Pricing Strategies for Congestion Mitigation: Behavioral Theory, Econometric Model, and Application in Beijing.”
“The research reveals the importance of considering short- and long-term behavior reactions to travel demand management policies,” says Zhu of his winning work. “Some reactions would compromise the effectiveness of those policies, or even make them counterproductive. Policies like ‘vehicle lottery’ or ‘one day without a car’ do bring benefits under certain circumstances. Their effectiveness depends on the level of congestion and characteristics of travelers and must be analyzed using locally collected data before any policy implementation.”
Zhu also serves as a Virginia Department of Transportation technical appointee on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority; Zhu’s affiliated status as a research fellow “enables him to add technical depth to ongoing transportation policy research collaboration,” says Goodings.
“Professor Zhu is one of the brightest young stars we have here at Mason,” says Jonathan Gifford, director of Mason’s P3 Policy Center. “It’s a pleasure to see his talent receiving this international recognition. He has been a great contributor to the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy. His research helps us understand how transportation users will respond to changing prices and congestion on urban highway and transit networks.”
The ITF is an intergovernmental organization for the transportation industry with 54 member countries, serving as a think-tank for transportation policy around the world. Its mission is to help shape the transportation 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.
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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
Free photo download: www.flickr.com/photos/internationaltransportforum
Head of Communications
Zhenhua Chen, a Graduate Research Associate in the Center for Transportation P3 Policy, was selected to participate in the 22nd Annual Leadership Development Conference hosted by the Eno Center for Transportation. Zhenhua was chosen from a pool of over 60 applicants and had the opportunity to learn about transportation policy development and industry executive responsibilities and decision-making.
The Center has launched an online library of research and resources on public-private partnerships (P3s).
The library will be developed in three stages:
- A database of known resource documents, many of which are available online.
- An online “reading room” with links to most documents in the library, for immediate download and review.
- A searchable database or knowledge management system through which topics can be cross-referenced and like subjects explored.
Currently populated with more than 250 documents, the collection will grow from additions of existing resources and from scholarly work completed in the United States and abroad.
Those who have items for review or possible inclusion may contact Gifford at email@example.com.