2007-2008 Scholarship Competition Award Winners

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

Transport Canada Scholarship in Sustainable Transportation ($4000)

Alauddin Ahammed , University of Waterloo

I will be entering 3rd year of graduate studies as a Civil Engineering Ph.D. Candidate at University of Waterloo, Ontario during the 2007 – 2008 academic year. My study focus is Transportation Engineering with emphasis in pavement design and management, infrastructure management, pavement safety and sustainability. My current research focus is “Evaluation of Pavement Surface Characteristics for Skid Resistance and Noise, and Developing Criteria for Optimized and Sustainable Texture Performance”. The performances of different pavement surfaces in terms of noise generated due to tire-pavement interaction, commuters/abutters comfort, and resistance to skidding including seasonal variation of available friction will be evaluated based on field and laboratory experiments. Long term performance of various surfaces will also be evaluated based on field data and performance model will be developed.

In the future, I will be looking to pursue a career with a Transportation Research Organization or Transportation Consultant or Government Transportation Agencies focusing on Pavement Surfacing Design, Pavement Design and Management, and/or Infrastructure Management. The objectives are to get extensively exposed to current practices, realize the shortcomings and develop cost-effective solution for sustainable infrastructure development. I would like to be a leader in transportation engineering area and promote public/ government awareness toward the sustainability, and work to safeguard public interest, improve public safety and living standard.

Transportation Canada Scholarship in Sustainable Transportation ($4000)

Erika Voyer, Université Laval

I am a student from Laval University in Quebec. I am presently doing a Master in Civil engineering, specialized in the geotechnical field. I also have completed a Bachelor in Geological engineering in 2006, at Laval University.

For my Masters, I am working on the development of mitigation methods to avoid degradation of permafrost under infrastructures. The vast majority of my work is conducted in the Inuit communities of northern Quebec. I organized the construction of a test site in Salluit, Nunavik, and I worked closely with people from the community who assisted in the completion of my project. The mitigation techniques built on the airport access road are instrumented and the thermal data are continually monitored, to see how the permafrost and the embankment itself react to it. I also try to improve mitigation techniques in laboratory, by changing different parameters and by monitoring thermal data.

I will graduate in May 2008. I am looking forward to work as a geotechnical engineer in research and development. I would like to participate to the improvement of infrastructures behavior under constant climatic changes. The global warming is an important problem for me and I would like to relate my future job to this issue. Working
overseas is also a dream for me that I wish to realize during my career in engineering.

Transport Canada Scholarship in Safety and Security ($4000)

Christine Wickens, York University

Christine is currently working towards her PhD in social and personality psychology. Her research focuses on various psychological issues related to driver behaviour. She has co-authored several articles and chapters including an analysis of driver complaints received by the Ontario Provincial Police, a review of gender differences in driver aggression, and an examination of state driver stress as a function of occupational stress. Christine is currently conducting research on several topics including attributions for driver behaviour, differences between driver and passenger commuting stress, and the usefulness of analytic versus heuristic processes in predicting driver behaviour. In addition to awards received from the Canadian Transportation Research Forum, Christine has also been the recipient of other past honours including the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Scholarship.

Bombardier – Jan Bowland Scholarship ($4000)

Matthew Lee, University of Waterloo

Matthew Lee is a Master’s candidate in the School of Planning at University of Waterloo. His research interests lie in the field of transportation planning, specifically in transit infrastructure financing. In April 2007, he completed his Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree in Planning at the University of Waterloo, with a specialization in Land Development Planning. Concurrent to his undergraduate studies, his employment experiences at the Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal and the Toronto Transit Commission facilitated his interest to examine ways to accelerate transit infrastructure investment, given the cash-strapped nature of today’s public sector. Specifically, he explored a variety of alternative financing options used in other jurisdictions, namely in the United States, for the purpose of speeding the delivery of transit capital projects.

Under the direction of his supervisor Dr. Jeffrey Casello, Matthew’s graduate research will build on the work from his undergraduate studies by examining the merit of value capture mechanisms to help finance transit infrastructure projects. Value capture financing attempts to ‘capture’ the increase in land values generated by a new public investment, such as higher order transit. The captured funds are then allocated to help pay for the investment itself. He hopes this study will help inform public administrators and transportation planners how to best apply value capture financing mechanisms to facilitate transit infrastructure expansion within the Ontario context.

In the future, Matthew hopes to become a transportation planner, particularly focusing on infrastructure financing, transit-oriented development, and transit service planning.

Canadian Pacific Railway Scholarship ($4000)

William Collins, Simon Fraser University

William (Billy) Collins is a graduate student in the Master in Urban Studies program at Simon Fraser University-Vancouver, where he continues to purse his passion for parks, adventure tourism, alpine environments and sustainable transportation. Outfitted with a rather idiosyncratic resume – he spent 15 years in the Canadian music industry and has 3 undergraduate degrees in completely unrelated fields – he currently spends most of his time trying to figure out how to combine all of his passions into a future career. As such, this academic year will see Billy begin to work on his thesis, which endeavors to explore the possibilities of a light-rail solution to social, environmental and transportation issues in the Bow Valley corridor, namely between the mountain towns of Canmore and Banff (National Park). He is the founding member and Chair of the Urban Studies Graduate Student Association and sits as the student representative on the program’s Steering Committee.

CN Scholarship ($4000)

Mohamed Wahba, University of Toronto

Mohamed Wahba was born in Bani-Seuf, Egypt. After graduating from high school in 1996, Mohamed joined the department of Operations Research at the Faculty of Computers and Information, Cairo University. In 2000, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Operations Research and a minor in Computer Science (with honors and ranked first in his class). Mr. Wahba was awarded a full scholarship to study Management Sciences (MPhil degree) at Cambridge University, UK (2002). Upon completion, he was awarded another scholarship and earned a Master of Science degree majoring in transportation engineering at the Civil Engineering department of Toronto University in 2004. Since then, Mohamed is a graduate student for the Ph.D. degree in Transportation Engineering at the University of Toronto. Mr. Wahba has demonstrated innovative thinking in his research on transit system analysis and has gained research and field experience in Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications. Mohamed has attended and presented at many local and international conferences and regularly contributes to the transit modeling research literature. His areas of interest include transportation planning, public transport operations, intelligent transportation systems, advanced public transportation systems, microsimulation and transportation systems modeling and operations. His career goal is to either work in a transportation-based consulting firm or in academia.

Mohamed has also demonstrated great mentoring skills while working as a resident advisor for a number of years at the University of Toronto residences. He is an active member in many student organizations; he is the president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) local chapter at the University of Toronto and an elected member of the Egyptian Student Association of North America (ESANA) Executive Committee. In his free time, he loves to play soccer and enjoys fishing – sometimes he gets beaten in a squash game!