2020-2021 Scholarship Recipients

CTRF wishes to thank the sponsors of the current scholarship program, without whom these awards would not be possible. They include  Transport Canada, and other contributors.
Thank you.

Transport Canada
Samaa Agina – University of Alberta
Sara Babaee – Wilfrid Laurier University
Tufayel Chowdhury – University of Toronto
Maged Gouda – University of Alberta (Unable to Accept)
Shaila Jamal – McMaster University (Unable to Accept)
Amr Mohamed – University of Alberta

Transport Canada Scholarship $6,000

Samaa Agina – University of Alberta

Road collisions exert a large social and economic burden on both society and governments because they are a major cause of serious injuries and deaths, especially among economically productive young adults (1). In Canada, the number of injuries and fatalities resulting from motor vehicle collisions was 224,000 and 2,778, respectively in 2001 with a social cost estimated at $25 billion annually (2). As a result, there is a need to exert every effort to improve road safety and save the lives of victims that die on roads every day. This could be achieved by launching integrated initiatives to improve road design and/or modifying drivers’ behavior and prevent collisions.

Speeding is considered to be the main contributing factor for 30% of fatal collisions (3). In Canada, an average of 800 people lose their lives and another 3,000 are injured in speeding-related crashes each year. These are not just numbers but represent real people, our family members, friends, and neighbors. Speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure in targeting speed limit violators, which aims to modify the behavior of drivers by first detecting and then ticketing violators who drive over the posted speed limits (4). One of the successful speed enforcement methods in Canada is using Mobile Photo Enforcement (MPE) in which photo radar cameras are mounted on unmarked/marked police vehicles.

My proposed research involves developing a model to relate the enforcement deployments (duration and number of visits) to the duration between two consequent collisions using failure-time analysis.  My research aims to develop a model that answers questions on how much is the expected safety impact of increasing/decreasing the number of site visits or the number of enforcement hours on the expected time between collisions. Developing this hazard model is of great importance and interest to cities and municipalities since it could help them quantifying the number of collisions expected to be reduced by using MPE programs. It will also improve their planning and allocation of enforcement resources and help predict the economic feasibility of implementing MPE programs. This tool will be developed using a modeling platform, Hazard Modeling techniques, and information provided by the City of Edmonton on the number of collisions, severity, enforcement schedules, times, and frequency. The outcome of this research proposes safety-based alternative scenarios and schedules that give deep insights into the safety benefits associated with each option.


  1. World Health Organization (WHO), Global status report on road safety: supporting a decade of action, Geneva, 2015.
  2. Tay, R. Speed cameras improving safety or raising revenue? Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (JTEP), 2010. 44: 247-257.
  3. Richards, S. H., R. C. Wunderlich, and C. L. Dudek. Field evaluation of work zone speed control techniques. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1985. 1035: 66-78.
  4. Li, R., K. El-Basyouny, and A. Kim. A city-wide safety analysis of mobile speed enforcement. Edmonton, AB, 2014.

Transport Canada Scholarship $6,000

Sara Babaee – Wilfrid Laurier University

Seventy-seven percent of Canadian food waste takes place within the food supply chain, and only 14 percent comes from the household level. To give you a clearer idea, every day in Canada, we waste 362000 heads of lettuce in the supply chain. (Gooch, 2019) Advances in temperature-controlled transportation technology, food packaging, making use of information, etc. have created numerous tools for decreasing the waste by keeping the perishable products fresh. The decisions made for using the new available freshness-keeping tools during transportation of perishable products have a direct impact on (I) the cost of delivering a product to the market, (II) the product’s final quality, and (III) the product’s price in the market.

The combination of different freshness-keeping options can create a large number of possible scenarios for managing a perishable product during transport. The chosen freshness-keeping scenario will determine the quantity and quality of the effective supply as well as the cost of delivering the product.  For example, the temperature can be controlled during transit by placing crushed-ice on the top of the load, or containing ice within each package, or using mechanical refrigeration. Each of these approaches has a different cost and different impact on the product’s deterioration. Deciding between the temperature control options, you then need to decide about the transit vehicle. The transit vehicle used for the shipment can involve single product types or several product types to be transported together. While transport of mixed loads results in conflicts between optimum storage regimes for each product, it can considerably decrease the cost of transportation.  It’s also important to consider the impact of decisions made on the temperature-control approach and mixed load shipments regarding the actual supply chain network. Some groups of decisions might work for short-haul transportation while not reasonable for the long-haul deliveries.

