2010-2011 Scholarship Competition Award Winners

CTRF wishes to thank once again the  sponsors for the current scholarship program, namely Canadian Pacific Railway, CN, Government of Quebec, Transport Canada and many other individuals.

Canadian Pacific Railway Scholarship

Karim Ismail – University of British Columbia

Karim was Born in Egypt; land of the Pyramids. Karim attended El-Motafawekeen (early-achievers) high school through a nation-wide competition. He went on to study Civil Engineering at Ain Shams University in Cairo and graduated in 2002 with the highest record in his department. He went on a career focusing on transportation engineering. He was hired by Alma Mater as a Teaching Assistant from 2002 to 2004 teaching surveying and various topics of transportation engineering. He also involved in several highway design projects as a part-time Transportation Engineer from 2002-2004. He obtained a Master of Science degree from the same institution in 2005 on Pavement Design and a Master of Applied Science degree from the University of British Columbia in 2006 on Highway Geometric Design. He is currently a PhD candidate at the same institution.

CN Scholarship

Mohamed Elesawey – University of British Columbia
Mohamed Elesawey is currently a Ph.D. candidate in transportation engineering at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his bachelor and master of science degrees from Ain Shams University in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Mohamed has over 7 years of experience that combines research/academic knowledge and practical experience. His research interests include: Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), design of unconventional intersections, micro-simulation modelling, and real-time travel time estimation. Throughout his education and research career, he won several awards, authored and co-authored ten refereed conference and journal papers, and attended major transportation conferences. Moreover, Mohamed participated in several traffic data collection efforts in Egypt, Sudan, and Canada.

Transport Canada Scholarship in Sustainable Transportation

 Samah El-Tantawy – University of Toronto

Samah El-Tantawy is currently a PhD Candidate in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto. In 2004, she completed her Bachelor degree in Electrical and Communication Engineering, Cairo University with GPA of 3.9. She accepted a Research and Teaching Assistantship offer upon her graduation, during which she completed her Master Degree in Engineering Mathematics Department in Cairo University, Egypt. Right after finishing her master, she was awarded the Connaught Scholarship from University of Toronto. Since then Samah is pursuing her PhD in Transportation Engineering. Samah’s diverse and complementary background motivates her conducting research in the field of ITS. For her PhD research, Samah is developing a coordinated traffic signal control system using game theory concepts and multi-agent reinforcement learning approaches. By applying her method to a real-life intersection in downtown Toronto, she managed to reduce the intersection average delay by 40% compared to the traditional pretimed signal plan that is optimized offline. She has two published journal papers and seven conference papers.

As a woman in engineering, a key goal of Samah’s long-term career is emphasizing the role of women in engineering and the importance of her involvement in the decision making process. Also, Samah has strong teaching capabilities that she is intending to develop more and outreach many students outside the University of Toronto campus. In addition, given her diverse background in communications, electrical, mathematical, and transportation engineering, Samah thinks there is still much more room for exploring more challenging transportation problems such as real-time traffic control, dynamic congestion pricing, traveler online information system, applications of wireless networks in ITS. Samah is an active member in her community; she is the vice president of the Egyptian Student Association in University of Toronto (ESA-UofT) and a member in the Women in ITS group (WITS).

Transport Canada Scholarship in Transportation Integration and Intermodalism

Timothy Fok – University of California – Berkeley
Timothy Fok is a graduate student in the Masters of City Planning program at the University of California – Berkeley, where he is studying the relationship between urban mass transit and the role that biking and walking have in mutually reinforcing each other. As a 2007 graduate of the Planning program at the University of Waterloo, he has continued to pursue his curiosity in international comparative transportation studies by heading south to California to understand first-hand the transit renaissance that is happening in the United States. In his short time in the San Francisco Bay area, Tim has volunteered in the Bicycle Program at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), and is currently working at the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center (SafeTREC) to fully detail in writing, the impacts that federal transportation policies can have on public health. Tim hopes to become a transportation planner in the future, particularly focusing on transit service, bicycling and the applicability of foreign transportation solutions on local transport needs.

Transport Canada Scholarship in Safety and Security

Dan Mason – University of New Brunswick
Dan is currently enrolled in the Masters of Transportation Engineering program at the University of New Brunswick, where he also completed his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering.

His research, and thesis, is related to increasing speed limit compliance within 4-lane divided highway lane closure work zones. With the help of the UNB transportation group, and New Brunswick Department of Transportation’s (NBDOT) Maintenance and Traffic Operations division, two lane closures were set up on route 2 – the lane closures were set up for the sole purpose of this study and so construction vehicles were strategically placed within the lane closure to simulate actual work being done. Data was collected for two weeks, with different measures being tested to determine what may increase compliance of the posted speed limit; these measures included radar speed display board, variable message sign, traffic control person, different signing techniques, and narrow lanes. Results of the research should provide NBDOT with a complete procedure, to be included within New Brunswick’s Work Area Traffic Control Manual (WATCM), to implement along lane closures when speed is persistently a problem.

After completing his masters degree, Dan hopes to gain experience with an engineering consulting firm, as well as some international experience.