2015-2016 Scholarship Competition Award Winners

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

Florence Allaire – University of New Bruswick
Thomas Chabot – Université Laval
Roberto Gallardo – University of Alberta
Laurence Letarte – Université Laval
Carly MacEacheron – University of New Brunswick
Toka S. Mostafa Muhammad, University of Toronto


Canadian Pacific Railway Scholarship $5,000

Thomas Chabot – Université Laval

Thomas Chabot is a PhD student at Université Laval in the Operations research. He works in the field  of logistics and transportation. His first axis of doctoral research is concerned with transportation optimization methods. He works especially on the logistics network problem of the biological samples. Transport of samples is considered with a multi-level decision-making model: the operational and strategic. The project aims to: 1) mathematically optimize the transport operations; 2) optimize resource allocation; and 3) maximize network efficiency. The study combined with the strategic and operational level can help to reduce costs and add to the efficiency of the network. This could directly affect the level of service to customers. We use mathematical models and metaheuristics for planning transport operations combined with various strategic decisions in the network. My career objectives are to become an academic teacher and researcher in operation research.


CN Scholarship $6,000

Roberto Gallardo, University of Alberta

Roberto is a full time Ph.D. graduate student at University of Alberta with a GPA of 4.0, and also a Student Researcher of the Canadian Rail Research Laboratory (CaRRL). His research and studies are focused on the Optimization of Railway Network Routing and Train Scheduling. Roberto is also a member of the University of Alberta AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) student chapter.

Roberto’s research work on the Optimization of the Railway Blocking Problem was accepted for publication and presented at the AREMA 2014 Annual Conference, Chicago, September 2014, with the title ““A Linear Programming Model for Optimization of the Railway Blocking Problem”.

He hopes that his contributions to the railway industry will open doors for his objective of pursuing a career in the transportation industry. More specifically, he would like to continue developing his career in a major railway company, where he can apply his knowledge in Network Routing Optimization.


Transport Canada Scholarship in Safety and Security $6,000

Florence Allaire – University of New Bruswick

Florence is currently working towards a Master of Civil Engineering with the University of New Brunswick’s Transportation Group. Her research project is looking at the possibility of integrating the use of smartphones as a low-cost data collection method to monitor road roughness in support of the spring weight restriction decision-making process in New Brunswick. Upon completion of her degree, Florence hopes to gain employment with a company that provides innovative solutions to transportation problems and eventually further her education by completing a Master of Business Administration.


Transport Canada Scholarship in Economics, Efficiency and Competitiveness in Transportation $6,000

Laurence Letarte – Université Laval

Les micro-solutions de transport, outils de lutte à l’exclusion sociale, de concertation et de mobilité durable Ce projet de recherche s’inscrit dans le cadre d’un doctorat en aménagement du territoire et développement régional que j’entamerai à l’été 2015 à l’Université Laval. Il me permettra de contribuer à la recherche sur le transport durable et les outils d’intervention publique qui visent
à améliorer l’équité dans les transports et ce, dans un souci d’efficacité et de compétitivité.


Transport Canada Scholarship in Economics, Efficiency and Competitiveness in Transportation $6,000

Carly MacEacheron – University of New Brunswick

Carly is currently in her second year of a Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree within the Transportation Group at the University of New Brunswick. Her current research for her Master’s thesis is focused on the degradation of pavement marking retroreflectivity levels on New Brunswick roads and their compliance with proposed minimum pavement marking retroreflectivity level standards by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). She has also been involved in past research on active transportation in New Brunswick. Upon completion of her Master’s degree, Carly hopes to work as an integral part of the developing transportation engineering field in an area of traffic engineering, road safety, or geometric design.


Transport Canada Scholarship in Sustainable Transportation $6,000

Toka S. Mostafa Muhammad, University of Toronto

Efficient fright transportation systems are considered a core element of the sustainability of the country’s economy. Recently, a large body of research has been directed towards behavioural freight transportation modelling to enhance freight and logistics decision assessments. Within freight systems, firms (including shippers, and carriers) are recognized as key agents whose interrelations result in the complex system of goods movements. Firms belonging to different market segments behave differently; they vary in such decisions as asset selection, outsourcing, and location choice. Such decisions are affected by different variables such as the economy, market competition, and technological and business innovation. Hence, it is important to understand firm dynamics and interrelations for a better freight demand modelling.

My research intends to support the development of the Firmographic Engine of Canada; an agent-based microsimulation that tracks individual firm decisions and evolution stages within freight systems, and explicitly models interrelated behaviour. It microsimulates firm evolution starting at the entrepreneurial phase, followed by market introduction, firm growth, and market exit potentialities. It also simulates strategic decisions like outsourcing, and asset expansion/contraction (including vehicle fleet) to help expanding the knowledge of shippers’ decisions of goods movements.