The National Institute for Congestion Reduction at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research has named Yu Zhang, Ph.D., as its new director. Dr. Zhang joins NICR with 18 years of experience in transportation research and project development. “I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to lead the consortium comprised of some of the brightest minds in the transportation field,” says Dr. Zhang. “NICR is developing innovative solutions to reduce congestion and alleviate consequential environmental and safety issues. NICR’s research outcomes contribute to economic development in the regions and nationwide.”
Dr. Zhang is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida and leads the Smart Urban Mobility Laboratory (SUM-Lab). Dr. Zhang is also a CUTR faculty member and the associate director of the Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH), a USDOT Tier 1 UTC. Her recent research efforts focus on emerging technologies and services in transportation, including ACES Transportation and Advanced Air Mobility. Dr. Zhang serves as the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s standing committee on airfield and airspace performance and associate editor of Transportation Research Park D: Transport and Environment and serves on the editorial boards of Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technology and International Journal of Sustainable Transportation. She is the recipient of the 2020 Amazon Research Award, a prestigious research award supporting innovations at academic institutions and non-profit organizations worldwide, and the 2010 Fred Burggraf Award, which is conferred by the National Academies of Science Transportation Research Board for recognizing the excellence of young researchers. She has published more than sixty papers in prestigious transportation journals.
“I would like to thank Dr. Xiaopeng Li for the smooth transition last month. Dr. Li has moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and we wish him the best in his new journey,” says Dr. Zhang. “NICR will continue and expand the collaborations with stakeholders, and we are excited to begin the next chapter together.”