CEE Doctoral Candidate Receives UMD Dissertation Fellowship

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Yao Cheng, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), has been awarded an Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship by the University of Maryland Graduate School. The full-time fellowship supports students in the latter stages of writing their dissertations.

Advised by Gang-Len Chang, Cheng’s research focuses on improving traffic signal coordination. His approach weaves together the needs and movements of passenger cars with that of public transit buses, a factor typically ignored in signal optimization.

“Delays at intersections significantly reduce the efficiency of urban traffic networks,” said Cheng, who received a bachelors at Tongji University in Shanghai before enrolling as a master’s student at the University of Maryland. “Properly designed signal optimization can alleviate or even solve this problem without requiring a large investment in infrastructure.”

“The approach will also reduce bus delays, which could in turn encourage more travelers to opt for public transit,” he added.

Cheng’s final design could be applied to a large network of roads instead of just arterial roads—major thoroughfares designed to carry large volumes of traffic.

The Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship provides a $15,000 stipend, tuition remission, and a credit for mandatory fees for a single semester.

Published April 17, 2018