2014 Scholarship Recipients



Ms. Ling Wang is graduate student pursuing a Ph.D in Transportation Engineering at the University of Central Florida with a focus on transportation safety. She currently has a perfect 4.0 GPA. She has       numerous academic awards. Among the most prestigious was the China National Scholarship which is granted only to the top 1% of undergraduates. Her family came from modest means, but she has made the most of her talents along the way by winning numerous scholarships including one from ITS Florida today. She is currently studying real-time crash prediction and microscopic simulation for expressways and submitted a paper on this topic that was published at 2014 TRB Annual Meeting. Her goal is to reduce crashes by the use of these complex models. She is currently working on projects for FDOT and CFX as a research assistant at UCF. Both projects focus on using ITS for proactive traffic system management.


Mr. Jiawei Wu is completing his MS in Transportation Engineering at UCF and has been admitted to the Ph.D Program. He currently has a 3.75 GPA. His MS Degree thesis is related to analyzing and assessing taxi drivers’ behavior and performance in large city driving. He designed the full experiment and extracted data for the full analysis which is a talent that few graduate students according to his advisor (Dr. Essam Radwan). He is currently working on two research projects that require knowledge of GIS and has been instrumental in developing computer code to streamline data processing. He has also volunteered his time for numerous social causes during his studies toward his BS Degree in China. He co-authored a paper titled “ Effectiveness of Variable Message Signs on Driving Behavior Based on a Driving Simulation Experiment”. The use and effectiveness of VMS is important to all of us in the ITS community.


Ms. Somaye Fakharian Qom is an FIU graduate student pursuing a Ph.D in Transportation Engineering with a focus on ITS under the supervision of Dr. Mohammed Hadi. She currently has a 3.71 GPA and led the formation of the Women in Transportation (WTS) Chapter at FIU earlier this year. She currently serves as the founding President of the organization. She received the prestigious Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program Achievement Award for the 2013-14 Academic Year. She is working on a Research Project that is entitled “Performance Measurements of Transportation Systems based on Fine Grained Data Collected by AVI and AVL Systems” and has had five papers published in the ITS field including two at TRB 2014 and 2015. She also has solid work experience including a recent effort with District 6 on a Pedestrian Priority Zone Project in downtown Miami. She is a shining star and a great example to women trying to pursue a career in transportation engineering.


Ms. Denita Jones has a traffic studies and signal timing background and was shifted to the Traffic Management Center 6 years ago. She has used her previous talents to become one of the lead operators and provides oversight and scheduling for the TMC. Pinellas County has one of the most robust Arterial Advanced Traffic Management System / Advanced Traveler Information (ATMS/ATIS) Systems in Florida and the operation of the TMC for incidents is critical to efficiently operating the transportation network. Ms. Jones has been a key player in developing the operating staff, TMC operating procedures and maintaining the computerized traffic signal systems. She is currently taking courses to enhance her management skills by taking project management and administrative courses.