2012-2013 Scholarship Competition Award Winners

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

  • Glareh Amir Jamshidi – University of Toronto
  • Kathleen Gallagher – University of Waterloo
  • Chris Higgins – McMaster University
  • Lindsay Matthews – University of Waterloo (unable to accept)
  • Usama Shahdah – University of Waterloo
  • Samantha Vigder – University of Waterloo
  • Jason Young – University of Saskatchewan

Canadian Pacific Railway Scholarship $6,000

Kathleen Gallagher – University of Waterloo

Kathleen Gallagher is a Master’s of Environmental Studies (Planning) student at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests include all sustainable and active modes of transportation but her master’s thesis is focussed on cycling. As many Canadian cities are looking to help solve transportation and public health woes through increasing the use of modes like cycling, Kathleen is investigating how Canadian cities monitor and evaluate their progress with respect to cycling volumes and mode share. She will be making recommendations based on best practices. She is analyzing data from the Canadian Census Bicycling Share of Work Trips and the Transportation Information Steering Committee’s Transportation Tomorrow Survey in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, among other sources, to determine whether these surveys are providing a consistent and accurate representation of cycling in Canadian cities.

Kathleen’s previous accomplishments include: University of Waterloo President’s Athlete Academic Honour Roll, 2009 – 2012; Canadian Interuniversity Sport Academic All-Canadian, 2009 – 2012; Canadian Transportation Research Forum Student Paper Competition, A. M. Stevens Award, 2011; Canadian Urban Transit Association Youth Scholarship Award, 2011; City of Calgary Applause Level achievement award, Corporate Recognition & Rewards Program, 2011; University of Waterloo Graduate Experience Award, 2010.

CN Scholarship $6,000

Chris Higgins – McMaster University

Christopher Higgins is currently a Ph.D. student at McMaster University’s School of Geography and Earth Sciences. His research is focused on exploring innovative methods for financing the construction of rapid transit infrastructure. Rapid transit brings accessibility benefits to nearby parcels of land, and in a congested city this can translate into a price premium for properties in station areas. Recapturing some of this value by utilizing development charges, tax assessment, and Public Private Partnerships for air rights leases or joint property development has been posited as a solution for raising revenue for transit expansion in the Toronto region and beyond.

But remarkably little empirical research exists on the varying scales of value capture programs, the details of program implementation, and the level of benefits each model provides. The goal of Chris’ research is to first identify the different types of value capture techniques employed around the world and establish factors and prerequisites for success. This knowledge will then be applied to the case study of transit expansion in Toronto to quantify expected benefits and test its wider applicability as a sustainable method for financing transportation infrastructure.

Chris hopes to utilize the results of this research and the Ph.D. program to realize his career goals as an academic or public servant.

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

Samantha Vigder – University of Waterloo

Samantha Vigder is currently working on a Master’s in Planning at the University of Waterloo. She received her bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science with a specialty in transportation from the University of Toronto. Her interests in research relate to freight and logistics. Her master’s thesis looks at the relationship between retail type and transportation. She is trying to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation by considering big box, traditional and online retails and how both consumers and freight behave for each retail situation. Although big box retailers encourage consumers to drive further distances, they are a more efficient model for freight deliveries. On the opposite end of the spectrum, online retail does not require any consumer movement, but freight must now deliver door to door for the customers. Samantha hopes broaden the understanding of the relationship between retail and transportation through her research project.

Transport Canada Scholarship in Safety and Security $6,000

Usama Shahdah – University of Waterloo

Usama Shahdah is currently a Transportation Engineering Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo where he also obtained his master of applied science degree in 2009. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Mansoura University (Mansoura, Egypt). Usama’s research is concerned with comparing observational and microscopic traffic simulation models for predicting accidents, prioritizing sites for intervention, and estimating the effectiveness of different intervention strategies introduced at these locations. Usama has received a number of awards and scholarships including “Ontario Graduate Scholarship (May 2011- April 2012), “UW President’s Graduate Scholarship (May 2011-April 2012), “UW Special Graduate Scholarship (Winter 2010)” and an “Egyptian Government Scholarship for postgraduate studies” (May 2007 to April 2011). Once Usama finishes his PhD he hopes he can be a professor at one of Canada’s top ranked Universities and continue his research to make roads safer.

Transport Canada Scholarship in Safety and Security $6,000

Jason Young – University of Saskatchewan

Jason Young is currently a Transportation Engineering M.Sc. candidate at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK, where he also received his B.E. in Civil Engineering with Distinction. During his academic career, Jason has received numerous awards and scholarships, including an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award; he has placed on the Dean’s Honour Roll in every academic semester. Papers authored/co-authored by Jason have appeared in Accident Analysis and Prevention, and have been accepted for presentation at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) annual meetings. Jason’s research includes incorporating uncertainty into the economic appraisal of roadway safety improvements.

Transport Canada Scholarship in Sustainable Transportation $6,000

Glareh Amir Jamshidi – University of Toronto

Glareh is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. She received her bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Sharif University of technology in Iran in (2005), and her MASc in (2007). Her MASs thesis was focused on a transport appraisal of Asian trade flows. She started her PhD in 2008 at the University of Toronto and has been involved in 2 major projects funded by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and other agencies. Her research focuses on microsimulation, vehicle emissions and vehicle routing. The research has two main parts. The first part concentrates on using GPS data to calibrate and validate a microsimulation model of our network; and to study the relationship between the driving cycles resulted from the microsimulation and GHG emissions. The second part will look at how private companies are currently formulating and solving their vehicle routing problem and how this problem would change once the Cap and Trade program is introduced.