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Scholarship winners Othman and Torbatian present at CAA Board Meeting

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October 6, 2022

Congratulations to Kareem Othman (CivMin PhD student) and Sara Torbatian (CivMin PhD candidate) on receiving CAA Graduate Scholarships in Transportation Engineering!

They gave presentations on their research at the CAA Annual Meeting at the invitation of CAA's Board of Directors on October 6, 2022.

Dr. Judy Farvolden, Managing Director of Mobility Network, liaised with the students and CAA in preparation for the meeting, which she also attended. She says,

I really enjoy joining the University of Toronto graduate student CAA scholarship winners when they make their research presentations to the CAA Board of Directors at their annual fall meeting. The presentations give the students an opportunity to share their leading-edge research and always provoke an interesting discussion.

Dr. Judy Farvolden, Managing Director, Mobility Network

About the winners

head shot of Kareem Othman
Kareem Othman

Kareem Othman presented "Advanced real time transit management strategies in mixed traffic on arterials."

He is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto, working under the supervision of Professors Amer Shalaby and Baher Abdulhai. He expects to complete his PhD by 2023.

Kareem received both his BSc and MSc degrees from the Civil Engineering Department, Cairo University in 2016 and 2019, respectively.

His PhD research focuses on proposing novel real-time transit management strategies that minimize the overall delays for both transit vehicles and the general traffic using reinforcement learning.

He says,

It feels great to get your work acknowledged, which keeps me motivated to work more and produce more.

Kareem Othman, PhD student, Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
head shot of Sara Torbatian
Sara Torbatian

Sara Torbatian presented "Contribution of diesel trucks to climate and air quality and implications for environmental justice." 

She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto, working under the supervision of Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou. She expects to fulfill the requirements of the program in 2024. She studied applied physics during her undergraduate studies back home in Tehran (Iran). She pursued her graduate studies (MSc) in atmospheric science at Dalhousie University.

Sara is primarily passionate about air quality analysis. The majority of her research interests are focused on developing air quality modelling capabilities to assess the impacts of emission reduction policies on the transportation sector. Her particular interest lies in greening goods movement and determining the health and air quality impacts of different mitigation plans targeting diesel-fueled vehicles. Furthermore, she aims to understand the disparities in exposure to truck-related air pollutants across different communities.

Sara says,

I deeply appreciate the support of the CAA Board. I do hope my research achievement would eventually have an impact to promote cleaner transportation policies in Canada which would have benefits for all the residents to minimize their exposure to air pollutants.

Sara Torbatian, PhD candidate, Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

About the CAA Graduate Scholarship in Transportation Engineering

The CAA Graduate Scholarship in Transportation Engineering is awarded to graduate students registered in the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering who demonstrate academic excellence and who are undertaking advanced research relating, but not restricted to, any one of the following areas: alternative vehicle technologies and sustainable transportation, such as active transportation like walking and bicycling; intelligent transportation systems, such as dynamic congestion charging and adaptive signal technologies; transportation development planning, including financing, road infrastructure, planning and development; and transportation-related advocacy and policy information.

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.

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!

Teresa Di Felice, AVP, Government & Community Relations, CAA Club Group

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