Therefore, numerous available options for keeping the products fresh will create a large and complicated transportation decision-making problem. Customers, on the other hand, are sensitive to both the level of freshness of the product and the retail price, i.e. the market demand is highly dependent on these factors. The resulted price and quality sensitive demand will make the decision-making process for freshness-keeping activities and pricing policies even more complicated.

In my research, I develop a nonlinear mixed-integer program to jointly optimize decisions made for freshness-keeping efforts during transportation and pricing policies. In our considered perishable supply chain, the demand is vertically differentiated in each market region, and customers are both price and quality sensitive. The proposed model maximizes the total expected profit in a supplier-DC- retailer network.

  1. Gooch, M., Bucknell, D., LaPlain, D., Dent, B., Whitehead, P., Felfel, A., Nikkel, L., Maguire, M. (2019). The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste: Technical Report; Value Chain Management International and Second Harvest; Ontario, Canada”

Transport Canada Scholarship $6,000

Tufayel Chowdhury – University of Toronto

The overarching theme of my research is to develop freight demand models. These models are analytical tools that serve two purposes: a) help better understand how the freight and logistics markets work, b) provide platforms to test various policy scenarios to support evidence-based policymaking.

Two types of models are being developed as part of the PhD research: an operational three-stage commercial vehicle (CV) model for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA); and a national-scale freight microsimulation model for Canada. The CV model has already been developed and is currently being used to test scenarios like the environmental impacts of trucks in the GTHA and shifting retail deliveries to off-peak periods.

The major part of the PhD research is developing a freight microsimulation model for Canada that can be used in rigorous policy testing. The model has the following six components/modules. The scope of this PhD research is to develop the first four modules.

Establishment Synthesis outputs a list of all business establishments (BEs) across Canada with attributes like industry class, employment, etc. This module is currently being developed.

Supply Chain Simulation models firm-to-firm trading at the level of individual BE. This will be achieved by first modeling the probability of choosing a supplier firm, then simulating a market-clearing mechanism based on a rule-based algorithm.

Shipment Generation and Mode Choice will be developed based on a joint choice (multinomial logit, nested logit or mixed logit) of transportation mode and shipment size.

Motor Carrier Choice consists of a rule-based heuristic where a shipper chooses for-hire motor carriers based on price, carrier firm size and location of carrier operation. The algorithm has already been coded and tested with synthetic data.

The remaining components – Carrier Logistics Module and Multimodal Traffic Assignment will be developed as part of separate research.

Transport Canada Scholarship $6,000

Amr Mohamed – University of Alberta

Amr Mohamed (Shalkamy) is a Ph.D. Candidate with over eight years of experience in both academia and industry. He contributed to several transportation projects in Canada and the Middle East. Through his work as a transportation engineer, he became more aware of many design-related limitations in current highway design guidelines.  He has had many questions on how safe is a design option compared to others and how much is the safety risk of deviation from design standards. He realized that many safety issues could be avoided through simple precautions during the planning and design stages and through implementing innovative techniques. The burning desire to learn and answer the questions he has had were enough reasons for him to leave his job at a prestigious company (Dar-Alhandasah) and shift from industry to academia to pursue this subject further as at the University of Alberta.

Prevention of road collisions does not yet have high priority, and for everyone killed, injured or disabled by a road collision, there are many others of their families deeply affected. A part of traffic crashes that occur every year, is attributed to some deficiencies in existing roadway networks. Current road design guidelines do not account for safety or collision history on roads, which is a big concern. They also do not account for variation in driver capabilities and assume that all road users drive in the same way which may not be the case.

Amr’s research utilizes remote sensing technology to help develop new design guides that account for safety and accommodate all road users. His thesis focuses on the design of highway horizontal curves.  Phase one of his research involves developing a set of algorithms utilizing Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, to collect information on horizontal curves and identify curves with design limitations (e.g. insufficient sight distance). The second phase includes conducting large-scale reliability analysis to quantify the safety risk associated with these design deficiencies and develop a relationship between risk levels and collision frequency using historical crash data. Using this relationship, safety-based (and probabilistic) design charts can be calibrated while minimizing the associated risks, which in turn, results in a potential reduction in collision frequency on horizontal curves. Although this work focuses on horizontal curves, the proposed framework can be applied on the design of multiple road features. Calibrating new highway design standards that account for safety could prevent many collisions and save the lives of victims that die on roads every day. Creating a link between road collisions and design guides is expected to represent a breakthrough in the area of road design and safety. It also represents a potential foundation on which road design guidelines could change.